Our History

  • Comunilife began in 1989 as a small, targeted, nurse training program with the goals of preparing Latino and Asian foreign trained RN’s and LPN’s for well-paid jobs, and increasing the supply of culturally-competent healthcare providers for two of the city’s largest and most vital demographic groups.
  • As healthcare and housing needs continued expanding throughout the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, we diversified our services to include affordable housing for low-income New Yorkers, supported transitional and permanent housing programs for patients coming out of psychiatric institutions, and, homeless New Yorkers with HIV/AIDS, serious and persistent mental illness and substance abuse issues.
  • In 1994, recognizing the tolls of death of culturally-competent preventive services, we opened the Vida Guidance Center, our pioneering Latino-centered mental health clinic in the South Bronx neighborhood, which is home to the city’s largest concentration of low-income Latinos.
  • In 1995, increased health and mental health disparities prompted Comunilife to create its Multicultural Relational Approach for Diverse Population to train health and human service providers to integrate the social construct of culture into clinical interventions.
  • In 2008, motivated by the staggering statistics on the prevalence of Latina teen suicide attempts, we forged a groundbreaking new initiative, Life is Precious to save the lives and rebuild the hopes of a group of teens that remains at the highest risk for suicide attempt in the nation.
  • In 2011, concerned with the need to prevent suicide among Latino youth, Comunilife established the Latino Youth Suicide Prevention Center, which creates public awareness and trains health and human service providers in evidenced-based interventions that prevent suicide.
  • Over the past three years as homelessness has continued to rise, we have further expanded and diversified our supportive housing programs.  We have also added special new initiatives for older adults with interrelated psychiatric and medical issues and for patients leaving hospitals with no viable homes in which to recuperate.  In addition, we have created new channels for disseminating our unique, culturally-competent, community-defined practices to a wide national and local audience.
  • Mi Salud started in March 2012 and provides Latino seniors, who are clients at Comunilife’s Bronx based Vida Guidance Center, with coordinated physical healthcare services.  Mi Salud improves seniors’ health literacy, medical adherence, lifestyle choices, and overall physical and mental well being.
  • In January 2015, Comunilife’s Life is Precious program opened its third program site in Long Island City, Queens.
  • In December 2015, we opened El Rio , our new 65 unit supportive and affordable residence in the Bronx. Serving a mixed population, 39 studio apartments are available for New Yorkers with special needs and 26 studio apartments are designated for low-income residents.