I coach clients on how to prevent reentry. The key to success is in meeting people where they are and helping them proceed from there. People are afraid. They have never had anyone knock on the door, encourage them to make a change, and stick around to support them through those changes-which are overwhelming. I have been where they are and I have been through what they are facing, so they trust me. I find creative solutions for each person and my supervisors support me. This flexibility allows me to tailor my support to each client and really meet their needs. ACMH does not have a one size fits all approach. I do everything I possibly can to help clients stay out of jail and help them become productive members of society. And to do that, I have to be flexible because everyone has a different set of needs.

Working in this role is very fulfilling, it is actually therapy for myself. It gives me a chance to give back. It keeps me grounded and reminds me that there go I. Nobody is immune.

Emanuel Kelly

Peer Specialist

ACMH community member since 2016

Marlon Garcia

Peer Specialist

ACMH community member since 2017

ACMH gave me a home. Literally. I had not had a home setting in more than 10 years. I had been in the system, relying on hospitals. I was angry. It was me against the world. The day I met a caseworker from ACMH my entire life changed. That day, they drove me to a house to see if it might be a place I would like to live. I loved it. In that instant, my life changed. I moved into that house, now I play basketball in the neighborhood. I am a part of the community.

I meet with someone from ACMH three times a week. They help me set goals and reach them. If I have a problem, we address it together and work through it.  I am mentally and physically well. I am also a Peer Specialist. I escort people to their appointments, run group meetings, help people develop life skills. I help others find the same freedom that ACMH helped me find. I feel like a success story. I love my life, and ACMH made that change happen for me.

In 2013 I was depressed, I was not taking care of myself. I had no interest. I had no goals. I isolated myself for many, many years. ACMH found me. They literally knocked on my door and offered me help. They offered counseling right in my home. I thought I should try it. They taught me life skills. They made a world of difference.

As a client they helped me keep my appointments, maintain a regular and proper medication schedule, learn to stay organized. They helped me in extraordinary ways. From there I was able to move forward for myself, and I got training and a job.

Now, I am no longer isolated. I am engaged to be married. I am working. I am happy. Now I can do for other people what ACMH did for me. If you want a happy life, use their advice and allow it to move you forward.

Sigfredo Acosta

Peer Specialist

ACMH community member since 2013

Jingjin Chen

LMSW,
Care Navigator/Assistant Program Director,
Short-Term Crisis Respite and Transitional Step-Down Housing

ACMH community member since 2015

I love being part of a the ACMH family and working to provide high-quality services to the people in New York who need it most. ACMH features an environment that welcomes open communication and feedback as upper management works to support staff and clients. By empowering everyone who makes up the ACMH community, ACMH is improving the whole environment of NYC, especially for the individuals who have mental illness.

One day last year, I was telling a friend about my job at ACMH. Before I could get very far, she interrupted to tell me all she had heard about how amazing the organization is, that it gives staff enough space to grow and express themselves while supporting the most vulnerable among us. What she heard was true, and I was so proud to be part of an organization making real change in my own community.

People in our communities who suffer from mental illness need support. I see first hand just how vigilant the ACMH staff is, and the quality of service that we offer. At Ana’s House, we have been instrumental in getting the client’s connected with mental and medical health treatment teams. Program Specialists empower ACMH clients by making sure their daily lives are enhanced. As a result, we see clients grow toward stability and success. ACMH is one of the most important organizations in NYC as it ensures our community is a safe haven for everyone while alleviating homelessness throughout the city. That I am a part of making that happen gives me great satisfaction and pride.

Camille Sang-Armstrong

Case Manager, Ana's House

ACMH community member since 2018

Derick Adams

Peer Specialist, Ana's House

ACMH community member since 2017

When ACMH came into my life, it was a breath of fresh air. The supports were so easy to access and very engaging. I am now a trained Peer Specialist and l hope to soon be working for ACMH helping others find their way as I have. ACMH has revived my trust in the system and I believe they will be able to help and house many more people with mental illness in our community while helping to mitigate the stigma we must endure.

Throughout my years at ACMH the agency has grown tremendously, yet the focus on quality has never wavered. The agency encourages professional growth while looking to engage in new initiatives aimed at improving and expanding services. There is a great deal of collaboration within the communities in which we work, this creates a sense that you are really part of a system that is moving towards change.

At ACMH we take a holistic approach to each individual, striving to address all the barriers impeding a person’s success so that where a person has been does not dictate where they can go or what they can achieve. We don’t focus on the individual’s limitations, but rather their strengths in overcoming obstacles.

Throughout the years ACMH has become the source of thousands of success stories highlighting people overcoming obstacles, achieving their goals, and proving that they don’t have to be defined by their diagnosis.

