The following was provided by Bridgewell:
Bridgewell, Inc., a Lynnfield-based human services organization operating in 22 communities in eastern Massachusetts, and Project COPE, Inc. a Lynn-based non-profit providing substance abuse and other services, have announced their intention to merge in January, 2014. The two greatly respected organizations, representing close to a combined century of service and expertise, have had a management agreement since May, 2013.
Bridgewell is dedicated to supporting and helping individuals with developmental and psychiatric disabilities to direct their own lives, achieve personal and professional success, and remain active participants in society. The organization is 56 years old and provides residential and day services, affordable housing and homeless services, clinical services, recreational services, as well as employment training and educational services. Bridgewell is recognized for its skill in identifying unmet needs and creating new initiatives to meet those needs, as it has recently with both day and residential programs for young adults with autism and residential programs for the developmentally disabled with Alzheimer’s disease.
For 40 years, Project COPE has provided community-based prevention, education and treatment services for individuals and their families struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. These services include specialized behavioral health programs, residential treatment, recovery housing, young adult diversion and employee assistance programming. Project COPE also serves the needs of developmentally disabled individuals, by providing a network of home care services and a specialized residential program for men with Congenital Rubella Syndrome.
Working with health providers, Project COPE provides a variety of supports for the AIDS population, doing outreach to gay, Latino and African populations, providing education and making referrals for testing and ongoing services. Project COPE is known for its commitment, integrity and dedication to service.
Bridgewell serves nearly 5000 individuals and their families at more than 95 programs, including 73 residential programs, in 22 communities in eastern Massachusetts. It has a $51 million budget and 1,100 employees. Project COPE serves approximately 500 individuals and their families in nine programs, two residential programs including 60 units of recovery housing, in the Greater Lynn communities. It has a $2.9 million operating budget.
“Both our organizations create a setting of caring, excellence, integrity, dedication and effectiveness for their clients. We are entrepreneurial in that we are continually identifying unmet needs and creating ways to address those needs, pulling funding from multiple sources and enabling all individuals to fulfill their highest potential, fully integrated into the community wherever possible,” said Bridgewell President and CEO Bob Stearns. Stearns will remain President and Chief Executive Officer of Bridgewell.
“Given the economic pressures of the last several years, including cutbacks in state and federal funding, it has become increasingly difficult for small, independent non-profits like Project COPE both to maintain current levels of client services and respond to new opportunities and community needs,” said Project COPE Executive Director Mark Kennard, who will continue to lead the Project COPE subsidiary of Bridgewell.
“COPE shares with Bridgewell similar values and company cultures, and our programs complement each other, with several overlaps in the populations we serve,” he continued.
“Lynn is fortunate to have such a strong and robust non-profit presence. This new partnership will only strengthen two wonderful local organizations who contribute so much to our city and allow them the resources and expertise to develop new programs and services to benefit the overall health of our community” added Lynn Public Health Division Director MaryAnn O’Connor.