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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Westchester Jewish Community Services, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Community Mental Health Centers, Health, Home Health Care, Mental Health, Mental Health & Crisis Intervention

Mission: A wide range of affordable clinical and community-based mental health, counseling and support programs, autism supports, home health care services, learning programs and services for people with developmental disabilities assist those who live or work in Westchester County. Service is offered in homes, schools, clinic settings, and in the community. We are committed to delivering the highest quality of services, to being responsive to changing community needs, and maintaining fiscal and programmatic responsibililty. Specific programs, funded through UJA-Federation and private foundations, serve the Westchester Jewish community.

Target demographics: WJCS offers individuals with developmental disabilities a range of clinical and residential services to enable them to reach their highest potential. Group residences in convenient communities and supervised apartments for high functioning young adults foster independence and socialization.

Direct beneficiaries per year: More than 19,000

Geographic areas served: Westchester County, New York

Programs: see our website http://www.wjcs.com/ for complete information:

Community Stories

63 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

They run phenomenal workshops for people out of work and searching for jobs. They really helped me update my job search skills.

Client Served

Rating: 5

WJCS was willing to work with a group of parents to create a program for our children with special needs. They have been attentive, diligent, and collaborative, and it has led to a very successful program.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I wish I could remember when we (my daughter-diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum, with a seizure disorder among other difficulties and I) started going to the WJCS. Being a single parent dealing with a child with disabilities is difficult, but we have experienced the death of my sister, job losses, inability to pay rent and other financial hardships.
Both my daughter and I were in counseling at the WJCS on a weekly basis. I learned parent training techniques and she also learned to try and modify her aggressive and inappropriate behaviors.
The WJCS has been invaluable to my family as they helped to finance part of my daughter's trip to sleep away camp which was a stepping stone to her continued growth. My daughter was away for 7 weeks. It took the first 3 weeks of her being away for me to recover from being with my daughter 24/7. The rest of the time I could devote to the necessary activities to keep us out of a shelter. Last summer the WJCS helped us attend a local pool which is an activity my daughter loves. My daughter was able to work her way up to 20 laps by the time the summer ended which was an incredible accomplishment. Each time she added a lap her self esteem grew. By the time she reached 20 laps, she was ecstatic. It is very hard for a young lady of 17 who has speech difficulties and motor coordination to have self esteem. I was also able to swim and get needed exercise to help relieve the stress I am under. We worked with Ms. Norma Litman and her counsel and help was a God send. It was suggested that I attend a special therapy group, which was also very helpful and eye opening.
When we had to go on food stamps and other assistance, the WJCS helped with bills. As I am writing this and remembering the huge totality of the help we have been given I feel such remiss in not writing to the director of the facility with my eternal gratitude. How do you quantify an agency that has helped a family to such a degree and we are only one family. I pray that you find it in your hearts to help this agency help others as they have helped us in the difficulties they are facing. Thank you for the opportunity of sharing our information about the WJCS. Opps, we also used the psychiatric staff for help as well and they were very helpful.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

WJCS is a g-d send. My family has used various services over the years from individual, couples, child and family counseling, to job searching techniques. We had fallen on hard times after loosing jobs and having major medical problems. The WJCS has helped us tremendously. We were sorry that the Yorktown office had to close but the Hartsdale office welcomed us with open arms. Thank you

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The WJCS has been a beacon of support and services for our family. Our daughter was diagnosed with Asperger's when she was 18 in her first year of college.

The WJCS is the only Westchester agency that addressed, in part, her particular needs, especially for social skills.

She participated in the Supper Club, the successor to the Breakfast Club, a free socialization group for young adults, a service that was not offered anywhere else. She had an opportunity to socialize, go out with a group, play games, travel independently and meet new friends.

In addition, Bonnie Graham recommended another program in NYC that has been of great benefit to Sara.

Socialization groups for high-functioning young adults with Asperger's are sorely needed. I cannot emphasize enough how impossible it has been to find services for our daughter and how much we appreciate WJCS. They are a leader in their field.

Client Served

Rating: 5

WJCS is doing amazing things to help the autistic community in Westchester. It is providing help with housing so that these individuals can live independently and be part of a community. We are at the beginning of a wave of young adults with autism who have been provided services by the schools but do not have services from the state. WJCS is essential to dealing with this tremendous void.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

WJCS helped my family many years ago through its respite program (Project Timeout). Now I work as a Temple Administrator and get information about the many helpful programs which WJCS sponsors and refer callers with many needs to WJCS.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

I am the grandparent of a teen with Asperger's syndrome. It is frustrating & heartbreaking to know that he is a frequent victim of bullying. One of his greatest wishes is to have friends & to be just like other kids his age.
About two years ago, I came across an ad from WJCS saying that they were starting a support group for grandparents of children on the autism spectrum.
I called & was graciously invited by Bonnie, the group facilitator, to attend their first monthly meeting. My husband attended the first meeting with me along with about 6 other grandparents. We both have been attending since then. The same problems still continue for our grandchild & probably always will since there is no cure for Asperger's syndrome. However, it is comforting to share stories with & offer suggestions to one another. It is not usually appropriate for us to tell even our closest friends about events such as our grandchild putting his foot through the car windshield or a wall because he is so misunderstood by most people. Yet, we can come to our group at the WJCS & speak candidly, knowing what we say will be accepted with respect by Bonnie & the other grandparents. It is a wonderful place for us to vent. We hope to learn as much as we can so we can be the best grandparents for our grandchild.
My only suggestion is that I feel that we have reached a plateau. After meeting for two years, we feel that perhaps speakers, from in-house or from the community would help us to better relate to our grandchildren & their families. Bonnie is planning to follow-up on this idea. With this in place, the WJCS would get a FIVE STAR rating.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