Kristina Socha-Garcia

LMHC, Senior Director for Care Management Services

ACMH community member since 2003

Jeanette Williams

Peer Specialist

ACMH community member since 2013

ACMH was a gamechanger for me. I have better housing because of ACMH. I have a job because of ACMH. I am happy because of what ACMH has helped me achieve. So many people in NYC struggle to find a home, to care for themselves and to manage their wellness. ACMH helps us by finding safe places to live and then by teaching life skills so people can get on their feet and take care of themselves. ACMH gives people hope. At ACMH people are able to enter the workforce or go to college. ACMH paves the way to success. With ACMH, life is better. And now I can be part of that support system by working with ACMH as a Peer Specialist.

At ACMH we help keep clients out of the hospital, reduce unnecessary ER visits, assist with medication compliance, and assure clients are connected to services in the community so they can remain stable. We are the eyes and ears for treatment providers as we meet with clients in their homes right in the community. Helping clients with serious mental health issues and/or chronic medical conditions find the benefits and essential services they need to remain in their communities has been very satisfying for me personally. I enjoy being able to care for these underserved populations and helping them find the supports they need.

As a native New Yorker, I love knowing that I am helping members of my community and in doing so improving life in the city for everyone. The internal satisfaction I get from my job assisting others is deeply rewarding.

Jane Chavez

Senior Health Navigator/Care Coordinator, Care Management Services

ACMH community member since 2010

Fadoul Brahim

Peer Specialist

ACMH community member since 2018

ACMH provides a very important service to the New York City community, particularly in the housing it provides to those who need it most. By offering the mentally ill members of our community an alternative to living on the streets, ACMH helps make NYC a better place for everyone. I am so glad to be a part of a solution to New York City’s homeless problem.

ACMH has very high standards. I went with a senior case manager to inspect a two bedroom apartment under consideration for an ACMH community member. The case manager thought the apartment was beneath the ACMH standards and refused to accept the apartment until it met all of our guidelines. That proved to me how much ACMH cares about the people it serves. Everyone is treated with dignity, and that is why ACMH is the best.

I always knew I wanted to help people, but I didn’t know how to. ACMH taught me how by providing the guidance and a platform to do so. Working for ACMH has given me a better sense of who I am, both personally and professionally. The opportunity allows me to develop and direct my career, and provides me with a place to utilize my skills in providing services to clients in need.

ACMH is so important to the NYC community because of the growing populations who experience severe mental illness, homelessness, substance abuse, and medical conditions. ACMH’s goal is to assist our clients so they can live and navigate as independently as possible.

My ACMH experience has been a very special one. This is the agency that provided me my first job and gave me a chance. My managers are flexible and supportive allowing me to constantly grow, and as a result I have earned my Master’s Degree. As a result, I’ve been able to grow within the agency, and broaden my experience in the field of social work.

Steven Singh

LMSW, Program Director, Convent Avenue

ACMH community member since 2012

Erika Galan

Peer Specialist

ACMH community member since 2017

I was referred by my social worker while I was hospitalized due to a relapse. I was feeling better and went to interview for housing at the agency. I passed the interview, checked out the apartment, and moved in that summer. I didn’t give it a second thought. ACMH was my first and best option for housing.

Before ACMH I had trouble finding a place to live and would relapse on occasions. The program at ACMH gave me much needed stability and assisted me in setting goals and in moving forward. ACMH provides clients with ongoing support, great housing and a way for them to reintegrate themselves into the community. Not only did ACMH provide me with housing, but the staff also guided me in training  and preparing to serve alongside them as a Peer Specialist within the agency. I therefore became a part on the ACMH team that supports me and now I help others find success, making the NYC community that much better for all of us.

I have valued the work of ACMH for many years and am proud to now be a part of the ACMH community. ACMH has taught me how to empower and inspire the people we serve. Seeing change happen in the lives of those we serve is moving, it is to see real impact in real time. Working at ACMH transcends the traditional idea of work as it is really to labor in the service of humanity.

What is even more amazing about ACMH is that the management knows that in order for my colleagues and I to empower the people we serve, we must also be empowered and the support we get as a result is unmatched. I’ve been lucky to work with so many inspiring people at ACMH. They have taught me that there is always something we can do for our clients, one way or another, we can have positive impact on their lives by empowering them to have faith in their own recovery. Our clients know it too. One of my transition ready clients said he just wants to move to an ACMH housing program because “ACMH is the best!”

