Aid to the Developmentally Disabled (ADD) provides residential housing and a variety of programs, including the Apartment Treatment Program.
The ADD Mental Health Program has four sites, all located in the Riverhead area. Three people live in each residence, and staff works with those individuals a couple of times per week, providing personalized support based upon each individual’s needs. The twelve residents who live in the program are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of their residence. They all make their meals, travel in the community, and attend routine medical appointments independently.
The men and women who live in those residences are affected by mental health conditions, and are embarking or moving along on their recovery journeys. Each one is in a different place regarding their needs and motivation to recover. At sites 26 and 29, those six residents are valuable community members whose recoveries have been vastly aided by their stable housing with ADD. Many work or attend programs where they participate in recovery-oriented services. Some require greater support than others, and all possess unique strengths and abilities.
Noel is a talented artist who graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s in Fine Arts; Renee is a devoted mother of two and former medical assistant; Amber is a spirited writer with a direct and authentic narrative voice; Chris is a calm, meditative person who loves animals and feeds wildlife; Billy is witty and a technical wiz; James is a member of the Honor Society at his former school and possesses a passion for history.
In the Apartment Treatment Program, the Resident Managers are called Resident Advisors: Julie Erdman and Maxine Love. Julie and Maxine have decades of experience between both of them. (They don’t want to say how many, but the numbers are more than twenty and less than fifty.) They supervise two Direct Support Professionals who work in the Program, Crystal and Alyssa.
Most people with mental illness have experienced past trauma and great losses. The job of staff is, not only to deliver instrumental support, but to be kind, attentive listeners and cheer them on. The foundation of recovery from mental illness is grounded in hope. In order to recover, one must have the belief that recovery is possible. The staff that works in the ADD Mental Health Program provides hope for others on a daily basis—whenever they set foot in those doors.
Finding that stable housing allows people to step out of survival mode, worrying about food clothing and shelter, and begin to live their own lives. Many who have lived in Apartment Treatment Program move on to get their places outside of mental health housing, or move to the permanent housing level of Supported Housing, where staff meets with them just once per month.
ADD makes a powerful and positive difference every day in people’s lives! To learn more about the ADD organization, residential housing, job opportunities and advocacy groups, browse our website or call 631-727-6220.
Main photo at top: Program residents from left to right, Renee, Noel and Billy
Photo at right: Julie Erdman, resident manager