August 15, 2008
For Immediate Release

Contact: Julia Bey Ahmet
973-463-9600 (x303)

Community Hope Executive Director Receives Statewide Award For Aiding Veterans Established Largest Program in NJ for Homeless Veterans
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J. Michael Armstrong, Executive Director of Community Hope, accepts the Outstanding Mental Health Service to Veterans Award presented by Dr. Debra L. Wentz, CEO of the NJ Association of Mental Health Agencies (NJAMHA) at NJAMHA’s 2008 annual conference

J. Michael Armstrong, Executive Director of Community Hope, received special recognition for his outstanding dedication to serving the needs of veterans at the NJ Association of Mental Health Agencies’ Annual Conference recently.

In presenting Armstrong with the Outstanding Mental Health Service to Veterans Award, NJAMHA Chief Executive Officer  Debra L. Wentz  recognized him as a “passionate advocate for veterans”  and a leader within the behavioral healthcare provider field.

Armstrong was instrumental in Community Hope developing the largest program in the State for homeless veterans in 2004.  The Hope for Veterans Program provides former servicemen and women with safe shelter and comprehensive services in order to help them break the cycle of homelessness and despair.  A new wing recently expanded Hope for Veterans to a 95-bed facility at the Lyons VA campus in Bernards Township.  To date, more than 220 veterans have benefitted from the transitional housing program.

Himself a veteran, Armstrong joined Community Hope in 1999, when the organization’s residential programs served 57 individuals in recovery from mental illness.  Under his leadership, the organization has developed national-award-winning programs, including the Hope for Veterans Program, and has expanded to serve nearly 300 individuals in need of transitional and supportive housing.

Armstrong has nearly 30 years of experience in the behavioral healthcare profession.  Prior to joining Community Hope, he served as Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Serv Centers of New Jersey.  He is currently President of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Association of Mental Health Agencies; a Member of the Board of Trustees of Essex Valley Healthcare, Inc. and the East Orange General Hospital, and serves on the NJ Department of Community Affairs’ Homeless & Special Needs Housing Sub Committee.