Bring It Home/ACL’s Statement on Governor’s 2021 State of the State Address

For Immediate Release
Contact: Leanne Ricchiuti , Overit for Association for Community Living, 518-222-8073
January 11, 2021
RESPONSE TO GOVERNOR CUOMO’S STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

(Albany, N.Y.) – Regarding Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address today, the Bring it Home Campaign , a coalition of community-based mental health housing providers, mental health advocates, faith leaders, and consumers and their families, and Association for Community Living (ACL) respond with this statement from Association for Community Living (ACL), Executive Director, Sebrina Barrett.

“Association for Community Living (ACL) commends Governor Cuomo for including the conversion of vacant commercial property into affordable and supportive housing in his State of the State address earlier today; mental health housing is healthcare, and needed more now than ever before.

By creating new supportive housing, Governor Cuomo is keeping his commitment to house some of New York’s most vulnerable populations. However, it is imperative that the supportive housing currently in operation see increased funding as well, if not first.

For decades, ACL has been fighting for adequately funded community-based housing programs for individuals with severe and persistent psychiatric disabilities. In response to the lack of funding, the Bring it Home Campaign was formed four years ago.

These recovery based housing programs have not kept pace with inflation and are significantly underfunded . Governor Cuomo was right to stress the importance of these programs and support avenues throughout the pandemic so far, and we hope that his Executive Budget includes adequate increased funding to ensure these vital programs are able to remain open to serve our community through this challenging time.
 
Never before has the importance of funding been highlighted than by the last nine months, after the pandemic struck. ACL is a statewide membership organization of not-for-profit agencies that provide housing and rehabilitation services to about 40,000 people, and for as long as we’ve been fighting for it, our requests for adequate funding from the state have not met the full need for these services.

The pandemic has further brought to light the vulnerability of those who are living with psychiatric disabilities. And when those disabilities have been compounded by the effects of the pandemic, providers have been left to do more with less. Despite risks to their own health, the essential workers within the provider facilities have provided compassionate care to vulnerable New Yorkers with mental illness every day, and throughout the pandemic.

We look to the Governor to make sure these residents of New York are not forgotten, yet supported in their recovery. We anxiously await the Executive Budget, and hope that he chooses to provide proper access to care for this sick and disabled population.”
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