FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 25, 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: 
Melissa Mansfield, 518-339-7769, mmansfield@skdknick.com

STATE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY UNANIMOUSLY PASS BILL TO STUDY CRITICAL FUNDING SHORTFALLS
IN NEW YORK’S MENTAL HEALTH HOUSING PROGRAMS 
Bill Will Establish Commission to Investigate Needs For State Investment In Chronically Underfunded Housing Programs 
Commission’s Final Report Would be Due Six Months After Bill is Signed, With Intention of Guiding Creation
of the 2020-2021 Executive Budget

ALBANY, NY – A bill introduced by Senator David Carlucci and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther that would create a state commission to assess ongoing, debilitating funding shortfalls in New York’s mental health housing programs passed unanimously in the New York State Senate and Assembly last week. The bill (S.5637/A.7489) would prompt a study of current funding and staffing levels across the state and investigate ways the state can begin to remedy its years-long failure to adequately fund mental health housing programs. The commission’s findings would be due to the State and Legislature six months after the bill is signed into law, and are intended to help guide the creation of Executive Budget proposal for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

“This bill is about correcting a wrong that has persisted for years, in spite of ongoing warnings from advocates that we are fomenting a crisis by failing to act,” said Senator David Carlucci, chair of the Senate Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities committee. “It is time for us to give the state’s mental health housing programs the attention and study they need and deserve, and to bring together true experts to tell us how to better serve our state’s most vulnerable populations.”

“This legislation will finally shine a light on the chronic underfunding of New York State’s mental health housing programs, and we are exceptionally grateful to the sponsors of this bill, Senator Carlucci and Assemblywoman Gunther, and the rest of the state legislature for their attention to this serious shortfall,” said Antonia Lasicki, executive director of The Association for Community Living NYS. “The Bring It Home coalition is hopeful that this commission’s findings will incite Governor Cuomo to prioritize the welfare of some of New York’s most vulnerable citizens and take the much-needed actions to protect this system from financial collapse.”

The commission, made up of ten appointed members, would make determinations and recommendations on the adequacy of funding levels in mental health housing programs, the number of direct care staff – as well as the need for professional staff in the programs – and the ability of the current programs to meet the needs of their residents.

This bill was introduced just weeks after the passage of the 2019-2020 state budget, which included the addition of much needed resources, but not enough funding to sustain mental health programs despite years of warning from Bring It Home coalition members and mental health advocates. Advocates are now urging Governor Cuomo to take immediate action by signing this bill into law so the commission would be able to compile a report in time to guide the creation of the 2020-2021 Executive Budget proposal.

For more information on this bill, visit https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/s5637.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 31, 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: 
Melissa Mansfield, 518-339-7769, mmansfield@skdknick.com

STATEMENT FROM THE BRING IT HOME COALITION REGARDING THE 2019-20 NEW YORK STATE BUDGET
“This Budget is a Disaster that will Lead to More New Yorkers in Homeless Shelters, in Hospitals and in Jails” 

Albany, NY - The Bring It Home coalition released the following statement in response to the 2019-20 New York State Executive budget, which should be attributed to Antonia Lasicki, Executive Director of The Association for Community Living and chair of the Bring It Home coalition:

“For the New Yorkers who desperately need to be served by New York’s mental health housing system, this budget is a disaster which will lead to more people entering homeless shelters, hospitals and jails. Despite months of unwavering advocacy from the Bring It Home coalition on behalf of all New Yorkers living with serious and persistent mental health conditions, the state has yet again failed to keep its promise to adequately fund the community-based mental health housing programs that care for our family, friends, and neighbors in the 2019-2020 budget.

“Decades of continued neglect for New York State’s once unparalleled mental health housing system jeopardizes the housing and stability of over 40,000 residents. By only including a fraction of the funding needed to sustain these programs, Governor Cuomo and state legislators are effectively starving the system that they worked so hard to create.

“New York State has a responsibility to protect its most vulnerable residents. How much longer must this system teeter on the brink of financial collapse before receiving the funding that is so critically needed?”

