New Foundation Center and Thresholds Merge

NFC is merging with Thresholds!

Community Mental Health Agencies New Foundation Center and Thresholds merge, expand services in northern Cook County and Lake County

In an uncertain state funding environment, mergers are a smart move to boost capacity and expand critical community mental health services

Press Contact: Emily Moen, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, Thresholds – 773-572-5172,

Chicago, IL – New Foundation Center and Thresholds announce today that they are merging to preserve and expand critical community mental health services in northern suburban Chicagoland. This move unites two strong, locally recognized leaders in providing wraparound services for individuals struggling with serious mental illnesses. Together, the agencies will be able to serve even more clients in suburban Cook and Lake County in Illinois, ensuring that more of our most vulnerable citizens receive the life-saving supports they need to recover and live independently.

“Merging New Foundation Center’s quality programs with Thresholds’ nationally recognized program and management services assures not only continuity, but expansion of care in the north shore and beyond. We are proud to join this great agency and excited to deliver even better and more services to people who need them. We’re stronger together,” says Sue Shimon, Executive Director of New Foundation Center. Shimon will continue at Thresholds as Vice President of Clinical Operations, overseeing the former New Foundation Center programs as well as several existing Thresholds programs.

“With a continuing state budget crisis, we are making a smart move to preserve and expand services in the northern suburbs,” says Mark Ishaug, Thresholds CEO. “No small service provider needs to go out of business because of an uncertain funding environment – we need to think strategically about merger opportunities that are of enormous benefit to both organizations, and more importantly, the clients that we serve. We hope that this example of a mutually beneficial merger serves as a model for other social services agencies in Illinois.”

The merger was approved unanimously by both organizations’ boards of directors, and took effect March 31st, 2016. New Foundation Center will now operate under the name of Thresholds and be organized into two programs, Thresholds North Suburbs and Thresholds Lake County.

All services currently provided by New Foundation Center will continue and clients will experience no service disruptions. Thresholds and New Foundation Center share program tenets of person-centered, recovery-focused, evidence-based approaches. They both offer supported employment, housing, community support, and peer-run services.

The merger will provide significant benefits to each organization and the people they serve. Community-based services for persons with mental illnesses will expand and become more efficient and effective in northern Cook County and Lake County. A 2014 behavioral health assessment found these areas to have deep needs for psychiatric services, counseling, case management, and supportive housing.

“The merger of New Foundation Center and Thresholds will undoubtedly provide the clients we refer for assistance with additional service options. These are two great organizations and we look forward to working with everyone at Thresholds North Suburbs,” says Paddie Brennen, Supervisor of New Trier Township.

“This is a great example of the kind of win-win that can come from organizational combinations – greater efficiency of operations and greater service opportunities for people in need across the region,” says James Lewis, Senior Program Officer and Director of Research and Evaluation at the Chicago Community Trust.

New Foundation Center is a $3 million community mental health agency located in northern suburban Chicago serving 350 clients annually. Thresholds is a $90 million community mental health agency based in Chicago that serves nearly 10,000 clients each year in nine Illinois counties.

About Thresholds: Established in 1959, Thresholds provides healthcare, housing, and hope for thousands of persons with mental illnesses in Illinois each year. Through care, employment, advocacy, and housing, Thresholds assists and inspires people with mental illnesses to reclaim their lives. Thresholds offers more than 30 innovative programs at more than 100 locations throughout Chicago and nine adjacent counties. Services include assertive outreach, case management, housing, employment, education, psychiatry, primary care, substance abuse treatment, and research. Last year, Thresholds served more than 9,500 adults and youth, with 75% of services delivered out in the community. Learn more at

About New Foundation Center: Founded in 1987, New Foundation Center partners with people with mental illnesses to recover and pursue lives of meaning and purpose. New Foundation Center provides recovery services, permanent supportive housing, supported employment, and health and wellness programs, all within a community that encourages sharing, independent living, friendship, personal responsibility, and family participation.

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