Yimeng (Imogen) Wang

LMSW, Quality & Compliance Coordinator

ACMH community member since 2016

Antonio Frias

Director of Care Management Services

ACMH community member since 2010

Working with individuals in a community setting has allowed me to better understand the socio-economic barriers people face when seeking health related support. It’s rewarding to be able to serve our clients by drawing from their strengths and help them gain access to the system that exists to help them, and to successfully navigate these systems, and receive adequate, empathic care.

Unfortunately, a mental health diagnosis can alienate people, keeping them from maintaining the strong support network of friends and family that’s necessary to have a good quality of life in a city like New York. There is not enough advocacy for individuals diagnosed with chronic mental illness. ACMH focuses on helping clients integrate into the community and become productive members of their community. ACMH also advocates on the state level for maintaining and increasing funding for housing and other critical services necessary for New Yorkers diagnosed with chronic mental health and medical conditions.  

ACMH’s CMS program hosts quarterly community meetings in restaurants centrally located in Times Square. It’s always a pleasure to have members participate especially in geographic areas that are often intimidating to them, places they tend to feel unwelcome. Care Coordinators often travel with the clients to ensure that they feel comfortable and welcome, and therefore participate in such events. These gatherings reflect the best of ACMH and make me proud to work for this organization.

Here at ACMH I am able to create positive change in the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of the New York City community, and I get to do that each and every day. Helping others is my passion and working at ACMH with expert colleagues makes me better at my job and the job, in turn, more rewarding. At ACMH, I am apart of a team of human service professionals working to provide services that will create positive results for individuals struggling with mental illness, substance disorders and homelessness. It is incredible to be in a position to realize positive impact.

ACMH is about inclusion, everyone in the community is accepted and celebrated here. The company provides a dignified and respectable work environment, which has yielded the best team in the business. ACMH offers opportunities for growth within the company and access to education in realizing growth. You are never alone at ACMH because upper management is always there to provide support. It really sets ACMH apart. I love my job, and I have every intention of being a part of the ACMH community for a long, long time.

Loraine Baker

MA, Program Director, Ana’s House

ACMH community member since 2014

Thomas Cusack

Peer Specialist

ACMH community member since 2017

I was introduced to ACMH while working part time at Goodwill’s Citiview Connections Clubhouse about 2 years ago. With ACMH I was able to really grow. ACMH helped  me build confidence, which led to my being able to get back to full time employment. Through ACMH I have been able to develop my skills with hands-on field experience.

ACMH is important to the NYC community as it provides furnished apartments as well as many other services to clients who are part of the larger community. ACMH holds community based meetings in which clients are instructed on a variety of helpful topics including personal health, cooking and employment. These life skills are essential in personal development, all of which helps the greater community.

ACMH is a very supportive and dynamic place. Everyone is engaged in the success of the ACMH family. I saw that up close at a housing rally not long ago. I knew that many of my peers would be there, but I did not expect people from senior management to participate too. But they did, including the senior director as well as the director of the Queens QSA. It really showed their commitment to the cause and reinforced that we are all in this together. That really makes all the difference

I began my career with ACMH and plan to stay with the organization for many years to come. Not a single person should live on the street in the 21st century and ACMH tries to help the NYC community with its homelessness crisis by providing housing to a vulnerable population. When I hear success stories where one of our clients gets a full time job or his/her own apartment, I know that ACMH is going on right direction. I think it’s very special when we can help to change even one person’s life by providing support to find a job or permanent housing.

ACMH allows people to live with dignity, and the entire NYC community is better off for it. I am proud to be part of what is ultimately a wonderful solution for people with mental illness.

Daler Amonov

Director of Finance & Administration

ACMH community member since 2007

Millicent Kitay

Peer Specialist

ACMH community member since 2017

We all want the same thing: to be accepted, to have a place in the world, to have friends and a community where we feel we belong. I try and create that, I try to normalize the idea of having a mental illness, and working at ACMH gives me the platform to try and do that. We all have challenges, and we have to deal with them. By being very person-centric, ACMH runs with a big heart and a lot of empathy. The client is never forgotten at ACMH.

When I first came to ACMH I was working with a young man who really wanted a job. He wanted to be independent. He had serious challenges and he had never worked, which left his confidence extremely low. But he had this goal in mind, so I set out to help him reach his dreams as best I could. We started meeting at the library and I helped him with his resume, little by little we positioned him to find work. We put his resume out there to see what would happen, and he got a call, and then a second call, and then he was hired by a factory. He was so proud, you could see the change almost immediately. The confidence of having that job helped with every other issue he was facing, that job changed everything. He is still working there, and now he is managing his health too. The job gave him a routine and a purpose. A job is something we all want, we are not so different in the end. At ACMH I was given the support and autonomy to help him reach that goal.