19 Merging Nonprofits to Provide More Housing & Job Training to the Homeless “Steve”walked into hopeFound’s Shattuck Shelter in Boston looking for a bed for the night. After living on the streets for 32 years, he’d given up on finding a home, but a counselor at hopeFound rekindled his dream. Homeless individuals need support with problems ranging from addiction to health issues, but the critical factor in improving their lives is housing.That insight motivated hopeFound Executive Director Mary Nee and her nonprofit board to seek a merger with Pine Street Inn, a larger provider with 700 housing units. “Moving people into housing—our key objective—was an area where we had barriers and Pine Street had strength,” Mary says. Combining Pine Street Inn’s housing and job training programs with hopeFound’s job placement programs would benefit the people who came to both organizations.Together, they could provide a continuum of services—a plus to funders including the city and state. Attorney Megan Gates, who served on hopeFound’s board, organized Mintz Levin’s pro bono resources to drive the merger. Attorney Anthony Hubbard led the team with assistance from attorneys Katie Weir and J. R. Urbon. Anthony had significant previous experience with for- profit and nonprofit mergers. “There were times when it looked like the merger wasn’t going to happen,” Anthony says. At one crucial point, Pine Street administrators wanted assurances of future funding under a major government contract. “The team got them comfortable that the assurances Pine Street sought simply couldn’t be given,”Anthony says. Since Pine Street was absorbing nearly every hopeFound employee, attorney Patricia Moran reviewed Pine Street’s benefits to ensure that hopeFound’s staff would be eligible to participate under its plans. Attorneys including Drew Matzkin and Paula Lyons helped resolve the complicated employment and benefits issues. Other participating attorneys included Allan Caggiano, who made sure that hopeFound’s properties were successfully transferred, and Daria Niewenhous, who confirmed compliance with health law regulations. The merger was announced in January 2012. Today, Pine Street Inn offers all of the services formerly provided by the two entities, and six of hopeFound’s board members, including Megan, sit on its board. A homeless person walking into Shattuck Shelter today can access a full range of services— including emergency and permanent housing. Had that option been available for Steve, he wouldn’t have waited three years for a public unit. Now living comfortably in an apartment, he can hardly believe how his life has changed. Food & Shelter We could not have achieved this merger without guidance on so many levels from the entire Mintz Levin team. It was a wonderful collaborative effort, and we felt incredibly supported. Mary Nee Former Executive Director hopeFound The Power of Partnerships