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BENJAMIN ROSE INSTITUTE ON AGING, ESOP ENTER MERGER AGREEMENT

Contact: Jeanne Hoban, 216.373.1686, jhoban@benrose.org, Danielle Doza, ESOP, 216.361.0718, ddoza@esop-cleveland.org

July 16, 2017

(Cleveland, OH) Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging (www.benrose.org) and Empowering and Strengthening Ohio's People (ESOP; www.esop-cleveland.org) have entered into a merger agreement in which ESOP will become a subsidiary of Benjamin Rose, effective July 16, 2017. ESOP will continue to operate as a distinct 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with its own Board of Managers.

Benjamin Rose, a nonprofit organization advancing support for older adults and caregivers, and ESOP, a housing and financial counseling agency, have a successful history of collaboration. The Boards of Directors and leadership teams of both organizations determined that their programs are well-aligned and that a formal relationship would position the nonprofits to grow in the future. Together, the organizations will broaden their impact on the lives of primarily low-and moderate-income older adults by expanding services and supports to help people remain in the community as they age.

"One of the greatest challenges faced by older people and their families is managing financial resources. This is especially true for low-and moderate-income households seeking to assure safe and stable housing," said Richard Browdie, President and CEO of Benjamin Rose. "By establishing this partnership, we are bringing access to additional tools, resources and expertise to address this challenge, and integrating these programs with the extensive home and community-based services we currently provide at Benjamin Rose."

"We are excited to join the Benjamin Rose family," said Roslyn Quarto, Executive Director of ESOP. "Bringing our two organizations together is a natural and complementary fit, especially as research continues to validate the linkages between financial health and wellness in older adults and the importance of stable housing on one's health."

Founded in 1908 through the will of Cleveland industrialist Benjamin Rose, the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging delivers a variety of home-and community-based services, such as home care, adult day services, day treatment, social work and mental health case management, to help older people age in the community. The Benjamin Rose Center for Research and Education conducts applied aging studies, develops evidence-based programs and convenes high-quality education programs for professionals and consumers. Through the Rose Centers for Aging Well, Benjamin Rose provides home-delivered meals, as well as health, wellness and other programs through seven senior center locations in Cleveland, East Cleveland and Oakwood.

Originally called "East Side Organizing Project", ESOP was founded in 1993 by Inez Tillman Killingsworth to create organized leadership around issues impacting neighborhood life in the Cleveland area. As a result of the foreclosure crisis that hit Cleveland particularly hard, ESOP expanded across the state and became Ohio's largest foreclosure prevention agency. Today, ESOP offers free financial coaching, foreclosure prevention assistance, homebuyer education, pre-and post-purchase counseling and free income tax preparation.

The integration of both organizations' operations also provides significant administrative efficiencies. The resulting cost efficiencies will allow Benjamin Rose and ESOP to direct additional dollars to vital services and programs.
The transition period to integrate operations of both organizations is scheduled to culminate by early October 2017.

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About Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging (www.benrose.org): The mission of Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging is to advance support for older adults and caregivers. Our work is accomplished by deepening the understanding of their evolving needs in a changing society; developing and delivering innovative, high-quality solutions; and promoting effective public policies. Founded in 1908, Benjamin Rose provides direct service to older adults and their caregivers, engages in applied social research, and leads advocacy efforts in support of older adults.

ESOP (www.esop-cleveland.org): Founded in 1993, Empowering and Strengthening Ohio's People's (ESOP) is a HUD-approved housing and financial counseling agency headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. Since 2005, ESOP has assisted over 35,000 homeowners statewide. ESOP was responsible for putting over $117 million back into the community through the Save the Dream Ohio program administered by Ohio Housing Finance Agency. Since 2014 ESOP has helped more than 10,000 low-income seniors age in place with greater financial stability and a reduced risk of financial exploitation through our Senior Financial Empowerment Initiative, an innovative, integrated suite of financial capability programs directed at vulnerable older adults.