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BRING IT HOME COALITION RELEASES STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO PBS FRONTLINE “RIGHT TO FAIL” INVESTIGATION  

 Statement: “New York Has a Proud Legacy of Caring for Its Most Vulnerable and We Urge Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to Continue that Legacy, Rather Than Destroy It”

ALBANY, NY – The Bring It Home coalition released the following statement in response to the PBS Frontline investigation Right to Fail, which debuted last night, and featured an interview with Antonia Lasicki, executive director of The Association for Community Living NYS and chair of the Bring It Home coalition.

“New York State’s mental health housing programs have been starved for decades. As providers, we are proud of the work we do for tens of thousands New Yorkers who desperately need our help. But the reality is that without a significant investment from the state, thousands of New Yorkers with serious, persistent psychiatric disabilities will be unable keep the housing and services they need – resulting in avoidable hospitalization, homelessness and incarceration.

“Frontline’s Right to Fail shined a disturbing light on the central flaw in the original Adult Home decision – which only allowed residents to move into the most independent form of housing, instead of offering them access to the wide range of settings that could meet their needs. But it also showed examples of what happens when individuals in the current system don’t get the services they need, and our fear is that their stories will continue to be more common if the funding shortage isn’t addressed immediately.

“As one example:  In the program, these stories unfolded in New York City, where the HUD Fair market Rent is more than $19,000. But housing providers are provided $17,375 per person, per year, by New York State. This is expected to cover not only rent, but services to individuals, utilities, staff, supervisors, administration, property management, among other expenses. The governor’s staff has argued that the 2019-20 budget proposes adding $10 million for a system of 40,000 units of special needs housing. And although we appreciate this gesture, it won’t even cover the rent. It is simply not enough.

“New York has a proud legacy of caring for its most vulnerable and we urge Governor Cuomo and the state legislature to continue that legacy rather than destroy it. The 2019-20 budget is the time to significantly increase the investment in these life-altering programs.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 11, 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: 
Melissa Mansfield, 518-339-7769, mmansfield@skdknick.com

100 FAITH LEADERS, 150 ORGANIZATIONS, 900 INDIVIDUAL MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATES JOIN TOGETHER TO PRESSURE THE STATE TO ADEQUATELY FUND MENTAL HEALTH HOUSING PROGRAMS 

Advocates sent more than 3,100 messages to Governor’s office demanding the state protect this vulnerable population 

ALBANY, NY – On behalf of the Bring It Home campaign, mental health advocates are calling on the state to invest in its community-based mental health housing system and include a significant investment in the 2019-2020 state budget. As the legislature gavels in, the Bring It Home coalition—now nearly 900 individual supporters, 150 organizations, and 100 faith leaders across the state—reaffirmed their dedication to preserving and protecting the state’s mental health housing system and the vulnerable population it serves.

As part of its ongoing advocacy efforts, Bring It Home supporters are participating in an e-letter campaign reminding Governor Andrew Cuomo of the coalition’s agenda and urging increased funding for these crucial programs at a time when the need is so great. As of January 11, 2019, more than 3,100 messages have been sent.

“We are thrilled and encouraged by the outpouring of support Bring It Home has received over the past year from providers, residents, advocates and family members who realize that adequate funding is critical to keeping the mental health housing system from collapsing,” said Toni Lasicki, executive director of The Association for Community Living NYS. “As the legislature heads into session, we call on them to listen to their constituents and consider the lives that are at stake if they ignore the need to provide reliable funding for these programs.”

This year, Bring It Home—a coalition of community-based mental health housing providers, advocates, individuals with psychiatric disabilities and their families—will build on last year’s effort to raise awareness of the currently underfunded system and implications on all New Yorkers: Without adequate funding for these live-altering programs, more of our neighbors with mental illness will end up hospitalized, incarcerated, or homeless. 

“Stable, trusted relationships between housing staff and recovering people are essential to supporting them to meet their health and community related goals,” said Harvey Rosenthal, CEO of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services. “We must have the resources to be able to attract and retain the kind and level of workforce necessary to keep those commitments.”

“As family members of people living with mental health issues, NAMI-NYS joined the Bring it Home Campaign because we recognize how vital continuity of care is to their recovery,” said Wendy Burch, executive director of NAMI-NYS. “Our loved ones who live in mental health housing depend on having qualified, caring staff to support them. How can we expect to retain that staff when they can’t even earn a living wage?”

