People’s Regional Opportunity Program and Youth Alternatives Ingraham Announce Merger Discussions | Business

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People’s Regional Opportunity Program and Youth Alternatives Ingraham Announce Merger Discussions
People’s Regional Opportunity Program and Youth Alternatives Ingraham Announce Merger Discussions

--Two venerable human service agencies seek benefits of strong leadership, community experience—

(Portland) The Boards of Directors for the People’s Regional Opportunity Program (PROP) of Cumberland County and Youth Alternatives Ingraham (YI) announced today that they will examine the potential for merging the two human service agencies to better benefit clients and communities in Cumberland County.

PROP has been operating under the leadership of an interim CEO for more than a year and views a merger as an opportunity to gain strong organizational leadership while maximizing funding and programs, serving families and individuals more efficiently.  The Board believes a combined agency with deep experience can operate more nimbly and proactively to deploy limited resources more sustainably in the community.  PROP has considered the possibility of a merger for several months, and has been assessing many candidates as partners; meanwhile recent federal and state budget proposals have underlined the need for examining alternatives and efficiencies.

YI views the merger as a means to offer a seamless continuum of services.  An integrated agency furthers a shared vision of strong communities that includes investments in infant and early childhood development and education, programming and support for families and youth, a county-wide mental health crisis response system, and an improved quality of life for all people in need, from infants to seniors.          

“PROP is dedicated to transforming our communities by helping people in need to build better lives.  As a Community Action Program or CAP agency, we were created as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s national “War on Poverty” and have been addressing the causes and effects of poverty for 45 years,” said interim PROP CEO Catherine Fellenz.  “We believe PROP’s vision can potentially be carried out with greater efficiency, creativity and strong leadership through a merged operation with YI, an equally experienced agency with aligned goals, and we look forward to examining the possibilities.”

“YI offers a strong voice for and with people in poverty,” said Michael J. Tarpinian, President of YI.  “Also, we have 40 years experience in providing sound programs and services for people in crisis and transition at all phases of life.  A merger with PROP can offer families who come to us in need a broader continuum of services that are integrated and seamless so that there is no wrong door with which to enter our system, and a consumer of our services need only tell his or her story once.”

The organizations will study the feasibility and benefits of operating as a consolidated entity as well as examining applicable legal and contractual requirements.    There is no established timetable in which to make a final determination, and each organization will continue to function independently while the process unfolds.  There will be no impact upon clients or staff of either organization from merger discussions.

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