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Indianapolis-based nonprofit to acquire St. Joseph Carmelite Home in East Chicago


St. Joseph's Carmelite Home in East Chicago is being acquired by an Indianapolis-based nonprofit. Damar Services says it's acquired the residential treatment facility from the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus. The facility started as an orphanage in 1913.

In a letter to supporters, current Chief Operations Officer Sr. Maria Giuseppe said it was a difficult decision, based on the reality that fewer sisters are presently available and the challenges of beginning again after a devastating fire in 2021.

Damar says it doesn't plan to lay off any of its 45 employees, when it takes over later this year or early next year. It also plans to add Applied Behavior Analysis therapy for people with autism, bringing about 15 new positions. The company says a "veteran leader" will relocate to East Chicago "to assist in merging cultures and assuring continued high-quality service to the region."

Damar currently operates a residential treatment facility at its main campus, along with ABA clinics, schools for children with disabilities and other services.