Residents Corner

Special acknowledgements are going out to the consumers mentioned below for their persistence and dedication to higher education.

Anthony was discharged from Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in May of 2006. Up until then he had several years of very difficult years resulting in numerous hospitalizations leading to his admission at Greystone. Last year Anthony was accepted and enrolled to Lincoln Technical Institute and is taking classes 5 days per week. He is enrolled in a certification program for Criminal Justice and is receiving straight A’s and doing really well. He is expecting to graduate sometime in the early Fall and is hoping to pursue a career as a security guard or a police officer. Anthony has also held a few part-time jobs over the past few years.

Anthony has steadily been increasing his ability to independently manage both his mental health and ability to live in an apartment on his own. Despite a history of substance abuse he has recovered from that as well and is living a clean and sober life and living with a high level of psychiatric stability. Anthony’s relationship with his parents has also improved significantly.

John attended a lab assistant program at JFK Hospital and has successfully completed it. He also started attending NJIT in the Fall of 2009. He is scheduled to graduate in the Fall of 2010 with a degree in Electrical Engineering.

SB-will be graduating from Bergen Community College in May 2010 and was accepted to William Paterson College for the Fall 2010 semester.

Brittany- Great job balancing college and work.

Scott- Congratulations on completing your course.

The consumers from the Homeless Service Team (HoST) and the staff enjoy one of the beautiful days in June having a picnic by the water.

We are pleased to announce that Ms. Beverly McFarlane has been recently appointed as a biographical candidate to represent Hackensack, NJ in the 2009/2010 online Cambridge Who’s Who Registry among Executive and Professional Women. Congratulations Beverly!!!

Mr. Melvin Wilkins is described as an energetic, kind, likeable and social male who is a “sharp dresser”. Melvin has been receiving services from Advance Housing, Inc. since 2006.

He grew up as a twin with 4 other siblings in Teaneck, NJ.  When Melvin graduated from high school he went to college where he majored in Business Administration. He has a daughter and one grandchild. Melvin has fought bouts of mental illness throughout his life. When he was discharged from the State hospital 3 years ago he lived in a group home and then started receiving services from Advance Housing, Inc. He has a great support network from his support groups and family members. He has been successfully living in the community since his discharge. These days Melvin is working toward financial independence with his case manager, Ms. Theodora Carter. Melvin would like to go back to school to pursue a music degree.

Although Melvin majored in Business while in college his true passion is music. He is a singer who makes demos and one day wishes to go on the road to showcase his talent.

Frank Robertson, HoST consumer, speaks of faith and compassion at the Congressional Reception

Homelessness can happen to anyone of us!
Faith and compassion are keys to ending homelessness!

Frank Robertson, spoke with passion and commitment about his faith and what it takes to end homelessness at the 2nd Annual Congressional Reception. His speech before more than 200 participants focused on his experiences. He spoke of becoming homeless even though he had grown up in Bergen County with many options. He also spoke about how faith and compassion are key ingredients that are necessary to end homelessness.

Click here to read full article!

Click here to listen to Frank’s speech! [MP3, 7.25Mb]

Credit: NJ Advocacy Network and Monarch Housing

Below, please find an account of one of Advance Housing, Inc’s consumers’ feedback on the Wellness Recovery Action Plan.

My name is Moe
For me my illness is like being Dorothy (Wizard of Oz) in a cyclone

Not only does Advance Housing have a Wellness Mission, but they live the Wellness Mission. This is the Wellness Mission Statement and some examples of how the Wellness Mission has impacted my life


The mission of Advance Housing, Inc. Clinical Services is to provide support services to mental health consumers in order to foster independent and fulfilling lives. Advance Housing, Inc. strives to optimize consumer’s quality of life and journey towards wellness by means of collaborative efforts with community based resources. Integration of the Wellness and Recovery Model principles are utilized to further support self-sufficiency as well as to reduce stigma associated with mental illness. In order to maximize each consumer’s sense of well-being, staff provides encouragement and support to each consumer on an individual basis so that consumers are able to achieve their self-defined goals. On a daily basis the clinical staff strives to assist consumers by increasing community integration and self-reliance.

