September 30, 2016
Integration will strengthen services for youth experiencing homelessness in Monroe County and the surrounding region
Bloomington, Ind. (September 30, 2016) – Centerstone, a nonprofit provider of behavioral healthcare, and Stepping Stones, Inc., an organization that provides transitional housing to homeless youth in Indiana, today announced that they will integrate their operations. Together, the Centerstone and Stepping Stones teams will implement expanded programs and bridge critical gaps in the support of individuals ages 16-20 who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
As part of the planned integration, it is expected that all Stepping Stones programs and services as well as its 9 employees will transition to become part of Centerstone by November 1, 2016.
“For more than a decade, Stepping Stones has been providing critical outreach, housing, and independent living resources to youth facing homelessness,” said Suzanne Koesel, CEO of Centerstone’s Indiana operations. “Its programs complement many of Centerstone’s programs and services, and by joining forces, we will be able to expand the ways we support young people. We are delighted to welcome Stepping Stones staff to our team and look forward to exploring new ways we can work together to change people’s lives.”
The integration allows for the preservation of existing programs and offers clients access to new resources through Centerstone. Centerstone’s program offerings include 24-hour crisis services; group, individual, couple and family counseling; sexual abuse and trauma counseling; substance abuse and addiction disorders treatment; supportive housing services; and other specialized services. Additionally, Centerstone will be able to reinstate full-time hours to the Independent Living Coach position, access Medicaid funding for its Life Skills services, expand supportive housing and outreach services, and integrate programs for youth into supportive housing programs for adults and families.
“The Stepping Stones team is thrilled to join Centerstone,” said Alysia Elwood, Executive Director at Stepping Stones. “Our homeless youth have been and will always be our priority, and, as part of Centerstone, we will be able to offer those we serve a broader array of services and supports. We will also have exciting opportunities to create new processes to better serve transition-aged youth and strengthen the continuum of support available for people of all ages who may be at risk for homelessness.”
The integration of Centerstone and Stepping Stones is the result of a process Stepping Stones initiated nearly a year ago to find a strategic partner. Following a critical funding loss that was jeopardizing its ability to maintain programs for youth, Stepping Stones has been seeking to align with another organization that could ensure the continuity of its services and offer opportunities to reach additional youth in need.
“Transitioning to adulthood from foster care, the juvenile corrections system, or an unstable home environment can be a significant challenge for young people,” said Dan McNeely, Supportive Housing Director for Centerstone. “We are excited to work with the Stepping Stones team to improve the resources available to youth and help them become confident, healthy, successful adults.”
Since its founding, Stepping Stones’ work has been supported by an active and loyal base of donors. Centerstone is organizing dedicated funds to ensure that all donations made to Stepping Stones’ programs will remain dedicated to the young people they serve.
Centerstone, a nonprofit organization, is one of the nation's largest behavioral healthcare providers. It offers a range of treatment, support and educational programs and services to individuals who have mental health and addiction disorders and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Each year, the organization serves more than 142,000 people of all ages across Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee. It also operates the Centerstone Foundation, Centerstone Research Institute, Advantage Behavioral Health, Centerstone Military Services and Centerstone Health Partners. For more information about Centerstone, please visit http://www.centerstone.org.
About Stepping Stones
Stepping Stones is a non-profit organization located in Monroe County that serves youth ages 16 to 20 years old who are experiencing homelessness. Stepping Stones provides transitional housing in a safe environment and supportive services that aid in the care of present needs, but also in preparation for the future. The program is designed to provide youth with the skills necessary to become self-sustaining, successful adults.