By: Noelle Lambert
December’s Charity of the Month is:
Options for Community Living, Inc.
Options for Community Living, Inc. is a local not for profit organization whose mission is to assist individuals and families in need develop their fullest potential for independent living.
Options was formed in 1982 to respond to the need for supportive housing for people with serious mental illness. The Mental Health Residential Program grew rapidly, and in 1994 Options introduced case management services to Long Islanders living with HIV/AIDS. Soon after, a housing program for this population was started as well. More recently, Options has partnered with Long Island Health Homes to offer care coordination services to high need Medicaid users with chronic illnesses through the Access to Care Program. As of today, Options serves more than 1,800 adults and children annually through its programs and manages over 180 scattered housing sites across Nassau and Suffolk counties!
Options care coordinators help connect people to health care services and a myriad of resources. Often their clients are homeless or on the brink of homelessness. This is especially difficult when young children are involved. Last year, the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless reported that on a given night in January, 3,937 people on Long Island are homeless. 75% are families with children.
The following story shows an example of what is possible when help is provided and hope is not lost!
When their care coordinator Fran first met Linda, she and her daughter had been homeless for over a year and were living in a women’s shelter. Linda had experienced a lot of trauma in her life, the greatest of which was learning that she had contracted the HIV virus following a long-term relationship.
Fran provided Linda with some housing resources and when she found an apartment, Fran helped her apply for financial assistance to cover the security deposit. Linda has maintained her housing for over a year now!
“The most satisfying feeling came over me during my first visit to Linda’s apartment,” said Fran, “when her daughter pulled me by the hand to show me her room.”
If you wish to inquire about receiving help as well, or you want to volunteer and or donate to this organization, please contact their Development Director, Denise Waterhouse at DWaterhouse@OptionsCL.org!
Looking to make a difference this holiday season?
Each week I write this column that I started a little over a year ago, but for this issue I wanted to mention a fundraiser that I started through an organization that is very dear to my heart, The Water Project.
The Water Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that unlocks human potential by providing reliable water projects to communities in sub-Saharan Africa, which suffer from a lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation. My fundraising goal is $12,000, which if reached will allow this organization to fully fund a water project in a needy community! If I do not reach my fundraising goal, they will take all that I raised and put it towards helping as many people as possible in sub-Saharan Africa.
I can not imagine lacking access to clean water and it breaks my heart knowing that is a reality for some people. I can’t sit back and do nothing about this problem. Please join me in helping others in need by donating to my fundraiser online at www.TheWaterProject.org/community/profile/noellescfw ! Any donation will help!
Thank you in advance! – Noelle Lambert
If you would like your organization to be featured in this column, e-mail