November 7-11, 2018
Multiple members of our team attended the 2018 SOMOS Puerto Rico Conference from Nov. 7th to 11th in San Juan, PR. SOMOS, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the needs of the Hispanic population of New York State and has been fighting to bring Puerto Rico back on its feet since Hurricane Maria struck the region last year. The conference served as an excellent platform for legislators, scholars, and business & labor leaders to address concerns pertinent to the Puerto Rico and the Hispanic community as a whole. SOMOS uses the funds collected through these conferences to empower youths with scholarships that encourage furthering their education, college internships to promote retention, and apprenticeships to introduce newly graduated adults into the public, nonprofit, labor, and private sectors.
October 27, 2018
We celebrated the fall season and beginning of the new school year by tabling at Community School District 12’s Fall Harvest & Family Resource Fair. Attendees came out to learn more about the district, schools, and families, and to meet the district’s local representatives.
October 5, 2018
VIP CASAC Academy program is an OASAS Certified Education Training Program. We provide courses that satisfy the educational requirements for state certification. Our course enables paraprofessional/professionals for direct patient care and supervisory positions in the field of substance use and addiction. The intensive program prepares growing professionals in the eight practice domains including assessment, counseling case management, client, family and community education, and Ethics. Graduation took place at Eastwood Manor on October 5, 2018. We had 30 VIP graduates, all of which submitted their applications to OASAS to receive their CASAC-T. We are looking forward to placing those graduates as CASAC T’s currently employed at VIP.
September 15, 2018
VIP Community Services was one of the sponsors for the Odyssey House 13th Annual Run for Your Life Event on Saturday, 15, 2018, which had a Recovery Walk and 5K run. VIP participated in this fantastic day, where the community and enjoyed activities for children and adults. There was face painting, arts and crafts, Zumba, healthy food and snacks, and plenty of water. There was a silent auction with amazing items. The music was great along with fun games to play for all ages. It was great to see the various ages of children play with each other and support one another.
Participants of the Recovery Walk and 5K race received medals, which was awesome. The winners of the 5K also received Trophies. People encouraged others throughout the events, including Zumba. As we know, recovery for an individual includes family, and this event showed how important the family and community is to each other. Thank you Odyssey House on another successful event for our communities.
September 19, 2018
Our Board Chair Amanda Parsons and CEO Debbian-Fletcher Blake led the clients at our residential treatment sites through open discussion about addiction and the effects. Our Board Chair spoke of the importance of recovery and working through the barriers and challenges. Candles were lit in remembrance of those afflicted by the disease around the world.
The Candlelight Vigil took place in the evening with great participation. This event takes place every year during Recovery Month. We remember those we have lost to addiction.
September 12, 2018
Our annual Hope on the Hudson fundraiser was held aboard the S.S. Hudson on September 12, and it was a huge success! The amazing crowd enjoyed a festive evening cruising the Hudson River while taking in spectacular sights of the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty. Most importantly, the event’s attendees heard first-hand how critical our work is. A wealth of testimonials were offered by our past clients, all of whom greatly benefitted from receiving the excellent level of care we continue to provide to those that need it most.
We also heard from our two award winners, Rachel Kohler of NowPow and Irene Kaufmann of the Bronx Partnership for Healthy Communities:
“When I saw the new building that VIP is putting up, I said ‘That is an organization that’s going places, that is an organization I want to support.'” – Rachel Kohler, Honoree and CEO of NowPow
“We build community by inviting each other to sit, and plan, and make decisions together; to set goals and agree on targets.” – Irene Kaufmann, Recipient of the VIP Community Builder Award and Executive Director of the Bronx Partnership for Healthy Communities
All proceeds from the fundraiser will further our mission: to offer integrated medical, behavioral health, housing, and wrap-around services to improve the health and well-being of residents of the Bronx and surrounding communities.
September 7, 2018
VIP Community Services’ Job Fair was a great success for the Bronx community!
Christal Montage (left), VIP’s Chief Program Officer of Substance Abuse and Social Services shares a moment with OASAS Commissioner Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez at the 2018 NYS Recovery Conference. The theme of this year’s conference was “The Journey to Recovery Wellness: Home, Health, Community and Practice.”