Outreach to the governor and state legislators will continue throughout the budget negotiation process and the remainder of the legislative session.  For more information about signing-on as a supporter of Bring It Home or to send an e-letter to Governor Cuomo, visit https://www.bringithomenys.org/support-bring-it-home/.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 6, 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: 
Morgan Hook 301-801-6949, mhook@skdknick.com

STATEMENT FROM THE BRING IT HOME CAMPAIGN
REGARDING PRO PUBLICA’S
“LIVING APART, COMING UNDONE” INVESTIGATION


ALBANY, NY 
– The following statement was released today from the Bring It Home campaign:

“Today’s ProPublica investigation underscores a critical element that has been missing in the current design: People with mental health conditions must be offered a full choice of residential and community supports, across the entire continuum of care, that emphasizes but is not limited to supported housing options. At the same time, it’s critically important to understand that, with the appropriate level and continuum of supports, the vast majority of individuals including current adult home residents can thrive in the community.

“However, the truth is that New York State’s mental health system and mental health housing programs have been starved for decades. Without a significant investment from the state, thousands of New Yorkers with serious, persistent psychiatric disabilities will be unable to get the housing and services they need – resulting in avoidable hospitalization, homelessness and incarceration.

“But there are positive stories to tell. The Bring It Home coalition recently launched ‘Humans of Mental Health Housing’ to highlight the personal stories and human impact of a strong mental health housing system for both residents and workers. Bring It Home has been actively campaigning for more than a year to convince Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York legislature to allocate adequate funding for mental health housing programs in the 2019-2020 New York State budget.

“New York has the opportunity to continue its legacy of caring for its most vulnerable and we urge Governor Cuomo and the state legislature to invest in these life-altering programs in the 2019 budget.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 15, 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: 
Melissa Mansfield, 518-339-7769, mmansfield@skdknick.com

“I FEEL NORMAL AGAIN”: NEW YORKERS LIVING & WORKING IN MENTAL HEALTH HOUSING GET TO TELL THEIR STORIES
 
BRING IT HOME CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES
“HUMANS OF MENTAL HEALTH HOUSING” TO HIGHLIGHT PERSONAL STORIES
 


In First Story
Published Today, Resident Of Sister Louise Manor Shares How Independent Living Has Changed Her Life 

Bring It Home Campaign Will Publish One New Story Each Week, From Both Residents & Workers In Mental Health Housing
 

ALBANY, NY – The Bring It Home coalition today launched “Humans of Mental Health Housing,” which will highlight the personal stories and human impact of a strong mental health housing system for both residents and workers. The new campaign will publish one story each week, from mental health housing residents and employees, alongside stories from coalition leaders and advocates.

Humans of Mental Health Housing is the latest effort by Bring It Home to raise awareness and engage the public in their effort ensure adequate funding for mental health housing in New York State. Bring It Home has been actively campaigning for more than a year to convince Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York legislature to allocate adequate funding for mental health housing programs in the 2019-2020 New York State budget.

“Shared human experience is the foundation for understanding, and we’re so grateful to those who have shared their stories on behalf of everyone involved in New York’s mental health housing programs,” said Toni Lasicki, executive director of The Association for Community Living NYS. “We hope that these glimpses into the lives of Humans of Mental Health Housing will help connect people to our cause and showcase the value of these state funded programs – and prove to lawmakers that it is an absolute necessity to provide the funding needed to keep these programs in operation.”

The first story comes from Maryann DeLorenzo, a resident of Sister Louise Manor on Staten Island since 2014:

I am blessed to be living at Sister Louise Manor. I feel so at home and everybody feels like family. There is comfort in living in a place where nobody is a stranger and everybody helps each other.

I love being in independent living. I feel normal again. Normal in the sense of feeling like an individual that can function all alone, like going shopping and having programs to go to and my own place to sleep and eat in. I can be me, independently and happily, even in my senior years.

Home is where the heart is and my heart is at Sister Louise Manor.

