Parsippany, NJ -- Responding to the needs of what it describes as “the most vulnerable members of society”, Community Hope continues to expand its residential programs for homeless veterans and individuals with mental illness. With programs in development for 2008, the Morris County-based nonprofit organization will be serving more than 300 individuals in recovery from mental illness and substance abuse.
Expansion includes the opening of a new wing for homeless veterans at the organization’s Hope for Veterans Program, completion of The Partnership Program on the grounds of Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital and a new in-home support service program for patients returning home to their families after hospitalization.
“We serve some of the most vulnerable individuals of our society, those who are particularly at-risk of poverty and homelessness due to their illness, “said J. Michael Armstrong, Community Hope Executive Director. “By expanding our number of residential programs, we are attempting to keep pace with the needs of those who are particularly vulnerable to the high cost of living and the lack of affordable housing in New Jersey.”
Armstrong explained that the agency expanded its residential facilities by 40% last year
and currently serves 270 individuals in recovery.
With an estimated 6,500 to 8,000 homeless veterans in the State, Hope for Veterans opened in 2004 as the largest transitional housing program for homeless veterans in New Jersey. Community Hope experienced a continuous waiting list and began planning the additional wing in 2005. The Hope for
Veterans Program, located on the Veterans Affairs campus in Bernards Township, will have a capacity to house nearly 100 veterans.
The Partnership is an initiative developed by Community Hope and partner agency, Comprehensive Behavioral Healthcare (CBH Care), to help long-term patients re-learn the skills to live in the community and overcome their reliance on the institutional system. The project entails renovating ten buildings at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital into home-like facilities offering around-the-clock staffing and a day treatment program. Five of the ten residences are currently open.
The Partnership is based on a pilot program which the two agencies launched in 2000 to help patients ready for discharge but resistant to leaving the institutional setting after years of hospitalization. Armstrong said that the program’s proximity to the hospital “offers a comfort level to patients who lived at Greystone for 15, 25, and in one case, 36 years.”
The new “In-Home” program will give individuals leaving the hospital the option to return to their families with additional support from Community Hope counselors. The support services are offered to patients who have been unable to leave the hospital to return home because families may not have the resources to manage their care upon discharge.
Community Hope has expanded significantly since 2000, when it served 57 individuals. Since the new millennium, the organization has developed an Independent Living Program serving nearly 70 individuals in recovery from mental illness; the Hope for Veterans Program to address the needs of homeless veterans; and the Partnership and CHAMP Programs at Greystone.
For more information on the organization’s expansion and current programs, visit www.communityhope-nj.org