About Us

ADVOCACY, COMMITMENT, LEADERSHIP SINCE 1979

The Association for Community Living (ACL) is a statewide membership organization of not-for-profit agencies that provide housing and rehabilitation services to over 30,000 people diagnosed with serious and persistent psychiatric disabilities. The day-to-day rehabilitative and support activities performed in community residential and other housing settings are vital for people who face the daily challenges of living with a psychiatric disability, but who want to live independent, productive and satisfying lives as members of the community.

Every day, 24 hours a day, thousands of skilled and dedicated professionals provide essential rehabilitative services and other supports that assist New York State citizens with serious and persistent psychiatric disabilities in rehabilitating their lives in a variety of housing settings, both transitional and permanent. These direct care and supervisory staff, and the community-based programs for which they work, provide essential services including counseling, crisis intervention, symptom management, self-medication training, vocational training, as well as a variety of other skills trainings and supports.

ACL’s member agencies operate a variety of housing and rehabilitative service options, including, but not limited to:

  • Licensed Community Residences for adults in both congregate and apartment settings
  • Permanent Supported housing
  • Service-enriched single-room occupancy (transitional licensed and permanent unlicensed SROs)
  • Community residences for children and youth
  • Residential care centers for adults (RCCA)
  • Vocational training and employment support programs
  • Social programs, clinics and PROS

Our member agencies provide services to people with the greatest needs, particularly those that meet New York’s criteria for serious and persistent mental illness.  A large percentage has a history of substance abuse and chronic medical conditions. Community residences for children serve those who have been diagnosed with a serious emotional disability that requires treatment in a residential setting in the community.

ACL’s mission is to promote these effective community-based rehabilitation services for people with psychiatric disorders. Association members respect and embrace many of the principles driving the growing consumer empowerment movement within the mental health system. ACL encourages our member agencies to involve people with psychiatric disabilities as well as family members and significant others in the rehabilitation process and in planning and evaluating services.

The Association is committed to the principles that:

  • Life skills are best acquired in the environments where individuals live and work
  • People should be actively involved in all aspects of their rehabilitation
  • Housing options and support services should be determined by individual needs and preferences. An array of safe, affordable housing options and flexible support services must be available to meet those needs and preferences
  • Individuals, families, service providers and advocates must share the challenge of designing cost-effective programs that promote recovery
  • Service providers should educate the public to eliminate the stigma and discrimination that prevent individuals from realizing their full potential

To accomplish these goals, ACL advocates on behalf of our members on mental health issues with New York State, federal and local governments, and the public. ACL also helps its members understand federal and state statutes and regulations that affect them as well as emerging trends in housing, health and mental health care.  This involves conducting research, preparing management tools, providing training and technical assistance, and engaging state and national leaders in ACL conferences and training events.

ACL celebrated its 35th year in 2014.

For a membership package, please contact Doug Cooper at (518) 688-1682, ext. 222 or e-mail him at doug@aclnys.org.