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Mainstream & Gateway Set to Explore a Strategic Alliance

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Posted in Mainstream - Gateway Strategic Alliance News

Mainstream Non Profit Housing Project and Mainstream: An Unsheltered Workshop (Mainstream) and Gateway Residential and Community Support Services (Gateway) are pleased to announce they are formally exploring a ‘strategic alliance.’ Increasingly, not-for-profit organizations are forming alliances to heighten efficiencies – to make the most of their resources - and to rise to new levels of effectiveness – for Mainstream and Gateway, this means advancing supports and services for people with developmental differences and mental illness.  The initiative will explore how the two organizations might share administrative services (human resources, IT, property management, etc.…) AND advance support options for people who receive services.

 The strategic alliance initiative is made possible with a Modernization Grant from Ontario’s Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS). The Ministry’s financial investment signals a strong vote of confidence in both Mainstream and Gateway and bodes well for a bright and sustainable future. 

 Bringing two organizations from two sectors (developmental services and mental health) together is an ambitious undertaking. “Slow and Steady” is the mantra that will guide the work, which has a two-year timeline.  Mainstream and Gateway will continue to run their respective agencies with minimal to no disruptions while actively engaging in a significant change initiative. A comprehensive and inclusive co-design process, designed and led by People Minded Business Inc. (PMB) consultants, will be used ( Importantly, active involvement of people who use Mainstream and Gateway services, Board members, employees and community partners is at the heart of this initiative. 

  Mainstream has provided affordable housing and progressive, individualized supports to adults with a developmental difference since 1984.  Currently the agency receives MCSS funding to provide Supported Group Living and Supported Independent Living options for 58 adults, and provides 170 adults with community participation supports through Options Niagara and The Resource Centre.  Mainstream has developed a positive reputation as a leader within the developmental services sector for providing creative and innovative supports and solutions.  

In operation since 1986, Gateway provides innovative, consumer-centered housing and support services across the Niagara Region for adults living with a mental illness.  One of Gateway’s strategic priorities is to increase their supply of affordable supportive housing. Currently they support 72 adults in properties owned by the agency, and a further 128 people live in the community with rent supplements or leases managed by Gateway.  

Mainstream and Gateway have already experienced one successful joint venture. In 2010, the agencies partnered in an effort to provide safe, affordable, supportive housing for people with both a developmental difference and mental illness. This initiative brings the two agencies together again to expand their partnership and create more opportunities for everyone involved, using a financially sustainable model.

 A Project Team has been formed and is comprised of Mainstream’s Executive Director, Kevin Berswick, and Gateway’s Executive Director, John Osczypko, and nine employees from both agencies. They will meet regularly and work closely with PMB consultants to explore possibilities and embrace opportunities that benefit people who use Mainstream and Gateway services.   
The Project Team created the following shared vision at their inaugural meeting on June 7, 2018:

The Mainstream Gateway Strategic Alliance Team is comprised of innovative, person-centered, barrier-breaking leaders. We envision that by coming together and sharing resources, people will receive better, innovative supports from two stronger organizations.  

Together we will:

·        Lead the way in providing cross-sector, person-centred supports to diverse people

·        Improve access to holistic supports and services

·        Break barriers through sharing knowledge and expertise

·        Maximize our resources, resulting in greater stability and sustainability for both Mainstream and Gateway.

 Strategic Alliance updates will be posted regularly on this web page.  Information about ways to provide input, progress made, learning along the way, and frequently asked questions (FAQs) will be displayed here.  Questions about the Strategic Alliance Initiative are welcome, and can be directed to:

 In the meantime, stay tuned and know that providing input is encouraged and ideas are welcome.

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