Nonprofits join merger

PARKERSBURG – Try Again Homes and Community Action Southwest have announced a merger agreement where Try Again will operate as a subsidiary of Community Action Southwest.

The merger, which would become effective on Feb. 1, was announced on Monday by Brian J. Smith, president of the board of directors of Try Again Homes, and Darlene J. Bigler, CEO of Community Action Southwest.

Try Again Homes has an office in Parkersburg.

Try Again Homes was created in 1976 to provide safe, nurturing places for children in need and is dedicated to the growth, development and empowerment of individuals and families. The agency provides foster care and supportive services to youth in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“Reimbursement rates and other revenues have not kept pace with staffing and administrative costs,” Smith said. “This year alone the agency experienced an increase of 42 percent in health insurance costs.”

Try Again initially approached Community Action Southwest about sharing administrative services, but ultimately determined the agency would be best preserved through a full merger, he said. The two organizations share a vision for the community in which children and families are empowered to become resilient and self-sufficient, he said.

“We believe that Community Action Southwest will provide an effective future for Try Again Homes, and most importantly, critical services to families will remain intact,” Smith said.

Bigler said the partnership follows a trend in nonprofit organizations nationwide.

“In a climate in which expenses continue to rise while financial support for human services declines, nonprofit organizations must maximize efficiency in order to deliver critical services to the community,” Bigler said. “Our partnership with Try Again Homes will enable us to consolidate administrative services, while ‘quilting’ the services of both organizations together, leading to stronger families and healthier communities.”

A new board of directors, comprised of Try Again Homes and Community Action Southwest board members, along with Bigler, will guide organizational changes. Larry Maggi, president of the board of Community Action Southwest, said the partnership joins two organizations that have well served the community.

“Community Action Southwest will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year; it’s fitting that we’ll be adding Try Again Home’s 38 years of service and experience to our umbrella of services,” he said.