Easterseals Arc and RISE Plan Merger | Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana

Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana and RISE Inc. have begun proceedings to merge the two disability services organizations, with a goal of completing the merger by the end of May.

Easterseals Arc and RISE each have more than 55 years of history supporting individuals with disabilities as they live, learn, work and play in the community. Merging the two organizations will increase joint capacity to serve more people with a broader scope of services in Steuben and DeKalb counties.

Easterseals RISE logoOperations in the Fort Wayne area will continue to be known as Easterseals Arc, while operations in the Angola area will be Easterseals RISE.

“Service providers often collaborate and share ideas about how we can best serve our communities,” said Donna Elbrecht, CEO/president of Easterseals Arc. “The more we talked with leaders at RISE, the more apparent it became that our organizations could make great strides in helping people by joining forces.”

Easterseals Arc began offering Vocational Rehabilitation Services in Steuben and DeKalb counties and entered a co-location agreement with RISE Inc. in January.

“Seeing the successful implementation of employment services has created a lot of excitement for us to explore how much more we can offer to people in our area by working together,” said Chris Stackhouse, executive director of RISE.

RISE staff will join the Easterseals team to create a smooth transition for clients in Angola.

“Stability is important to the people who need our services,” Elbrecht said. “Keeping staff in place will help reassure clients that they will still be supported by the people they know and trust.”

In addition to the residential supports, day programs and employment services the organizations already provide in the Angola area, the merger will enable Easterseals RISE to add services such as behavior consulting, respite and recreation and serve more individuals and families in DeKalb County.

“Families have asked for additional services that are difficult for a smaller organization like RISE to provide effectively,” Stackhouse said. “We have a great team at RISE that will become even greater and reach more people who need us by sharing expertise and resources with Easterseals.”