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Project Hope

October 30, 2012

In the immediate aftermath of the Storm Sandy disaster, several Clubhouse and Suffolk County United Veterans staff lent a hand at the Red Cross/FEMA shelter at St. Josephs College. Under the direction of Associate Director Roni DeKoning, support and assistance was provided to people with mental health concerns, providing essential linkages to emergency room treatment, shelters, and additional vital community resources.

Subsequent to these initial efforts, Clubhouse of Suffolk was selected by the Suffolk County Division of Community Mental Health Services to participate in Project Hope, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sponsored post-disaster crisis counseling project serving people affected by the Storm Sandy disaster. The Clubhouse of Suffolk Project Hope team offers crisis counseling to residents in the Towns of Brookhaven and Riverhead. Clubhouse of Suffolk, along with Suffolk County United Veterans, provides these services to Veterans affected by the storm across all of Suffolk County.

Project Hope crisis counseling draws on a community's resilience and an individual's strength. The program is free and confidential, case files are not maintained. Our trained counselors are available to help individuals, families and organizations impacted by the disaster. The Project Hope team is co-coordinated by Ms. DeKoning and Ruth Del Rosario, Coordinator of Quality Control for Clubhouse of Suffolk. If you or someone you know needs help, either with individual crisis counseling or a group education presentation, please contact us at (631) 471-7242 ext 1010 or by clicking here. Information is available in English and Spanish.

Initial efforts which led to Project Hope began in 2001 subsequent to the attacks on the World Trade Center in NYC. Together, Roni and Ruth headed a Project Liberty Team, connecting with the families impacted by the tragic event, providing crisis counseling and education in communities across Suffolk County. Funding for the project was also provided by FEMA and overseen by the New York State Office of Mental Health.

Clubhouse of Suffolk is a 501(c)(3) not for profit mental health organization licensed by the NYS Office of Mental Health to provide psychiatric rehabilitation and case management services to over 1,500 adults each year living in communities across Suffolk County, NY. Clubhouse of Suffolk has locations in Ronkonkoma and Riverhead. In the past two years, Clubhouse of Suffolk has merged with two additional non-profits in order to respond further to emerging mental health needs of our community: 1) Suffolk County United Veterans, an organization providing emergency and transitional shelter and support services to homeless and at-risk Veterans, most of whom are affected by mental health and substance abuse problems; and 2) Mental Health Association in Suffolk, which provides information and referral, advocacy, public education, and peer specialist training and support programs. More information can be found online at

For further information, contact:
Ruth DelRosario, Coordinator of Quality Control
Telephone: (631) 471-7242 ext 1312
Roni DeKoning, Associate Director
Telephone: (631) 471-7242 ext 1319