Unique People Services, Inc. (UPS) is a New York-based nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization founded by Lynn Wonsang in 1991. Our mission is to serve–holistically and without judgment–those who may have been denied compassionate and considerate treatment elsewhere due to their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, developmental level, health status or criminal or substance use history. We are dedicated to providing a home and supportive services to persons with special and challenging needs–men and women we consider to be members of our family. Our staff strives to make these homes the warmest, safest and most welcoming environment in which to live.
Since 1991, we have grown and now operate 24 supportive housing programs in the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn, Queens, and Westchester. Each year more than 500 persons stay within one of our residences. They receive meals and other support services that include case management and focusing on achieving the highest possible level of independent living. We offer both transitional and permanent housing for formerly homeless persons with HIV/AIDS, long-term and permanent housing for formerly homeless persons with a mental illness, and permanent housing for adults with developmental disabilities.
The primary goals of the HIV/AIDS transitional housing programs are to help residents stabilize their lives; assist them in securing entitlements and to refer them to permanent housing. Referrals are also made for medical and psychological care and for substance abuse counseling. Meals are offered at the residences, as well as recreational services and nutritional counseling. A staff nurse provides medical coverage and monitors medications and medical treatment adherence for the residents. Our transitional housing programs, located in the Bronx and Manhattan, have the capacity to serve up to 73 individuals. Through our Permanent & Supportive Housing Programs, up to 254 formerly homeless single persons and families are served in Scattered Site apartments located throughout the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens. Our Care Coordination Program for People Living with AIDS, the Bainbridge Care Coordination Program, is based in the Bronx. We partnered with Montefiore Hospital AIDS Center to assist up to 200 individuals who are newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS or have not received care during the previous 9 months, to ensure they are connected or reconnected with consistent medical care in a timely and coordinated manner.
Care and housing for persons with serious and persistent mental illnesses in New York State has to a great extent moved away from hospitals and into the community. UPS is helping to fill the need within the community by operating seven mental health-housing programs in the Bronx. We operate two Community Residence Single Room Occupancy Bronx residences (Haven and Hunter Apartments) that provide services to 98 formerly homeless mentally ill men and women. We provide our residents with comprehensive case management, medical and psychiatric monitoring, and nutritional and recreational services. For those who are capable of living in a more independent setting, UPS operates six Supported Housing Programs located in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Westchester, which provides permanent housing to over 100 formerly homeless mentally ill men and women and their families.