El Barrio and the West Side Ecumenical Ministry announce merger

(Plain Press, January 2005) On December 16, two Near West Side organizations, announced their merger. The West Side Ecumenical Ministry (WSEM) and El Barrio are merging their programs to provide greater service to the Hispanic population of the Greater Cleveland community. El Barrio is returning to the organization from which it emerged in the early 1990’s.

“The merger of El Barrio and the West Side Ecumenical Ministry brings together two very strong West Side agencies.  But more importantly, it brings together an important programatic synergy,” says Judith Z. Peters, President & CEO of WSEM.  “For El Barrio, the merger provides some needed infrastructure and collaboration and for West Side Ecumenical Ministry it brings a cultural competence and focus that is necessary to continue to serve the Hispanic population.”  
Through the merger, WSEM has added a position of Director of Hispanic Services to its management structure and has hired Andres Gonzalez to fill the position.  Gonzalez will be responsible for leading the El Barrio program of West Side Ecumenical Ministry.

West Side Ecumenical Ministry has been working since 1966 to assist individuals and families meet their needs through programs of service carried out in active collaboration with neighborhoods, faith-based organizations, and other service providers.

Since 1990, El Barrio has been developing services that help Hispanics become self-sufficient participants in the broader society while also preserving and promoting expressions of Hispanic arts and culture to all in Northeast Ohio.

Both organizations provide services that help clients find employment, acquire skills for better employment and obtain basic life necessities while unemployed or underemployed.  These programs will work collaboratively through the merger.

For more information, visit El Barrio or WSEM online.


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