The Columbia Street Apartments, CSA, are transitional training apartments located at 900 Columbia Street in Hudson.
This transitioned residents from a community residence, to living with fewer roommates at North 5th Street, living, learning, and working on independence in their own apartment.
Watching this transformation, seeing the growth, believing in hope and recovery is worth it. It shows that recovery is possible, and to not give up.
CSA staff assists and supports residents in their individual apartments with person centered goals devised by the resident. The empowerment that they feel, them choosing the direction of their recovery, even taking small steps are worth the walk.
Here at CSA we have regularly scheduled house meetings where we discuss anything and everything. Everyone has a voice and a vote on what happens at 900 Columbia Street. They choose their own activities. CSA staff member Ana Arsenio Dolan devises a monthly activity schedule from the house meeting. She also offers choices of activities that are available in the area. Every Sunday residents have the option to attend church services.
Some of the other trips that occur regularly are trips to the bank and personal shopping. One of our residents takes a cab to St. Mary’s if a ride is not available.
We have annual trips to Lake George, the Million Dollar Pier in New Jersey, New York City ball games that are shared with the apartment program. In addition, we have trips to different lakes and parks. We enjoy different ‘Music in the Park’ in both counties.
This year we received a special anniversary invitation from Lyceum Cinemas. All of the residents were able to get in free to celebrate their anniversary.
NAMI holds their monthly support group at the 900 Columbia Street once a month. Four staff and all of the residents supported NAMI by stamping out stigma by participating in the “Walking across the Hudson” event.
We also devised MHACGC Team Hope for “Out of the Darkness Walk”. Ana Dolan continues to design and create shirts for the individuals who walk.
This year staff made a banner and Sabrina McWhirt made small hearts to put names of lost loved ones on this banner. The entire house and staff participated in this walk as we all support AFSP and the MHACG Team Hope.
As for the holidays, we voted on having Thanksgiving a day early. Everyone cooks a dish or donates an item for all to share. We do the same thing for other holidays.
As the cooler weather comes, Ana does her annual making bread and homemade soup once a month. Again each resident participates and shares the meal. Every Thursday each male has to pick and chooses a meal of their choice to prepare as part of the ’Men’s Cooking Group.’
Willie Walker demonstrates the start to finish process with the people who choose the meal. The CCMHC has called and asked if two of their male clients could partici-pate, and they have on occasion.
Our Hospital Diversion Bed has worked great. We serve many people to prevent hospitalization and it has done so well that we ran out of funding before the end of the year. We have been able to assist and support many individuals using this bed or the situational bed at CSA.
Submitted by: Sabrina McWhirt