Support services to foster independent and fulfilling lives

  • Socializing is very important to me. I like that the Advance Housing’s weekly Saturday outings provide me with an opportunity for socialization.
  • I know that it is important for me to have some structure and to be able to get out of the house. My case manager encourages and supports my independent efforts.
  • When I’m with my case manager I just need someone to be there, to talk to over coffee, to be like a buddy, to have someone to go to the park or go shopping with.
  • I feel that all the staff is there when I need someone just to talk to.
  • My case manager takes me to the store for wool. This is very important to me. I enjoy crocheting, I teach it at my day program. I’m always making things for others. I would like to do more crocheting projects to support fundraisers for important humane causes.
  • I know that I can depend on the program. In a medical crisis someone is always there to provide transportation and support.
  • I believe that the staff sees me as a total person: social, medical and spiritual.

Maximize a sense of well being staff provides encouragement and support on an individual basis to achieve self defined goals

  • The staff makes me feel that they care. For example they work and give up their weekends and holidays. I really enjoy and appreciate that. I look forward to Thanksgiving dinner. It’s like getting together with the gang.
  • The staff is kind-hearted and warm.
  • I learn something new from every case manager I have had. Right now it’s good for me to have a case manager close to my own age because we have something in common.
  • I like the support of the staff when there is a problem. No matter what I need they go out of their way and find a way to help me. For example recently when I suddenly broke my finger they got me to the hospital then home. When the phone wasn’t working my case manager couldn’t get through the door bell because the phone, which was linked to it, was disconnected and not working. She found a way to get through to me and helped get it fixed immediately.
  • The staff is always easy to talk to and will always try to help me find answers.
  • They have taught me basic living skills.
  • I am grateful that there is always somebody there at the end of the phone.
  • I have input into my treatment plans. We come to a decision together. It is my plan, not like the institutions where they just tell you what to do, and when to do it, and you make no decisions.
  • I like that I have small goals that are attainable.
  • I would like to work with fundraisers, to work with arts and crafts or work with seniors. I can stuff envelopes or crochet gifts. I enjoy working with people. I was happy to recently participate by making baby blankets for the recent fundraiser for Advance Housing. I hope that I can be helpful again to them and others in the future. I like feeling useful.
  • I think it is important to have dreams and hope. The staff encourages my hopes and dreams.

Integration of Wellness and Recovery Model principles utilized to further support self sufficiency and reduce stigma

  • Being in the program has increased my confidence.
  • Their support has made me a better person and helped me to believe in myself.
  • They help me with the stresses and problems of everyday life.
  • My case managers have given me advice on alternative ways of doing things for example budgeting and smart shopping.
  • The staff never judged me. They let me be me; I don’t have to hide my mental illness.

Optimize quality of life and journey towards wellness by collaborative efforts with community based resources

  • I like that they keep in communication with my other programs and professionals about my medications and problems.
  • My goal is to get my own apartment when I get my Section 8. I like living with my roommate she is a great friend, but I look forward to my own kitchen and bathroom and being able to entertain freely. I know that I will have help when I get my Section 8 from Advance Housing. They have a program that helps you find an apartment.

Assist by increasing community integration and self reliance

  • For the future I would be very interested during daylight to participate in peer support and self help groups.
  • Doing the WRAP made me think about a lot of things. I know I need to change my diet. After my breast cancer I knew I had to get serious and I stopped smoking. I was able to do it. It was easier then because I had the patch and I was in a controlled environment at the hospital. If you got caught you’d lose privileges or couldn’t have visitors. I’m not ready to start the diet now because I fear it will trigger my depression and manic phase. I also remember when I had a bad reaction when I went on a crash diet. My case manager has talked about nutrition and I know that when I am ready to start a diet that she will be there for me.

“Give a man a fish you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime. Learn to fish I want to teach others”

“No Man is an Island”

Mr. Henry Hedderich of Fair Lawn knows this reality all too well. As part of the greatest generation, Corporal Hedderich was stationed on the North Field of Guam. He later fought on Iwo Jima and would see the famous flag raisings on Mount Surabachi.

