Pacific Lodge Youth Services has merged with another organization to form the largest provider of residential services exclusively for probation youth in California.
The Woodland Hills organization merged with Optimist Youth Homes & Family Services in Highland Park, the organization announced Wednesday. Optimist and Pacific Lodge will retain their individual names with Pacific Lodge becoming a division of Optimist.
Pacific Lodge is licensed to provide 24-hour residential care for 51 boys and operates as a community-based mental health provider. Optimist provides 24-hour residential care for 85 boys, plus four group homes for 24 boys and girls. It also has 60 children placed in foster homes and runs a charter school on its main campus with 160 high school students.
“Given the changing landscape of the residential care and foster youth system statewide, both agencies saw the opportunity to leverage strengths, increase impact and ensure long term sustainability,” Optimist Chief Executive Silvio Orlando said in a statement.
Under the new arrangement, members of the Pacific Lodge board will join the Optimist board and advisory board. Also, Euna Ra-Smith, formerly Optimist’s director of community based group homes, will serve as director of Pacific Lodge.