STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Two important non-profits in the Poconos made a major announcement on Thursday. Leaders of both organizations say this decision will ultimately benefit those who need their services, and allow for more people to be helped.
The United Way of Monroe County and Pocono Alliance have announced their intent to merge. The organizations are awaiting approval from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.
The United Way and Pocono Alliance already work closely together. Now, they’re about to get a lot closer.
“This is the natural step for both organizations to take,” says Michael Tukeva, Executive Director, Pocono Alliance.
With a merge, the goal is to maintain and enhance already-existing services.
That means poverty and childhood education initiatives, plus the Pocono-Info 211 referral helpline, aren’t going anywhere.
“None of the programs or services that we’re supporting or implementing are planning on changing. In fact, we’re hoping to scale up and do things more efficiently, more effectively,” explains Michael Albert, President/CEO, United Way of Monroe County.
Two weeks ago, Pocono Alliance moved into a spacious location on McConnell Street in Stroudsburg, which is a former bank. That will be the new headquarters for the combined non-profit.
A merge allows the organization to seek not just regional funding, but also state and federal grants.
“And recently we were awarded $100,000 dollars for homeless prevention and diversion. And that could have only come about by a partnership like this,” Tukeva explains.
Pocono Alliance’s current Executive Director, Michael Tukeva, will become the new organization’s President and CEO. The United Way’s current President and CEO, Michael Albert, says he’s stepping down.
Albert adds, “I’m excited for this transition because i think it’s what’s best for this community.”
We’re told the physical move to Pocono Alliance’s building will happen before the end of June. There’s no word what will happen to the United Way’s current location off Warner Road in Tannersville.
There will be a slight name change, but that first needs approval from the national United Way.
Seven individuals from both current boards will come together to form one board to oversee operations.