“All we wanted on those islands was the airfield, the airfield, the airfield!” While resting on Guam, Hedderich’s canteen cup came loose. By an unbelieveable twist of fate it would take him 57 years to get it back.

Sergeant Larry Darras, a Vietnam veteran decorated with the Purple Heart, was taking part in a National Guard exercise on Guam. While resting on the island’s North Field, he found Hedderich’s canteen cup. Fearing that this might have been the spot where Henry had been killed, Darras did an internet search. To his relief, Darras found Hedderich very much alive, residing along with his wife in Fair Lawn, New Jersey.

April of 1945, Luteinant Ira Zippert was stationed on a B29 named “City of Arcadia”. As part of the 29th Bomb Group, Zippert took part on a mission over Tokyo. While returning, one of the plane’s four engines had trouble. Rather than risk an eight hour flight over the Pacific Ocean the pilot of Zippert’s plane made a successful emergency landing on Iwo Jima, despite heavy fighting near the airfield. Ira Zippert just so happens to be my Grandfather. I am also proud to call Henry Hedderich my neighbor. Had it not been for the courage and sacrifice of men like Corporal Henry Hedderich, many American aircraft and their crews would have perished. This heroism was depicted in the recent film, Flags of our Fathers.

It is important to recognize the sacrifice of our service men and women not just during the holidays but all year round. Perhaps it is even more important to realize that we as Americans all need one another, and that no man is an Island.

By Barry P.


My home is more than some place I hang my hat and sleep.

My home is my sanctuary, my oasis away from the cold.

In my home I can eat, rest, pray, meditate and create little gifts.

My home is my pride and joy and I try to keep her as clean as possible.

My home is a place where I can be myself; listen to music or just watch TV.

I pray my home will always be my home.

By Maureen L.


I drop coin after coin into your little scotted mouth.

Never reaching the party I want, recording after recording.

I wait to hear from Ali and Adelle.

Maybe later, maybe tomorrow.

By Maureen L.


Last night I came to the hospital.

I was so upset I couldn’t do anything but cry.

Today I went to an exercise class and feel better already.

The nurses and therapist remembered me from last time and were friendly, not judging.

I talked to my sister, my room mate and therapist.

I just came in for a tune up, not an engine overhaul.

By Maureen L.

By John M.

This is a short story about a man and his boat. His family and the ocean had thought it was for the birds. They sent his boys to school while he went to work. It was a short week but they looked forward to the weekend to go sailing. His wife went sailing on the week-end as well. There was a lot of work on the boat that took place during the fall and winter to get it ready for spring and summer. The sails, the lights, the engine, oh yes, it had a motor as well as sails. They docked on the river and they sailed from north to south on the Atlantic Ocean. Summer was the best time for sailing. Winter was the time for celebrations on shore. The boat stayed docked.

During the storms the winds were up to 50 mph as the rain came down and lightning was visible and thunder crashed. Some mornings were the best time for sailing and to check the wiring to make sure everything works. Afternoon for lunch on the boat and maybe a short swim in the water made them feel good. The sky was clear and the sun was bright blue skies for the west wind was afloat. A book on electrical wiring was helpful to the boats electrics, C-B radio as well as the night lights had to be checked. An OHM-meter was used to check connections in the wiring. Also, don’t let the fuel run dry as well as the water reservoir for fresh water to drink and cook. Some boats really show their age. To make a long story short, when do we go sailing the south west wind. Some boats are so big they call them yachts.

John M.
As soon as I build my boat. Scrambled eggs anyone.


To Advance Housing Staff:

I’ve been in an Advance Housing Condo since June of 2001. My first counselor visited me several times when I was in the hospital. Denise always took me for wool which I don’t have transportation otherwise.

My new counselor, Ali has helped us several times with things in the condo.

When I was tested for Ovarian Cancer all the counselors always took time to listen.

The socials which I need have been very rewarding to me.

Someday Hopefully there will be more places like Advance Housing for the mentally ill.

Thank You.


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