INDIANAPOLIS and COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Indiana and Ohio chapters of Volunteers of America have merged. Now known as Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana, the combined organization says the merger will allow for an expansion of services in both states.

The combination of the two entities was approved last month and the organization says it will serve 23,000 people in 16 communities between the two states. Approximately 950 employees are now under one umbrella and no jobs were negatively affected by the merger.

"The merger of neighboring affiliates leverages our strong financial positions, outstanding legacies, and programmatic diversification opportunities," said John von Arx, chief executive officer of the combined organization. "As a stronger organization, we’ll be able to accelerate program growth quickly in Ohio and Indiana to help more people in need of housing, employment, and addiction treatment."

Dennis Kresak, CEO emeritus of VOA Ohio & Indiana, says the merger will reduce administrative costs and allow the organization to invest in greater resources. VOA says the move will allow Indiana's initiatives in addiction recovery and Ohio's expertise in veterans services, retail, and housing for people with disabilities and the homeless to be replicated in more locations. 

The combined organization will maintain administrative offices in Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio. Program offices will be located in several cities within both states.