The ClearView Center and Equinox announced they are joining forces and will be known as just Equinox when the merger is complete.
“It’s the combination of two organizations in strong positions,” said Dorothy Cucinelli, executive director of ClearView Center, Inc., and soon to be CEO of Equinox. “It will enhance the services for our clients.”
Equinox, a nonprofit organization that provides residential programs for homeless youth and victims of domestic violence, and ClearView, a nonprofit organization that helps people and families suffering from mental illnesses, will now be able to combine services. Cucinelli said the two organizations were discussing how they both had a lot of similarities, which eventually lead to both boards of directors voting to accept the merger.
“We have, in working with ClearView, services that really complement each other,” said Kathleen Tanner, current executive director at Equinox. “They fit with each other, and they aren’t duplicated. It’s a really comprehensive approach.”
Both Tanner and Cucinelli said the merger will not result in any layoffs, and each of the locations they operate, ClearView has eight and Equinox has four, will continue to stay open. Cucinelli said ClearView has been looking to expand its youth mental services. With the merger approved, it will add to the 30 beds Equinox has available for domestic violence victims and its shelters for homeless and runaway youths between the ages of 16 and 21.
Tanner said the conversation about a possible merger started about a year ago when a joint committee of the board of directors got together and discussed the various benefits and different potentials the company could develop.
“One of the things that sparked the idea was that ClearView and Equinox are a part of the Hudson River Consortium, which encompasses agencies in various counties,” Tanner said. “When Equinox was looking to expand residential services for the youth, we talked with ClearView because we wanted to look at the whole spectrum of needs. It’s a win-win for each side.”
Cucinelli said this will also help the organizations become more competitive for state and federal grants. At a press conference on Monday, Sept. 19, the companies announced they had been approved for a $300,000 grant from the New York State Health Foundation to cover the cost and expenses related to the merger. Cucinelli said it was a huge help for the new business venture.
“It’s a huge financial help for this whole undertaking,” she said. “We’re very grateful for them supporting the vision and a merger that will be a wonderful thing for the community.”
Cucinelli said they are not completely sure how much he merger is going to cost both of the companies because a lot of the details have yet to be hammered out. Tanner also said it is too early to figure out specifically what the service expansion will entail, though she said what they are hoping to do is increase the amount of adolescent mental health services. The plan is to complete the merger by Jan. 1, 2012.
“We will be able to consolidate the administrative sector without any layoffs while strengthening the administration structure,” Tanner said. “The business community is looking to nonprofits instead of a lot of small operations and few organizations that can operate with efficiencies.”
Tanner and Cucinelli both said they are looking forward to expanding both of their businesses for the greater good.
“I think this is a great move in the future and I am excited about the future of equinox,” said Tanner. “It’s an important agency in the community and with this merger, it will be offering even more.”