Merging missions – Nonprofits combine resources

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt June 25, 2014
Photo provided by Our House and Genesis Shelter.

Photo provided by Our House and Genesis Shelter.

A Decatur-based nonprofit and an Atlanta-based nonprofit will soon merge, creating a single nonprofit with the mission of helping homeless families.

Our House, located in Decatur, and Genesis Shelter, located in Atlanta, will officially combine their operations on July 1.

Tyese Lawyer, Executive Director of Our House, will be the organization’s new president and CEO. Nancy Friauf, Executive Director of the Genesis Shelter, will remain for several months as a consultant to assist with the transition.

Lawyer said Genesis Shelter reached out to her organization about a potential partnership.

“They had experienced some financial setbacks and they had been without an executive director during a difficult time,” she said.

The Our House board coincidentally had just completed its strategic plan which called for expanding the organization’s reach. The two groups have similar missions.

Our House, which opened in 1988, “is a full-day, year-round, nationally accredited early childhood education center.”

The Decatur nonprofit serves 79 children a day and provides support for parents.

Genesis Shelter was founded in 1994 with the mission of helping homeless families with babies younger than 6 months old. The group provides counseling and child care services for 48 children daily, in addition to support services for homeless families.

“We look at it as an opportunity to increase the number of high quality early learning slots to create a more holistic experience for families experiencing homelessness,” Lawyer said.

Lawyer said both offices will remain open. Our House is located on Columbia Drive in Decatur and Genesis Shelter is located near the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Atlanta.

The boards will merge and Our House has invited several members of the Genesis board to join, Lawyer said.

“The goal over time is to increase services,” she said.

The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta awarded the nonprofits a grant that allowed the two organizations to hire a consultant to help them navigate the merger, according to a press release.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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