Each week, the campaign will provide an intimate look at New York’s mental health housing programs and the mutually beneficial relationships between residents, employees and their communities, emphasizing the need for state lawmakers to commit to fully funding the programs during the 2019 Legislative Session.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 21, 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: 
Melissa Mansfield, 518-339-7769, mmansfield@skdknick.com

BRING IT HOME CAMPAIGN MEMBERS DELIVER MORE THAN 25,000 LETTERS FROM NEW YORKERS DEMANDING SUPPORT FOR MENTAL HEALTH HOUSING

 Coalition Urges Governor Cuomo, Senate, and Assembly Leadership to Secure Adequate Funding for Mental Health Housing in Final Budget

** Photos of Letter Drop-Off Available Upon Request**

ALBANY, NY–Mental health housing providers, advocates, residents, and their families from across the state delivered more than 25,000 letters to Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie calling on them to invest in the mental health housing system in the state budget.

The letters demand action this year to address decades of inconsistent and unreliable state funding which has put New York State’s system of mental health housing near a financial breaking point.

“The governor and legislature have a choice to make: allocate adequate funding for mental health housing for our most vulnerable New Yorkers, or watch the system collapse due to decades of neglect,” said Antonia Lasicki, Executive Director of The Association For Community Living NYS. “These providers, residents, and advocates came from across the state to remind the governor and legislature that there are real lives at stake and we need a real commitment from the state to keep this critical system.” 

Bring It Home campaign leaders also provided an update on the status of the services they provide, where they currently stand with the budget, and what actions will take place if nothing is done to address the deteriorating fiscal health of the crucial mental health housing system.

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 21, 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: Melissa Mansfield, 518-339-7769, 

ADVOCATES SEND MORE THAN 10,000 LETTERS TO GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATIVE LEADERS CALLING FOR MENTAL HEALTH HOUSING FUNDING TO BE INCLUDED IN FINAL BUDGET
 

ALBANY, NY – Members of the Bring It Home coalition and mental health advocates have sent more than 10,000 letters to Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders, calling on the state to invest in its community-based mental health housing system, and include reliable, adequate funding in the 2018-2019 budget.

“The foundation of recovery is stable housing with consistent, reliable, and accessible support,” the letters’ authors wrote. “Without adequate funding, those living with psychiatric disabilities who rely on mental health housing are at risk of displacement and relapse. When both are not available, these New Yorkers can fall through the cracks--often ending up homeless, incarcerated, or incapacitated.”

Noting that funding remained stagnant over the years regardless of the state’s fiscal situation, the writers are clear that further delay is untenable.

“New York’s mental health housing system cannot survive in its current financial state,” said Antonia Lasicki, Executive Director of the Association For Community Living, on behalf of Bring It Home. “As a national leader with over 40,000 available housing units, the state must sustain its reputation and adequately fund current infrastructure to protect its most vulnerable citizens living with mental illness and psychiatric disabilities.”

The ever-growing Bring It Home coalition represents 129 statewide mental health providers and advocacy organizations, 76 faith leaders, and over 900 individual supporters.

The letter writing/e-mail campaign will continue throughout the budget negotiation process.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 3, 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: Melissa Mansfield, 518-339-7769, mmansfield@skdknick.com

BRING IT HOME CAMPAIGN RESPONDS TO GOVERNOR CUOMO’S STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

ALBANY, N.Y. – Antonia Lasicki, Executive Director of the Association for Community Living in New York State, issued the following statement on behalf of the Bring It Home coalition.

We applaud Governor Cuomo’s acknowledgement, during his State of the State address, that New York must protect its citizens with mental illnesses.  As the Governor said, “It is our obligation as a caring people – a compassionate society – to reach out, to provide whatever social services or address whatever needs the individual presents. It is our job.”

The Bring It Home campaign could not agree more, and we look forward to seeing him follow through on this recognition with the funding and support the community-based mental health housing system needs in his budget proposal—a system of housing that serves the very people he was referring to, that is more and more unable to provide required services due to rates that are grossly inadequate.  

Governor Cuomo’s leadership helped make New York a national model for community-based mental health housing, and his continued commitment is a critical part of maintaining our stature.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 13, 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Melissa Mansfield, 518-339-7769, mmansfield@skdknick.com

BRING IT HOME CAMPAIGN ADVOCATES STRESS SUPPORTIVE HOUSING AS FOUNDATION FOR RECOVERY ON STATEWIDE TV PROGRAM

‘Mental Health Now’ Features Coalition Leaders and Residents

Albany, NY –Coalition leaders, mental health advocates, and residents from the Bring It Home campaign spoke about the critical role of supportive community-based housing in the latest episode of “Mental Health Now,” produced by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in New York State.

