Germaine Lawrence Merges with National Nonprofit

In addition to the merger, the residential treatment campus in Arlington will also have a new executive director for the first time in its 33-year history.

Germaine Lawrence recently merged with a much larger, national nonprofit.

The residential treatment campus for at-risk girls, at 18 Claremont Ave. in Arlington, paired up with the Memphis-based Youth Villages, which also helps emotionally troubled children and their families, at the beginning of September, according to an announcement on the nonprofit’s website.

Germaine Lawrence is now “Youth Villages—Germaine Lawrence Campus,” according to the release.

Youth Villages, which has an operating budget of $190 million and a staff of more than 2,700, will provide help to more than 20,000 children and their families this year in 11 states and Washington D.C. By comparison, Germaine Lawrence has an operating budget of $11 million and a staff of about 200. Its campus serves roughly 500 girls every year, according to the release.

The merger helps everyone involved, according to Germaine Lawrence’s CEO, David Hirshberg.

“This merger benefits Massachusetts’ troubled children and their families by providing them with greater options and seamless transitions between treatment programs,” he said in a statement. “By merging our organizations, we’re proud to be able to provide a wider variety of much-needed programs to children and their families – programs that are both effective and cost-effective. This is a win-win for children, families, the commonwealth and our two organizations.”

Hirshberg, who has led Germaine Lawrence since it separated from the Order of St. Anne in 1980, will be stepping down as executive director and move to a consulting role for Youth Villages in Massachusetts. Ann Horgan, the campus’ deputy executive director, will replace him. Horgan started as a residential counselor at the campus more than 25 years ago.

Youth Villages, which was founded in 1986, provides a wide array of programs and services, including residential treatment, in-home services, foster care and adoption, mentoring and a transitional living program for young adults aging out of foster care. The nonprofit already had five offices in Massachusetts – in Woburn, Worcester, Plymouth, Lawrence and West Springfield.

This Tuesday, Sept. 18, Germaine Lawrence is holding a meeting about the merger at 6 p.m.


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