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California Parenting Institute absorbs Rohnert Park nonprofit

A longtime Rohnert Park nonprofit that serves low-income residents but was hurt by the loss of state funding has been merged into California Parenting Institute, a high-profile Sonoma County service provider that runs counseling, support and assistance programs for children and parents.

As part of the merger, Sonoma County Adult and Youth Development, or SCAYD, will be renamed the Rohnert Park Family Resource Center.

“We are incredibly excited about the coming together of our two agencies,” said Jim Gattis, former executive director of SCAYD, which also offers low-cost counseling and youth job education and employment services.

“It will bring opportunities to bear on both the children and families in the community,” said Gattis, who will now be program manager of the Rohnert Park center.

For more than a decade, SCAYD received about $130,000 a year from Rohnert Park in redevelopment housing funds, but that funding was knocked out in 2011 when Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature eliminated redevelopment agencies statewide.

The agency cut its homeless prevention program in May and embarked on a frantic fundraising effort.

But at the same time, officials at both agencies initiated merger talks. The fruition of those discussions was announced Thursday.

Although the Rohnert Park center will not resume homeless prevention services, Gattis said, “I see this as an opportunity to expand and continue services for youth and families in the Rohnert Park and Cotati area, and the merger of our two agencies makes it possible.”

The merger is the second CPI has been involved with in a year. In February, it absorbed New Direction School, which works with adolescents who have mental health issues and other learning challenges.

(You can reach Staff Writer Jeremy Hay at 521-5212 or jeremy.hay@pressdemocrat.com.)

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