Benedict House, Evergreen Association join forces

June 21, 2013 Updated Jun 21, 2013 at 8:05 AM EDT

By Tracey Drury, Buffalo Business First

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Benedict House, Evergreen Association join forces

June 21, 2013 Updated Jun 21, 2013 at 8:05 AM EDT

A new partnership between AIDS service providers will see Benedict House of WNY join the Evergreen Association of WNY.

Benedict House joins such service providers as Evergreen Health Services (formerly AIDS Community Services), Pride Center, Community Access Services (formerly Allianza Latina) and the Evergreen Foundation under the association, adding residential housing services into the service offerings.

Though the two groups have made referrals back and forth over the years, this is the first time the two boards of directors have agreed on a formal affiliation, said Ronald Silverio, Evergreen CEO.

"This broadens our continuum of care," he said. "We didn't have a residential component and we feel that this kind of relationship will help the staffs be more in touch with each other and develop complementary ways of making referrals both ways."

The Evergreen Association family of nonprofit service agencies provides medical, pharmacy, housing, nutritional, transportation, care coordination, mental health and substance abuse services to nearly 11,000 consumers.

Excluding Benedict House, the four organizations have a combined budget of $20 million and 142 staff between two offices in Buffalo and Jamestown. Benedict House has a budget just under $1 million and about 25 full- and part-time employees.

Founded in 1987 by the Rev. Vince Crosby, Benedict House is a supportive residence for people with AIDS facing homelessness. The organization is now housed on Main Street with a capacity to serve 34 individuals.

James Sheehan, who joined the organization in early May as executive director, said in a media release the affiliation will provide much needed resources and stability to Benedict House to allow the agency to focus on its core housing services in tough economic times.

Silverio said the partnership also helps both organization align with the funding demands of foundations as well as state and federal governments, who are increasingly pushing for collaborative arrangements between service providers to maximize administrative and management resources.

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