Each year Options directly affects the lives of more than 1000 adults and children.
Many people come to us in desperate situations. They may be
homeless, isolated, or coping with illness. Getting a new
start is especially hard in an area like Long Island, with
its limited public transportation and super-high housing costs.
Options is a private non-profit community agency that has been building paths of hope for some of our region's neediest people since 1982. Our mission is to provide both a helping hand and stepping stone toward independent, productive and secure lives.
Stable, secure housing is often the starting point for many
of those we serve. We provide quality short or longer term
housing and help people find permanent homes. The agency manages
more than 150 housing units across Long Island, and owns the
majority of these. Homes are situated near public transportation
and community resources and are well-maintained.
We also provide intensive, comprehensive support services that help our program participants build better futures and become part of their communities.
Who We Serve
- Individuals challenged by chronic
- Homeless families in long-term poverty
or crisis situations
- Individuals and families living
with HIV/AIDS who have very low incomes
Our Mission Statement
Options for Community Living, Inc. is committed to assisting
individuals and families with special needs to develop their
fullest potential for independent living. Residential
and support services prepare participants for the demands
and responsibilities of community life and promote housing
permanency, health, safety and welfare. Program participants
are involved in service planning and make informed choices. The
organization’s actions are guided by principles of
integrity, openness, accountability, respect for the individual
and the highest quality care.
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Options is grounded in a culture of continuous quality improvement.
Results are evaluated on an ongoing basis. Progress is the
goal. The staff is well-trained, experienced and caring.
About 150 people are employed by Options and the majority
work directly with program participants as counselors and
case managers. The management team averages more than 10 years
of experience with Options. Click
here to learn more about some of Options' leaders.
The programs are supported by government funding, but this has not kept pace with the cost of operating quality programs on Long Island. We highly value the support of individual donors, the corporate world and charitable foundations. We welcome volunteers.
We invite you to see the How to
Help section for some of the ways you can contribute to Options' critical mission.
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How We Measure Success
Options strives to deliver services that are of the highest
quality, measurable, and accountable. To
read more about our accomplishments, Click
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A Brief History of Options
Options was incorporated in 1982. At that time, the need for
such an agency was evident as state psychiatric centers were
closing, leaving many people with mental illness homeless
and without treatment services in the community.
By 1984, Options opened two community residences certified by the New York State Office of Mental Health. Two years later, Options initiated its Mental Health Supportive Apartment Program, similarly certified. By 1992, the Mental Health Residential Program grew to serve 128 people at six transitional community residences and twenty supportive apartment sites.
In 1990 the agency's focus broadened with a seven site Transitional
Housing Program, providing housing and assistance for homeless
families through a contract with the Suffolk County Department
of Social Services. The number of scattered sites is now twenty-two.
A few years later, Options began addressing the growing needs
of Long Islanders living with HIV through a contract with
the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute. Case management services are offered through the HIV/AIDS
Program which was established in 1994.
That same year, the agency opened its first supported housing
site with support from the New York State Office of Mental
Health. Options also received its first of fourteen U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 811 Grants
in 1994. This program now provides supported housing
to well over 100 individuals.
Recognizing the critical need for safe and affordable housing,
Options began developing supported housing for people living
with HIV/AIDS. The first project, completed in 1997,
is one of many completed over the last ten years. Through
support of federal and state funds, with a number of projects
sponsored by Islip Community Development Agency, United Way
of Long Island, and the Nassau/Suffolk Continuum of Care,
over 40 units of permanent supported housing for people with
HIV/AIDS are owned by Options and operate in Nassau and Suffolk
To accommodate the growing number of Nassau County clients
served by the HIV/AIDS Program, Options opened a satellite
office in Nassau County in 1996. Options now has the
ability to serve 400 individuals and families living with
HIV/AIDS on Long Island.
Options has been accredited with commendation by CARF, the Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission, since 2000.
Each year, programs reach over 1,000 adults and children
with special needs. Through its housing programs and supportive
case management, Options promotes health, safety, housing
permanency and independent living.
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