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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Sound Community Services Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: To deliver comprehensive, recovery-focused services in a person-centered, outcome driven and responsive environment, respectful of the diversity and individual needs within the community.

Programs: New london outpatient - provides outpatient individual and group counseling, intensive outpatient day treatment, medication management and assessment services. The program also operates the cssd and federal probation contracts from this location.

yas right of passage program - a residential program that works primarily with young adults (18-25) who are diagnosed with a form of autism, pdd, aspergers, etc. In combination with an axis i diagnosis. The focus of the program is to teach and mentor these young adults and assist them and their families with achieving goals that they never thought they would be able to reach.

supervised apartment program - is a residential supported apartment program housing 21 individuals in single and two bedroom apartments and affording 24 / 7 staffing on the premise. The program is for adults 18+ with severe and persistent illness that require the supports and skills training in order to rehabilitated or habilitate the skills needed for independent living in the community. The program is staffed with an on-site program manager who oversees the day to day operations, a case manager who provides the case management needs of the 21 clients residing in the program, a rehabilitation specialist to teach skills development and support community integration and mental health workers to provide oversight, support and skills development.

Community Stories

46 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sounds Commitment to Community Health Services is so far beyond expectations.
It is truly amazing to see that Commitment in action!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I came to Sound new in the field, green with passion for the work that they do. I was eager to get in and support the community, providing support to those who need it. I had ideas to improve the clinical services and the Sound leaders were open and welcoming, to me, fresh to the field. They supported my ideas and we were able to provide new services to the community within the first 18 months, after research and planning.
For my ideas to be welcomed and later implemented was so powerful in my foundation years in my career. Sound is an agency that supports growth and progress in those it serves, as well as the employees. There is a high focus on offering professional development to the team.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sound Community Services (SCSI) is truly one of the better employers in southeastern Connecticut. As an employee of almost 10 years of service at SCSI I have seen many changes, but the heart and soul of the agency has always been focused on the employee and the client.

Current leadership is a strong blend of veteran employees with diverse backgrounds creating a well-rounded approach to drive the agency forward.

Culture at SCSI has never been better as the Executive Team continues to focus on long-term growth and development of the agency as a whole; not a single lay-off during COVID19 and all clients still received services (tele-medicine, outreach, etc).

I am proud to be a part of this organization.

Previous Stories
4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of working at SCSI for 7 years. During that time I have been treated fairly, had my thoughts and ideas encouraged and supported, and given many opportunities to advance my career. SCSI nurtures the development of their staff and has a deliberate approach towards consistent agency improvement.

The people served at SCSI are treated as part of a family, without stigma. Every attempt is made by SCSI to serve our customers with dignity, respect, empathy, and to support them on their journey of recovery.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I recently bumped into an old friend who shared with me that he was going to Sound Community Services to see his Case Manager.

He is frustrated in his life right now, dealing with the affects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) suffered decades ago, and grand mal seizures brought on by the TBI. He has been unable to work steadily, and became emotional when telling me about how it is affecting his life.

He was thrilled, however, to tell me about how his Case Manager from Sound is amazing, and how much he has been helping my friend as he tries to navigate the social security/disability system and all the paperwork that goes with it. He told me that without his Case Manager, he wouldn't have made any progress at all.

He feels supported by the staff at Sound Community, and mentioned that even during the pandemic, he has been in contact with his Case Manager regularly.

Thank you, Sound Community, for taking such good care of my friend!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been working in the non-profit field for many years. I inevitably run across a person served or an employee of Sound Community Services. On many occasions I have been given the opportunity to connect with Sound and have always been pleased the show of respect and dignity they treat each other as well as those they serve. I have referred friends to their services when asked who I would choose. It is a comfort to have Sound Community Services in the neighborhood.

Alex V.4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked for Sound Community since 2005 it was the first job out of college. I began in a weekend position and was in that position for 10 years. All the While working at other social services agencies full time. Some of the Agencies were better than others but I always felt at home here at sound. The work we do here is rewarding, we help improve people’s lives through the work we do. It is not to say that the other agencies did not assist individuals, because they did. However, at times you can lose sight of what is important when the work becomes more of a priority then the individual you are trying to help. The deadline and numbers are prioritized above the real work one can become disillusioned. After 10 years working full time at other agencies, I took a full-time position at sound. I think I'll summarize it with one word Family. This Agency has a feeling of family you may disagree with something, but you are never made to feel intimidated. You can voice your concerns and express your feelings. Great place to work!

