Expected to be operational in early 2022, new name being explored.
JVS Human Services and Kadima, both nonprofits who serve vulnerable communities in Metro Detroit, announced they will move forward with a merger expected to be operational in 2022. The boards of directors of JVS Human Services and Kadima voted Aug. 2 to unite the organizations. JVS is a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, the central fundraising and planning organization of the Detroit Jewish community.
JVS provides social services and vocational programs, including services for people with developmental disabilities. Kadima provides behavioral health services, including supportive housing, for adults with mental health challenges. The decision was made to create a new single organization, yet unnamed, to provide a broader continuum of care, more robust and higher quality programs, and overall better outcomes for individuals with disabilities.
Unemployment can be as high as 80% for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. Between JVS Human Services and Kadima, approximately 1,000 people with a diagnosed mental illness will be served in areas of vocational, residential and clinical services at the time of the merger.
Paul J. Blatt, current JVS president and chief executive officer, will continue in that role to lead the new organization. Aubrey Macfarlane, JVS executive vice president and chief operating officer, will also remain in her role after the merger. Eric Adelman, Kadima executive director, will be the executive vice president and chief advancement officer of the new organization.
“From the outset, we were eager to see if a combined organization would be better positioned to positively impact the lives of people in our community,” said Blatt. “Through an in-depth due diligence process, we were able to demonstrate that the new organization will be able to offer a more expansive continuum of services, yielding stronger outcomes for the people we serve. This is an exciting time for JVS, Kadima and our communities.”
Through shared operational and administrative savings, the new organization will re-invest funds into programs that directly benefit and support underserved community members, such as those with development disabilities, autism or mental illness. Deeper investments in areas of clinical services and compliance will allow for more data-based decision making and impact measurement, all exponentially enhancing outcomes for people served and the community at large.
The merger will ensure long-term sustainability of vital services for individuals who need them, while positioning the agency for success in the everchanging landscape of public mental health service funding.
“This merger is vital because it will strengthen our operations, allow us to provide more impactful services and enable our new organization to thrive for many years to come,” said Adelman. “By improving services for the people we serve today and ensuring the sustainability of those services for decades to come, we continue to realize our founders’ goals of meeting the needs of vulnerable people in our community.”
The two agencies offer dozens of services, including career counseling and job placement for job seekers with obstacles to employment, supportive housing for individuals with severe mental illness, financial education, day programs for adults living with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness, counseling for families in crisis, assistance and support coordination for adults living with mental health challenges, enrichment activities and more.
There are no plans for reducing programs; in fact, it is expected that the merger will allow for programs to be upgraded, updated and strengthened.