NAMI’s Matthew Shapiro spoke with guests involved with Bring It Home: Better Funding for Better Care on the importance of housing programs with wraparound services to mental health recovery.

Former resident and advocate Tiffany Monti shared how supportive housing was key in her recovery. “I wanted to recover, I wanted to feel better, but I didn’t know what that looked like. When I was struggling they saw the possibilities in me... Once I found stable housing I wasn’t struggling anymore."

New York State’s supportive housing providers have been stretched thin due to decades of underfunding. The Bring It Home campaign is urging the Cuomo administration and legislators to properly fund these critical programs.

On the show, Antonia Lasicki, Executive Director of coalition member Association for Community Living, in New York State also explained the necessity for adequate state funding to housing providers. She said, “Often folks find themselves in hospitals, or in other settings [jails] that are not ideal. Housing programs get people to the point where they can live on their own later.”

Housing providers and mental health advocates have seen the successes possible when those with serious psychiatric disabilities have access to stable supportive housing. Members of the Bring It Home coalition are working to ensure the 2018 state budget includes funding allocated to these nationally renowned, proven services.

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About the Coalition:  Bring It Home: Better Funding for Better Care
Bring it Home is coalition of community-based supportive housing providers, mental health advocates, consumers and their families, urging New York State to adequately fund community-based housing programs for individuals with psychiatric disabilities.  Full recovery and community reintegration depends on stable housing opportunities. Through education and advocacy, Bring it Home is working to bring better funding for better care to New York.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 11, 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Melissa Mansfield, 518-339-7769, mmansfield@skdknick.com

TESTIFYING BEFORE LEGISLATURE, ADVOCATES URGE INCREASE IN FUNDING   FOR SUPPORTIVE MENTAL HEALTH HOUSING

At Assembly Hearing, Coalition Members Highlight Need for Increased Rates to Combat Decades of Unreliable Funding

Albany, New York - Members of the Bring It Home coalition explained to legislative leaders how unreliable funding has impacted mental health housing providers across the state at an Assembly Mental Health Committee hearing focused on housing for individuals with mental illness or developmental disabilities.

Stressing the need for better funding to care for some of the state’s must vulnerable citizens, Antonia Lasicki, Executive Director of the Association for Community Living, described the precarious state of our community-based mental health housing providers in light of years of unstable funding and stretched budgets.

“By not providing these housing programs the funding they need, recovery can be impacted – to the point of destroying lives and families,” said Lasicki. “Without adequate and consistent funding, New York’s system of community-based mental health housing will lose providers, leaving those with serious psychiatric disabilities at risk of displacement. They can be hospitalized, become homeless, enter nursing homes, or become incarcerated—all at a greater taxpayer expense than the support we offer.”

She noted that many members of the coalition have also written letters to the Governor urging him to act and include the increased funding in the state budget. Lasicki quoted many providers from those letters that made it clear that housing is in serious jeopardy.

“New York has historically been a national leader in mental health care,” Lasicki continued. “Under the leadership of both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his father Mario – and with the strong support of the Legislature – New York set new national standards for caring for, and protecting, people with psychiatric disabilities. However, despite offering a breadth and depth of mental health housing that is unparalleled in the nation, the state has not kept its promise to adequately fund these housing programs that care for our family members, friends and neighbors who most need help.”

Currently, New York’s community-based housing providers only receive $7,600 to $40,000 per person per year—to cover room and board, medication supervision, case management, transportation, rehabilitation services, 24-hour staffing, and more. By comparison, care for residents of the state’s psychiatric hospitals cost $310,000 per person per year.

Other members of the statewide coalition spoke about the impact of underfunding on workforce with high turnover rates, stretching budgets, and the very real effects on residents and their families.

