Since its founding in 1989, Comunilife has grown into one of NYC’s best-respected community-based health and housing service providers. Each year, our rich continuum of care supports the needs of more than 3,000 low-income and vulnerable New Yorkers.
Comunilife owns or manages 1,575 units of supported transitional and permanent housing for homeless adults struggling with HIV/AIDS, serious mental and behavioral health issues, and other chronic medical conditions. We operate a full-service, Latino-centered, South Bronx-based mental health clinic – the Vida Guidance Center – that provides more than 23,000 outpatient visits a year. Life Is Precious™, our unique suicide prevention program for Latina girls, is gaining national recognition for effectively addressing the needs of the highest-risk group of teenagers in the country; we have just launched a Latino Youth Suicide Prevention Center to disseminate best practice prevention approaches for Latinos of all ages. Through our new Mi Salud initiative, we provide coordinated behavioral and medical care services for older adults with serious psychiatric issues. In addition, through our Medical and Psychiatric Respite program, we arrange short-term supportive housing for recently discharged hospital patients who lack appropriate housing in which to recuperate.
All Comunilife activities are tailored to reflect the program participants’ perspectives, needs and strengths; our programs are guided by community-defined best practices. Our signature training program – the Multicultural Relational Approach for Diverse Populations – equips our staff to incorporate clients’ cultural and personal perspectives into their overall approach to care. Because of our clear respect for understanding – and desire to work in partnership with – those whom we serve, we successfully engage some of the most marginalized and hardest-to-reach people in the city.
Thanks to our efforts, hundreds of chronically homeless New Yorkers move out of the City shelter system into stable, permanent housing, each year. Latina adolescents, who are at high risk for attempting suicide find hope, fortitude, and the renewed desire to survive and succeed. Older adults learn to better understand and manage complex, interrelated psychiatric and physical health challenges. Lastly, organizations across the nation have the chance to learn about practices that can promote similarly impressive outcomes within their communities.