With a dozen agencies now on board, efforts toward creating a shared corporate space for nonprofit human service agencies have shifted into high gear.
The collaboration has rapidly expanded from an initial plans by three agencies to four, then 10 and now 12 agencies. An informational meeting planned for May 18 could attract even more, said Kenneth Houseknecht , executive director at the Mental Health Association of Erie County, which will host the meeting.
“Ideally, if we could have shared mission and shared culture, that’s important and there is a lot of mission overlap,” he said. “But we all concluded that we really want people who do business the same way.”
The shared space conversation grew from an existing collaboration between MHA with Compeer of Greater Buffalo and the Parent Network of WNY. EPIC – Every Person Influences Children joined the group later, along with Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse plus seven others. Some agencies aren’t going public yet due to contractual obligations for existing lease space.
Prevention Focus of Buffalo is one of the participants. The agency gives children, teens, and adults the skills and information they need to make good choices about alcohol, drugs, violence, and gambling while promoting mental and physical health.