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Two local charities to merge starting in July

Project Independence and Vantage Foundation nonprofit groups join forces to provide more services for their communities.

June 07, 2007

A number of changes are planned for the Newport-Mesa area in July. Along with several promotions within the Newport Beach and Costa Mesa police departments, two major charities in the area will merge on July 1.

Project Independence, which helps parents of disabled children assist their kids in living independently, and Orange County-based Vantage Foundation will join forces at the beginning of next month, according to a news release. The merge will allow both organizations to provide more comprehensive care with money, services and personal assistance.

Vantage's work on taking people from state hospitals and placing them in better care, allowing patients to continue working and living in their communities will complement the work of the Project Independence staff, according to the release.

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The board of directors "saw an opportunity to meet the changing needs of Orange County," said Debra Marsteller, who has worked as the executive director for both organizations for the past two years, in the release. The new organization will keep the Project Independence name.

Project Independence, maybe best known for its Independent Living Program, also includes Supported Employment and Community Day Programs.

— Kelly Strodl

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