Board Member

Rating: 5

SCSI’s mission is clear. The organization truly cares about their clients, the community and their employees. Proud to be a part of the organization!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Sound Community Services is a very diverse, ambitious, hopeful and flexible environment to serve the members of our community and to work in! We have a wide range of services that become customized according to each of the clients needs. Even through these tough times, we still try our best to provide the support our person served acquire. Working here during a pandemic has been very accommodating and feasible. Our HR department has done a great job at overseeing their employees during a global pandemic and supporting us to our needs.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked for Sound Community Services Inc. for over 5 years now and appreciate all the knowledge, education and support I have received. A common theme I hear from new hire's is how kind and welcoming all the employees are at SCSI. I am proud to be a member of the SCSI team and community. There is so much potential for growth and employees are supported by leaders who are well educated professionals.

Previous Stories
2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sound Community Services offers exceptional wrap around care. They are always open to feedback and finding new inventive ways support the community. I am honored to be apart of the team!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

SCSI allows clients to reach their optimal wellness by providing client centered care and individualized treatment goals. The staff is energetic, positive, innovative and creative and their clients have fun while learning to be a healthier version of themselves. The variety of services provided allows for care under one roof and the clients rave about the fun they have participating in all the events and having the opportunity to socialize and meet new members of their community. The CEO is always around taking pictures and interacting with clients during all the events and even in the hallways, which you usually do not see in other organizations. He makes the clients know that he gets up and does this every day for them. That is so refreshing to see. SCSI is a wonderful place to clients and staff. Staff stay at Sound for years and truly love what they do everyday and that energy and passion is infectious. You are always in good hands whether you are an employee, client, colleague or a member of the local community, knowing SCSI is there as the local Community Mental Health Center if you have any behavioral health needs or are just looking for some support. I have the fortnate position as an employee of Sound Community as the Director of Outpatient Services and it is so rewarding to work with an amazing leadership team who allows me to be creative, innovative and works along side me as a team so we can build programs and plan together to bring clients the best services using evidenced based practices. I am excited to continue my clinical leadership career here!!!

Marcia B.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a nurse in my first year of employment as a clinical coordinator at Sound Community Services. I have been impressed with the focus on the health and wellbeing of our clients and the emphasis on selfcare for the staff. During this time of pandemic, I have been amazed and honored to work for an agency that has shown determination not to walk away from the challenges and a creative and continued dedication to the clients we serve.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In today’s America inclusion and diversity are more important than ever. Sound Community not only provides an array of services, they pride themselves around accurate representation to serve the needs of the community. No one is left out and it is a place where everyone belongs. Sound feels like home to many, where lifelong bonds are established, memories are made and recovery happens!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The story of Sound can mirror a person going through their recovery process. From very dark times, to ones that exude hope and gratitude, Sound's journey is one that has inspired many during time times. A place where the peoples' needs are put first who have been inflicted with illness with new strategies in empowering them to lead their own paths.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been a part of this agency for many years and have watched it turn in something amazing. When I first started in the field I didn't know what to expect but over the last half a decade I have watched our staff and leadership transform the agency into a desirable place to work. Our clients are rock stars because of the support provided by the staff in the agency. I have seen staff go above and beyond and showing support of people in need. Over the last few years I have seen and heard more and more success stories from clients in the agency, which is a true testament to what is being done in the agency. It is nice being proud of a place where you work, and I am proud for what the agency has accomplished in our community.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization has gone through a transformation in recent years and during the pandemic closure period modified their programs with agility to even increase their already-effective programming. Sound was ahead of the curve AND their peers AND their state funders.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Sound community services continues to show the community that they are a leader in the field of mental health services. Even during the COVID pandemic they continued to provide 24/7 residential services, tele-meds, employment services and still helping those who are homeless to find their way. A truly amazing agency filled with heart!

Previous Stories
3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing agency that continues to increase the quality of excellence to the community. Their staff are focused on results and the health of the community is feeling their services in a very positive manner

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1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am so happy to be a part of this phenomenal organization. The commitment to the overall well-being and success of the amazing clients and staff is inspiring!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been employed for almost 2 years new. My experience has been nothing short of amazing. Never would I have thought that my personal development would be taken so seriously. I have been attending trainings, provided by leaders in the agency who model leadership like no others. The commitment to clients has created a real feeling of "community" and this makes coming to work such a pleasure

