Two Agencies That Help Victims Of Abuse Merge To Offer All Services Under One Roof

Bernie Tafoya
September 10, 2019 - 1:35 pm
Rehab Center
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Two agencies that help hundreds of people with substance abuse issues, as well as victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse are merging. 

Mutual Ground and Breaking Free will operate separately, but under the same governing body until they become one organization in July 2020. 

The organizations provide services to people in southern Kane County and all of Kendall County.

Michelle Meyer is now executive director of both groups and said the combined group will take a holistic approach to services by housing everything under one roof.

"Substance abuse and domestic and sexual violence are two separate issues, but they’re often overlapping issues. For instance, we often will refer our clients over to Breaking Free and Breaking Free would refer their clients over here," Meyer said.

Mutual Ground has helped victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence for 44 years. Breaking Free has provided substance abuse services for 41 years. 

For now, they’ll keep their own names. Meyer said no decision has been made on a combined name, but she suggests it might just be called Mutual Ground. 

The groups provide services to a total of about 2,300 people a year.

Meyer said Mutual Ground has an operating budget of about $2.7 million while Breaking Free has an operating budget of $1.8 million.

She said she expects the merger to result in savings on administrative costs.

Teddi Krochman, the just-retired executive director of Breaking Free said, "We share a commitment to delivering services that build on each person's strengths. Through counseling, education and ongoing supportive services, we strive to create a community in which individuals and families thrive and live to their full potential."

Both agencies work closely with schools, law enforcement agencies, local coalitions and other human service organizations.