Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Arc of Jacksonville Gathers 3 Service Providers in 1 Spot; It Allows the Nonprofit Organizations to Work Together and Share Ideas

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Arc of Jacksonville Gathers 3 Service Providers in 1 Spot; It Allows the Nonprofit Organizations to Work Together and Share Ideas

Article excerpt

Byline: JESSICA RIFFEL

A Jacksonville nonprofit has grown strong since it started about 40 years ago, and its directors are helping other organizations get on their feet.

The Arc Jacksonville, which provides services for the disabled and their caregivers, recently donated space to three other local nonprofits that also serve people with disabilities.

The Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville moved from a cubicle at the Hope Haven Children Clinic's library to a more spacious office in the Arc's downtown location on North Davis Street.

"It's helped move our organization to the next level. It's allowing us to grow," said Susan Corse-Adams, chairwoman of the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville's board.

In addition, the Brain Injury Support Group and Ben's Place, which provides social activities for people with disabilities, recently moved into the Arc's Westside location on Wesconnett Boulevard.

"We were working out of my house for five years, and until Arc stepped up to the plate and helped us we thought we were going to drown," said Jane Mercer Elkins, executive director of the Brain Injury Support Group.

The group has moved from Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital to a church to an outpatient center, but it was difficult to find a large-enough space to settle down, Elkins said.

"We got too big for our britches."

She said the Westside office has enough room for the about 60 people who show up at monthly meetings, and provides space for some members to help with the duties of running the group, such as folding monthly newsletters.

"It gives them a place to be a part of the organization. ...," Elkins said.

The Arc directors donated the space to the three groups because they had it and didn't need it, said the Arc Executive Director Jim Whittaker.

He said it's a "win-win situation" because the proximity of the Arc and the three organizations promotes the sharing of consumers, as the Arc calls the people who show up for services, so they receive more services and better support. …

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