3

Advisor

Rating: 5

This agency continues to amaze me. Their ability to grow and serve our community is making change in areas that have been lacking for years. Tackling hard issues like mental health and substance abuse issues for young adults is amazing.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am truly impressed by the way in which the staff at Sound Community Services live it's mission and values on a daily basis. The service innovation and systems integration efforts that are being utilized to better support the individuals served by the agency are particularly exciting. The strong relationships, growth opportunities, and success stories shared by both staff and clients at Sound Community Services demonstrate just how special the role of this agency is in the local community!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The staff as Sound are incredible! They come to work each and every day filled with compassion and dedication to ensure that they are always doing their best to meet the needs of their clients. When you walk through the halls, you are always greeted with kindness and a smile from staff and clients. It really is an inspiring and fulfilling place to work.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked at SCSI for many years. SCSI allows its employees to be creative as well as take on special '" above and beyond projects ". Other non-profits I worked for had managers that considered going above and beyond or being creative as a threat to their turf. SCSI wants you to have a meaningful work experience, to take part in social change and to have impact on those we serve. Growth is nourished at SCSI and there is an absence of favoritism.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I continue to be inspired by this organization and could not feel more proud to work here with such talented staff toward the same mission in serving our clients and the community! The clinical treatment and wrap around service and care provided is second to none. I’m thankful every day for the work I get to do in a creative and innovative environment!

Previous Stories
4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I joined SCSI 6 months ago and it was one of the wisest decisions I ever made!!! I have the honor and pleasure of developing and enhancing clinical programs to best serve our clients and our community. I have never worked in a place where you can find the CEO high fiving clients as he walks into the building because he takes the time to KNOW the clients we all serve! Everyone jumps in and everyone has the same vision, and that is to do our very best to create access for more community members to receive a variety of services so they can live their lives to the fullest! WE are all a team here and I am so fortunate to be a part of this agency and this community! ~ Director of Outpatient Services

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have bee a client receiving services over the past year. The staff there in the residential and outpatient clinic have saved my life. The IOP clinical staff helped me to move forward and have the courage to make change so I can have a meaningful life.

Previous Stories
5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sound Community Services is an agency that has navigated through a tough transition over the past few years. Gino DeMaio, CEO has to make difficult decisions regarding the replacement of underperforming staff who are not committed to bringing in professional, client-focused who are focused on outcomes and a better future.
Gino DeMaio has also instilled a new vision, a new level of transparency across the agency.

Having to overcome the negative legacy left by the last leader, Gino DeMaio and his team have given new hope to the community.

Review from Guidestar

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sound Community continues to grow and have impact in ways that other non profit do not in Southeastern CT. Their young adult services is changing lives for young adults where other systems have failed them. Thank you SCSI for the work you do!

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I'm so proud of the leadership that has taken place at this agency over the past few years. They are mission-driven, filled with passion and focused on the greater good of those dealing with mental health and substance issues.

I'm honored to be part of the Board.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a client served by SCSI, my life has improved in ways too great to try to express. I went for being depressed to the degree that I could not even leave my apartment to having a job, being a volunteer and now I am returning back to school. My case manager, clinician and other staff at Oasis have saved my life.

Thank you

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sound Community is an organization that provides people with hope. Anybody who has or has been impacted by mental health challenges and/or substance abuse recovery can join the Sound community and be met where they are at and accepted for who they are. The entire team at Sound is truly dedicated to making sure all clients have the best resources available to them. This is done by creating a truly integrated service model through which everybody who walks through the doors is evaluated and offered the opportunity to participate in a full range of support services. Whether people want to engage in case management, medication management, individual or group therapy, intensive outpatient work, employment support, residential programs, young adult programming or social/community activities, Sound's staff will make those in-house connections and create a customized care plan to meet those needs.
Sound has gone through many challenges and changes over its lifetime and has now hit a new level of integration, community engagement and colleague support that directly correlates to powerful, long-lasting community health and wellness. Whether it is partnering with Mitchell College, working along side other service agencies or advocating at the state Capital, Sound is leading the way in raising up those on the margins and bringing them into the center of society. It's amazing to be a part of such a powerful transformation!
Sound is what it is today because of the staff. Full of energy, passion and a deep commitment to social change, their work transcends day-to-day activities and is truly in their blood. The people who work at Sound do so because they want to be a part of changing perceptions around those with behavioral health and substance abuse recovery challenges. This is done through clinical, medical, residential and community work as well as education, advocacy and engagement across New London County. You will find no better representation of fulfilling a mission to improve the community than Sound Community Services!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sound Community Service is an amazing place to work. We work hard to empower our clients and help them succeed. We empower our staff to show their full potential.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sound is an incredible resource in the New London Community. They are a place where individuals with mental and behavioral health needs and substance abuse needs go to find supports and tools to help them in their unique paths to recovery. I have personally witness struggling individuals find happiness and health in was they never thought possible. In addition to helping their clients, they are also an incredible place to work. Staff are valued, encouraged, and given the opportunity to become their best selves. I am proud to be a part of the Sound Community and to make an impact on the lives of others.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

SCSI is a great place to have all the help one may need under one roof. Whether someone needs help with housing, employment, socialization, medication support, or therapy, there is such an array of services.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure to work with the clients from the Oasis Center to help beautify our beloved Ocean Beach Park in New London. their willingness to give back to the community is amazing and their leadership recognized their efforts by memorializing these efforts in a beautiful stone bench dedicated to the Oasis Center.