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About Bring It Home:
Bring It Home is coalition of community-based supportive housing providers, mental health advocates, patients and their families, urging New York State to adequate fund community-based housing programs for individuals with psychiatric disorders.  Full recovery and community reintegration depends on stable housing opportunities. Through education and advocacy, Bring It Home is working to bring better funding for better care to New York.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 4, 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Melissa Mansfield, 518-339-7769, mmansfield@skdknick.com

ICYMI: BRING IT HOME OP-ED FEATURED IN POUGHKEEPSIE JOURNAL, URGES STATE TO ADEQUATELY FUND MENTAL HEALTH HOUSING SYSTEM

New York Has A Choice To Be The “National Model” Or Allow System To “Collapse And Become Example Of What Can Go Wrong”

ALBANY, NY – As the budget season and legislative session approach, Bring It Home: Better Funding For Better Care coalition member and Executive Director of the Association For Community Living Toni Lasicki highlighted the critical need for funding supportive housing in an opinion piece published today in the  Poughkeepsie Journal.

In her piece, Lasicki presses that New York’s mental health housing system is at a financial breaking point. Without adequate funding, the state risks compromising the stability and recovery of tens of thousands of New Yorkers with serious psychiatric disabilities who rely on community-based mental health housing to help them reintegrate into their communities and recover.

She writes, “Without this housing, these New Yorkers are hospitalized, become homeless, enter nursing homes or are incarcerated. All at a much higher cost to taxpayers.”

New York is known as the national leader in mental healthcare. Lasicki highlights how the leadership of both Governors Andrew and Mario Cuomo set new national standards for caring and protecting people with psychiatric disabilities. With 40,000 units of mental health housing, the New York State has to keep its “promise to adequately fund these housing programs which care for our family members, friends, and neighbors who most need help.”

Lasicki and the Bring It Home coalition members—including over 110 organizations across the state—are urging our state leaders to put New Yorkers with psychiatric disabilities first and show the national how a strong system can succeed when properly supported.

Read the full OP-ED here: http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/opinion/2017/11/30/states-mental-health-housing-system-faces-crisis/902529001/

About the Coalition:  Bring It Home: Better Funding for Better Care
Bring it Home is coalition of community-based supportive housing providers, mental health advocates, consumers and their families, urging New York State to adequately fund community-based housing programs for individuals with psychiatric disabilities.  Full recovery and community reintegration depends on stable housing opportunities. Through education and advocacy, Bring it Home is working to bring better funding for better care to New York.

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 9, 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Melissa Mansfield, 518-339-7769, mmansfield@skdknick.com

MORE THAN 110 ORGANIZATIONS FROM ACROSS NEW YORK STATE JOIN “BRING IT HOME” CAMPAIGN

Growing Coalition of Advocates and Providers Gains Statewide Momentum, Implores State to Adequately Fund Supportive Housing

ALBANY, N.Y. – In less than one month since launching, more than 110 organizations from across New York State have joined the Bring It Home campaign, an effort to demand full and adequate funding for community-based supportive housing from Governor Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers. The member organizations include both advocates and housing providers, and continue to grow steadily in numbers.
This growing coalition is urging the state to uphold its reputation as a leader in providing supportive housing and care for New Yorkers with psychiatric disabilities, and to allocate much-needed funding to the community-based mental health housing system.

“This first milestone is proof positive that the imminent need for adequate funding for the community-based mental health housing system is a statewide issue that must be resolved,” said Toni Lasicki, Executive Director of the Association for Community Living. “With decades of inconsistent and unreliable funding, facilities are becoming unable to meet their obligations to the clients they serve, plus there is a real risk of them closing housing if this is not fixed.”

“Insufficient funding means insufficient care; it’s that simple,” said Wendy Burch, Executive Director of National Alliance of Mental Illness-New York State. “When facilities don’t have the resources they need to provide care, more and more New Yorkers with psychiatric disabilities fall through the cracks, ending up homeless, in prison or worse. The state needs to live up to its obligation to care for our neighbors, and help us to address this major health crisis.”

“For those living with psychiatric disabilities, the lack of a stable home means constantly starting recovery over from square one,” said Harvey Rosenthal, Executive Director of New York Association for Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services. “Giving us the funding we need to provide the best possible care means an opportunity for real recovery for our residents, and for reintegration into their families and communities."

“It’s critical that nonprofit organizations providing supportive housing for our most vulnerable have adequate resources to provide both the housing and services to tenants so they can live successfully in our communities,” stated Laura Mascuch, Executive Director of the Supportive Housing Network of New York. “Without adequate services, they will not get the care they need and will just cycle back through much more expensive systems of care like institutions and shelters.”

