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News : CONTACT Lancaster Merges with Harrisburg-based Service
Jan 7, 2015 -- CONTACT Lancaster has merged with CONTACT Helpline, a regional service based in Harrisburg, it was announced Wednesday. The merger took effect last week.
CONTACT Helpline provides listening, health and human service information, suicide prevention and referral assistance in 10 counties. It handles 36,000 calls a year. CONTACT Lancaster was founded in 1975 and became part of the Community Action Program of Lancaster County in 2004.
The local service, which handles over 14,000 calls every year, is accredited by CONTACT USA and is affiliated with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
"Since CONTACT Lancaster was not part of our core mission of anti-poverty, we thought this made sense," said Mark Esterbrook, CAP chief executive officer.
CONTACT Lancaster will be able to operate more efficiently as part of a larger organization in the same field, Esterbrook added.
The combination also will make it easier for CONTACT Lancaster to find and train volunteers and resume around-the-clock service.
CONTACT Lancaster operates daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The call center is staffed by 35 volunteers.
The merger also could lead to upgrades in the call center’s phone system and computer equipment, according to CAP.
The CONTACT Lancaster call center will remain in its present Lancaster city location, which is undisclosed for security reasons, but will operate under the name CONTACT Helpline.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, January 8, 2015