Traverse City Record-Eagle

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March 27, 2014

Child and Family Services absorbs Third Level center

TRAVERSE CITY — Third Level Crisis Intervention Center dissolved as a nonprofit organization, but its services and offices will remain the same.

Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan, another nonprofit organization, absorbed the social services organization in January. Part of merging the two involves dissolving Third Level and transferring all programs and assets to its new umbrella organization.

Child and Family Services CEO Jim Scherrer said the organization has taken on Third Level’s administration, contracts, facilities, programs and staff, except for former director Ken Homa and one program director. All that’s left to transfer are some grants, he said.

Third Level provides a 24/7 crisis help line, free legal aid, Pete’s Shellter for homeless youth, outreach to high-risk and homeless teens and a program for gay and lesbian youth. Child and Family Services serves children in foster care, facilitates adoptions and provides counseling for youth and families, including women with untimely pregnancies and abuse victims.

“The combined organization will help sustain the Third Level programs,” Scherrer said.

He said both organizations offer similar programs but did not have a lot of overlap. With the two combined, he hopes they’ll be able to better serve the community.

“Our sense is that things are going quite well,” Scherrer said.

The organizations’ boards of directors facilitated the merge in December, Scherrer said. Child and Family Services now has one board with about 14 members, three of which are from Third Level’s board, to help govern the organization.

The process should be complete by September. If anyone has an unsettled claim, such as a bill, with Third Level, they must file that claim within the next six months.

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