5 letshelp

Former staff

Rating: 5

I love this agency. After years of leadership by a person that did nothing to improve the agency, a culture of non-services lived. Under the new leadership, people are now getting what they need to be better employees and there are expectations that we all will focus out attention on the people we serve. Something we need direction, expectations and healthy boundaries. If lazy overpaid people think they and just not serve, this is not the place to work. The new CEO is a visionary who has awaken the staff, clients and agency with his leadership that leads from the heart, but at the same time pushes his staff to be accountable, and creative.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I was a client served for over 4 years with high staff turnover. Then I was hired in a peer position, retaliated against by co-workers due to stigma, bullied by my supervisor and then terminated for advocating in the community for a client that was being taken advantage of financially by another medical provider.

2 Lyndon M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a person in Recovery and a member of the "Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness" I have found Sound Community to be the only agency with wrap around services, Housing, Safety Net, Income and Employment.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I can't be more proud of an organization than I am of Sound Community Services, having served on the board of directors since 1998 and as chairman for 3years until 2010. After being witness to friends and family members suffering from various mental illnesses(manic depression, paranoia followed by substance abuse resulting in several deaths and suicide attempts) and failed treatments , I grabbed at the opportunity to serve and try to make a small difference. I thought the intent of the non-profit of helping adults adapt back into the community both socially and possibly employment wise was wonderful. Immediately after I joined the board of First Step Inc. trajedy struck with the murder of a manager. But our board showed it's mettle in leadership by supporting improved treatment, improving safeguards for our employees and clients, community education about our organization and mental illness, and merging First Step Inc.(case management) and IBH(clinical side) into Sound Community Services Inc. in 2005 with the result of providing seamless care for our clients.Our board was formed by merging both boards but quickly took on it's own personality. With the direction of our CEO Dr. Gail Lawson we have perfomed the merger, in process of moving our day program, the Oasis Center,to a better andlarger facility,have an in-house pharmacy,moved the Norwich clinic to a newer facility, expanded housing, and in the process of acquiring a building to better house SCS. I am also extermely proud of the development of our fundraising aspects of the board. We have many members actively involved.One example of usage of the money raise is to send two clints to High Hopes for therapeutic riding. Oter monies will be used for capital expenses.The saddest part is that I am off the board for one year after serving three cosecutive 3 year terms! But I do volunteer on some committees.

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a Board member since 2003, I am always delighted to have a chance to speak on behalf of Sound Community Services. When I originally joined the Board, it was my intention to serve a 3-year stint and then move on. Now, 8 years later, with the exception of a one-year hiatus required after every 9 years of service, I am committed to SCSI for as long as I am able. I have been a marriage and family therapist in private practice for nearly 30 years, and in that capacity, have had occasion to work with clients who, either themselves or their families, have been consumers of the many and varied services of SCSI. Time and again, both in my practice and as a Board member I have had the oppportunity to witness both the professional skill and the human compassion of the excellent staff at SCSI. In my experience, they are an exceptional team.

Review from Guidestar

2

Donor

Rating: 4

A few months ago I attended a fund raiser for this organization. The persons involved with the event were very helpful, friendly and responsible. They were attentive to their guests and their tasks at hand. From my brief interactions I could see the volumteers were very dedicated to their organization and seemed committed to their cause. they seem to have a deep and valuable sense of community. That is a valuable thing.

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been on the board of Sound Community Services since 2004 and I have been the secretary since 2007. My day job is as a neuroscientist, so to me it made sense to volunteer my time with an organization that provides practical help to the people afflicted with the disorders that I study. It has been my great pleasure to experience the caring and dedication of the members of the board with the majority of them serving three consecutive three year terms and then taking the mandatory year off only to return again. I think that speaks to everyone's commitment to the cause of caring for people with mental health issues.

I have also had the priviledge to meet with many of the employees of SCS and have seen their dedication first hand. They are obviously passionate about what they do and I hope to continue to work with and learn from them for years to come.

Review from Guidestar

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked in a software vendor capacity with Sound Community Services over the last 8 months. It is always mentioned that healthcare in general is slow to change, and this belief is probably even more profound for the behavioral health community. Gail Lawson and her team at Sound are an exception to this widely-held belief. They have creatively used technology to drive greater productivity but, more importantly, to deliver high quality care to those societal members most in need. They possess great attitudes, are enthusiastic about their mission, and deliver a great service to their clients. One doesn't run across high-performing and ethical organizations very often, so it leaves a lasting impression when you do come across one. Sound Community Services has certainly made a lasting impression on me.

Review from Guidestar