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Serenity House Merges with York County Shelter Programs, Inc.

The Boards of Directors of the Portland-based Serenity House, and York County Shelter Programs, Inc., have announced the merger of their two agencies, effective April 1, 2012.  The merger allows both agencies to dramatically increase the number and variety of services available to the substance abuse, mental health, and homeless clients they serve in both Cumberland and York Counties, while working to reduce costs based on the combined efficiencies of such a merger.  

The combined agency’s name is York County Shelter Programs, Inc. (YCSPI). Serenity House will remain intact and continue to serve persons suffering from alcoholism and drug abuse, most of whom are also homeless.  No immediate changes are planned for the veteran substance abuse agency, while both agencies develop plans for future funding in anticipation of dramatic changes to traditional State and Federal funding programs.  Serenity House presently provides Half-Way House services to an average of sixteen men per day, as well as supported housing for another thirteen graduates of the Half-Way House treatment program.

The York County Shelter Programs brings to the partnership mental health and substance abuse residential and out-patient treatment programs, some two-hundred agency-owned and operated transitional and permanent housing units in York County, vocational training programs in both Food Services and Housing Maintenance, Community Case Management services for agency housing residents, consumer advocacy and client-centered entrepreneurial businesses.  The YCSPI is also one of three pilot sites developing Resource Center Models for the Maine State Housing Authority, to demonstrate the effectiveness of surrounding homeless mental health and substance abuse clients with advocacy and support services in their own home, as opposed to housing them overnight in emergency shelters.

Both Executive Directors remain employed by the combined agency, with Bob Dawber, the former Serenity House Executive Director, serving as a Senior Administrator, and Don Gean continuing as the Executive Director of YCSPI.  The Board of Directors is now a blended Board of former Serenity House and York County Shelter Programs board members who are representative of the Portland and York County communities.  The Board is excited about the combined-agency’s increased ability to provide critically needed services to a growing number of very low-income people who can no longer afford a place to live, and have little or no access to needed healthcare services.

For questions and information about the York County Shelter Programs, Inc., services and locations,  please contact Donald Gean or Bob Dawber at (207) 324-1137.