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June 17, 2024

Framingham human service provider to merge with two other agencies to form $211M firm

A health care clinic Image | Courtesy of Google Maps Advocates Community Behavioral Health Center in Framingham

Advocates, a Framingham nonprofit focused on supporting individuals and families facing mental and developmental healthcare challenges, is set to merge with two other Massachusetts-based nonprofits to form a single entity with more than 2,500 employees and $102 million in assets, all operating under the Advocates name. 

The move will see Advocates merge with the Franklin-based Horace Mann Educational Associates, Inc. and Lawrence-based Family Continuity to form an entity serving more than 40,000 individuals in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The merger will not result in the elimination or reduction of any services provided by the three organizations, according to a press release issued by Advocates on Monday. 

HMEA and Family Continuity were already affiliate agencies of Advocates. 

“This is exciting news for all individuals and families who need the services and supports provided by these three organizations,” Jane Ryder, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Disabilities, said in the press release. “Having a single agency with a broad range of programs and a strong, visible presence will be a valuable asset to the communities across Central and Eastern Massachusetts that this larger Advocates organization will now serve.”

Advocates provides a broad range of services for individuals impacted by addiction, aging, autism, brain injuries, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and other mental health challenges. The new unified entity will employ more than 2,500 staff.

HMEA serves more than 110 communities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and operates The Darnell School, an education institution for people with developmental disabilities in Hudson. 

“I am excited about this merger because the diversity and inclusiveness of all three organizations will bring different cultures and talents together,” Teresa Nderitu, residential coordinator at HMEA, said in the press release. "Working with the direct care staff, I see expanded opportunities for teamwork, development, and growth that will allow us to enhance the creative solutions we provide to help people live better.”

Family Continuity provides mental health and substance use services in Eastern and Central Massachusetts. The organization has home-based family support services offices and outpatient behavioral health clinics in Whitinsville and Worcester. 

The combined fiscal 2024 budgeted revenue of the merged agencies is projected to be $211 million, according to data provided by Advocates. 

Advocates had $68.9 million in total assets in 2022, making the organization the fourth largest human services nonprofit in Central Massachusetts, according to the WBJ Research Department. HMEA had $28.6 million in assets in 2022, while Family Continuity had $4.6 million in assets, according to nonprofit financial tracking service GuideStar.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to include budget revenue figures of the combined agencies. 

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