See all the Organizations supporting Bring It Home Here!


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 10, 2017                                                                                                                                                                      MEDIA CONTACT: Melissa Mansfield, 518-339-7769, mmansfield@skdknick.com

NEW COALITION LAUNCHES “BRING IT HOME” CAMPAIGN CALLING ON THE STATE TO BETTER FUND MENTAL HEALTH HOUSING

Advocates Call for “Better Funding for Better Care”, Emphasizing Need for New York to Live Up to Its Reputation as a National Leader and Address Major Health Crisis

Albany, NY – A coalition of mental health advocates and supportive housing providers today launched the “Bring It Home: Better Funding for Better Care” campaign to call on the state to adequately fund community-based mental health housing programs in an effort to pull the housing system away from its impending financial breaking point. 

Despite New York’s nation-leading 40,000 community-based mental health housing units, the system has been left financially stretched untenably thin by decades of inconsistent and unreliable state funding. New York has a moral obligation to protect this critical system by providing for people with serious psychiatric disabilities – who often have significant medical conditions and substance abuse issues as well.

“A stable home is the foundation of care and recovery for New Yorkers with psychiatric disabilities,” said Toni Lasicki, Executive Director of the Association for Community Living (ACL). “It’s our responsibility as New Yorkers to help care for our neighbors, and ensuring continuity of care is key to supporting those with serious and persistent psychiatric disabilities. Without reliable, adequate and continuous funding, providers will cease operations, leading to shortages of critical community-based housing units and punishing those who need help the most.”

“The Governor and Mayor of NYC have announced commitments to 35,000 new units of supportive housing but if we lose existing housing due to chronic underfunding, we are just moving one step forward and two steps back,” said Laura Mascuch, Executive Director of the Supportive Housing Network of New York (The Network).

A failure to adequately fund care for its most vulnerable residents will result in profound consequences – not only for our residents, but for taxpayers as well. “Without a stable home, our loved ones end up homeless, incarcerated, incapacitated or hospitalized—at immensely higher costs to the state and taxpayers,” said Wendy Burch, Executive Director of National Alliance of Mental Illness-New York State (NAMI-NYS).

People with psychiatric disabilities who are jailed or imprisoned, often for minor infractions, can cost roughly $45,000 - $75,000 annually. Hospitalizations can cost $300,000 to $400,000 per year.

In contrast, the community-based mental health housing system serves 40,000 of the state’s most vulnerable residents, but funding ranges from just $7,600 per person to $25,000, which is both unsustainable and completely insufficient to operate these highly complex and regulated programs.

This population needs providers that can keep up with emerging changes to the system, who can meet the myriad obligations required by the Office of Mental Health, The Justice Center, The Office of Medicaid Inspector, the Department of Health, and local governmental units, maintain a staff of consistent caregivers and provide supports to ensure that recipients are receiving appropriate care, showing up for their appointments and taking medications on schedule.

"Stable housing with supports is essential to the stability, health and recovery of New Yorkers with major mental health conditions," said Harvey Rosenthal, Executive Director of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS). "The lack or loss of housing leads to avoidable relapses and crises that simply force individuals back to square one, compromising the hard work and hope necessary to achieve recovery and reintegration into the community."

“Without appropriate funding, we are running the serious risk of allowing the continuum of community mental health housing in our state to collapse," said Glenn Liebman, Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Association in New York State (MHANYS). 

Under the leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo, and previously his father Governor Mario Cuomo, New York led the nation in caring for those with serious psychiatric disabilities. Now, the state has an opportunity to show the nation how to address a major health crisis by promoting an approach with stable mental health housing programs that ensure integrated care. Without sustained and increased funding for these crucial programs, New York risks losing its reputation as a national leader and forsaking this population.

About the Coalition: Bring It Home: Better Funding for Better Care
Bring it Home is a coalition of community-based supportive housing providers, mental health advocates, consumers and their families, urging New York State to adequately fund community-based housing programs for individuals with psychiatric disabilities. Full recovery and community reintegration depends on stable housing opportunities. Through education and advocacy, Bring it Home is working to bring better funding for better care to New York.

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