OCTOBER 1, 2013

Garden State Episcopal Community Development Center and PERC announce merger

In a major move between two Hudson County nonprofits, Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation (GSECDC) of Jersey City and Palisades Emergency Residence Corp. (PERC) of Union City announced their alignment on Oct. 24. Under the terms of agreement, PERC is now a subsidiary of GSECDC.

“GSECDC and PERC are a great fit, and we are committed to growing our common mission,” said Carol Mori, now executive director of both agencies. “Our merger will improve services to all of the people we serve, creating a stronger continuum of caring, which leads from emergency relief to housing stability.”

Since 1986, GSECDC continues to be a regional leader in affordable housing development, social services, and supportive housing. Founded in 1981, PERC is Hudson County’s first homeless shelter. PERC provides emergency shelter, a soup kitchen, food pantry, and other social services, including PERC Kids Homework Club.

The Rev. Birgit Solano, past president of the PERC Board of Trustees, said the idea for the merger began more than two years ago when the agency was struggling financially with reduced federal and foundational support at a time of dramatically increasing need.

“The board met to explore options and concluded that its primary duty was to ensure the long term continuation of its mission,” Rev. Solano said.

“In the past four years, PERC nearly doubled the number of shelter nights provided, the number of meals served, and we have tripled the number of families receiving groceries through our food pantry,” Rev. Solano continued. “This merger will provide stability to PERC, and more importantly, improved services to the community.”

Mori said that the agencies worked closely for the last couple of years, leading to better client outcomes. “We are very excited about our future together. GSECDC continues to expand our housing and program services. North Hudson County is an important part of this strategy, and we will continue to provide the same or better levels of supportive services to this area.”