InnVision Shelter Network Merger Helps California Nonprofits Serve 20,000 Homeless Clients

07/12/2012 05:30 pm ET | Updated Jul 12, 2012

One of the biggest homeless nonprofit mergers in California history is expected to bring help to 20,000 people in need.

InnVision the Way Home and Shelter Network, two Silicon Valley-based homeless aid nonprofits, recently joined forces to create a more efficient and effective organization for the local populations living on the streets.

"We want to serve more clients and get the most we can from every donor dollar," Karae Lisle, CEO of the recently named InnVision Shelter Network, told the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal.

The new agency will capitalize on each partner organization’s distinct strengths, as it runs a combined 18 major facilities and adds 1,000 more clients over the next couple of years, SFGate reports.

To help clients make a swift transition from shelter life to independent living, the organization plans to employ its "Beyond the Bed" method that focuses on job placement, the news outlet reports. Anyone who moves into an emergency or transitional housing facility must churn out a resume within 72 hours and submit at least five job applications per day. Residents are also required to set aside half of their paychecks to help pay for a new home, according SFGate.

Organizations in the Bay Area aren't the only ones finding innovative ways to put homeless people to work quickly.

In Cincinnati, Ohio, the soon-to-open Parkway Center, a shelter for single men with substance abuse problems, aims to get its residents on track to find employment and permanent homes with its on-site job-search and training programs.

"To me, the cornerstone of the whole thing is we are raising the bar in terms of the services we are offering to homeless people locally with the goal of moving them out of homelessness," Kevin Finn, executive director of Strategies to End Homelessness, told WVXU. "This is not about allowing people to just be warehoused and remain homeless for months and years on end."

While the InnVision Shelter Network is confident that it will be able to maintain the 90 percent success rate that the Beyond the Bed program saw at the Shelter Network, the merger has also come with a hefty $2 million price tag, Foster City Patch reports.

“We hope that people will stay behind us,” Lisle told Foster City Patch. “We’re just really, really excited, and hope people understand what a big milestone this is for supporting the homeless in Northern California.”