Fort Wayne, Indiana, December 16, 2020
Janet Schutte, Easterseals Arc Director of Communications & Marketing
260.456.4534 ext. 344
Jennie Renner, Brightpoint Development Manager
In a pair of moves designed to better serve the people of Whitley County, Passages is planning to merge with Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana, while Brightpoint plans to take on The Whitley Crossings Neighborhood Corporation (WCNC) currently affiliated with Passages.
Easterseals Arc and Passages each have more than 65 years of history supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Merging the two organizations will allow them to provide additional services to more individuals and families in Whitley County. The goal is to complete the process by March 2021. After the merger, operations in the Fort Wayne area will continue to be known as Easterseals Arc, while operations in Whitley County will be known as Easterseals Passages.
“This move will prepare Passages for the future and allows us to partner with a fantastic organization in Easterseals Arc,” said Passages President/CEO Jason Meyer. “With our combined expertise and resources, we can provide more opportunities for people with disabilities to thrive in Whitley County.”
Easterseals Arc President/CEO Donna Elbrecht shared Meyer’s enthusiasm and commitment to growth.
“We are always committed to serving individuals and families in northeast Indiana,” Elbrecht said. “This is a great opportunity to provide new and innovative services and supports in Whitley County. We know we can do more together with Passages by combining our strengths.”
Although Easterseals Arc and Passages have a shared mission to support people with disabilities, the low- to moderate-income housing provided by Whitley Crossings is a better match for Brightpoint’s mission of removing the causes and conditions of poverty.
“I’m proud of the work we have done through Whitley Crossings,” Meyer said. “Having Passages and Whitley Crossings each affiliated with a larger organization of similar focus will ultimately improve both organizations.”
Brightpoint serves individuals and families throughout northeast Indiana, including Whitley County.
“Brightpoint has a long history of serving Whitley County with a wide variety of programs, and we have developed affordable housing in other areas of northeast Indiana,” Brightpoint President/CEO Steve Hoffman said. “We’re excited by the opportunity to serve Whitley County in this way in the future.”
About Passages: For more than half a century, Passages has been dedicated to helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities thrive in the community, at work, at home, and at play. The journey began in 1954 with a group of parents seeking learning opportunities for their children who were not being educated in the public schools. With the help of numerous community supporters, Passages now fulfills the dreams of more than 200 men, women and children throughout northeast Indiana by passionately leading or assisting people with disabilities into a thriving and meaningful life. Visit www.passagesinc.org to learn more.
About Brightpoint: Brightpoint is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving nearly 40,000 people across northeast Indiana each year. Through a wide range of programs, Brightpoint helps communities, families, and individuals remove the causes and conditions of poverty. All Brightpoint services are provided without regard to race, age, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, ancestry, or status as a veteran.
About Whitley Crossings Neighborhood Corporation: Whitley Crossings Neighborhood Corporation’s mission is to provide quality, affordable housing for individuals and families throughout Northeast Indiana with specific needs and/or limited resources. Whitley Crossings housing is governed by the Whitley Crossings Neighborhood Corporation, an IRS designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation dedicated to providing safe, affordable housing for a wide range of people, including senior citizens and people with disabilities. The professional staff members who carry out the operations of Whitley Crossings Neighborhood Corporation are caring, compassionate leaders who have experience serving people’s needs.