for 17 years i hd many problems related to mental health. i visited many different doctors and thearpist.Had about a dozen hospital visits(mental health). My problems ranged from cutting and burning myself to severe irrational thnking and everything in between. I was really at the end of my rope. Having Medicaid as my insurance provider my options were limited. I found WJCS by accident. I had drove pass it one day and saw the letters outside there building.I thought it was a radio station and wanted to find out what here format was. After looking them up in the net i realized it was a place for people like me. I was it as a sign and gave them a call. I was assigned to a young women named Mki Yoshida. I battle in the beginning. Not saying much during our sessions. But our relationship bloosmed. She was great in navagating my symtoms and thoughts.I have been with Miki just over a year. It has been six months since i have hurt myself. My borderline actions have be reduced greatly. At the south Yonkers office Miki has started a DBT skills class that i find as useful as AA to a alcoholic. Miki has guided me through a dark forest and shown me that there is light thru the trees. I'm not ther yet but i know one day i will be . I owe that to Miki and the other staff member @ WJCS Yonkers. I have also convinced my girlfriend to seek guidence @ WJCS,she goes to the one in Hartsdale, New York. It would be a great injustice if anything was to prevent WJCS from going foward with there mission. People with mental health issue are overlooked in a big way. And some of us cant help ourselfs,i knoiw i couldn't. So what ever can be done ti ensure that they stay open needs to be done, and i hope you can help. Thank You for your time,and Thank you Miki.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot commend WJCS's program "Women helping Women" highly eough. The workshops I attended on goal setting, resumes and elevator speeches were excellent. The workshop leader in each case was clearly an expert in his/her field, accomodating in his/her approach and respectful and kind to the participants. Each of the workshop leaders reached out and engaged with the participants. That is extremely important in tapping into the self esteem of the ladies many of whom have been looking for employment for months.
I came away, first of all, with more knowledge and skill than before and most of all with a renewed sense of hope in my abilities and in life.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son stared going to WJCS for therapy and medication management after a hospitalization. We had tried various therapist before with no success. The therapist and psychiatrist are great. He starting going to the social groups which are also very good. I met a great group of parents while waiting for him outside the social group.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

To Whom It May Concern,

I started going to W.J.C.S. in January of 2009 for issues I felt needed to be worked on. I was some what skeptical at first, but decided I would give it a try anyway. Today, I am very happy to say it was the best decision I could have made. During the past year I have had many difficult circumstances occur in my life and with the help of W.J.C.S I was able to find my way through them.
I am blessed to have a counselor ( Miss. Consuelo Guerrero)
who is not only exceptionally skilled in her field but shows compassion above all when needed. Miss. Guerrero is not just a therapist but a person who understands and relates to what her patients are going through.
I feel without these services, I would not be the person who I am today and most certainly would not have accomplished the goals I set out to do.
If W.J.C.S was to receive this grant I believe the money would used in the best way possible to help others.

Sincerely,

Miss. L. Kohl


Review from Guidestar

Wilhelminia H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son originally started seeing a therapist and psychiatrist at WJCS for emotional issues that led to behavior problems. With his issues, my family started experiencing problems with communication and functionality. My family started seeing someone at WJCS for family therapy sessions. I am currently seeing someone for individual therapy. I am highly impressed with the services at WJCS because the agency is like one-stop shopping for mental health services. I think it is great that they provide services for a range of clients and can cater and add programs depending on the need in the community. Staff are experienced in what additional community services may be available for specific issues.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter presents with an emotional disability and attends a social skills class at WJCS. WJCS has provided her with important skills needed in managing emotional regulation and daily social interactions with peers and adults. Through WJCS, I've met other parents with children facing similar challenges and it's been a very supportive, nurturing environment. The dedicated staff at WJCS provides a valuable service and I am thankful for their continued efforts in benefiting my family as well as the community!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

During this very tough economic downturn, WJCS started a support group for woman looking for employment. "Woman Helping Woman" provided an outlet for everyone to network and share idea's. It provided guidance and mentoring for me during my job search, and helped give me the motivation and confidence I needed to successfully land. The group also helped members deal with many of the related struggles associated wtih job loss and looking for a job. I highly reccommend WHCS to others.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have a 10 year old son with high functioning Autism. I had problems understanding his behavior and managing his outbursts. My husband and I used to constantly argue about how to manage him also. It was very stressful for our whole family including my typical daughter who is 1 year older than my son. WJCS provideds parent training skill,sociall skills and even 1 to 1 counseling if your child requires it. The staff is friendly and always helpful and understanding. They are truly amazing. Not only did the classes help me understand and manage my son's behavior, but they decreased my stress level and helped me feel a little more in control of this situation, and all this gives me hope for a better future, and hope is what we all need to take care of our kids.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a client of the WJCS for about two years I have to admit after coming to this organization I feel comfortable in the environment. The receptionists know my name and they frequently ask if I'm hungry or not. They also look after patient children while they're in session. I love the WJCS they've given me my life back. I am a past patient of Matt Zuch and am currently being seen by Tamar Gordon and Margarita Munoz. Please consider them!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my husband died unexpectedly at 63, a close friend ,Dale Wang,who works for WJCS,encouraged me to join a bereavement group.I resisted .I knew I would not benefit from a group with people whose spouses had long lives:WJCS had a group of men and women with losses similar to mine.
Being part of this group has helped me grapple with some fundamental
issues related to this loss for me and my children. I credit my luck at being part of WJCS as a key factor as I move ahead in life>

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

WJCS serves a vital role in the community, both as a support agent for adults in transition and special needs children. One of my sons went to WJCS on Central Avenue in Hartsdale and really enjoyed his therapist to help him reconcile his feelings about his dad in relation to his autism. I've gone to Connect to Care on King Street for people who are unemployed and looking for work. Their approach is compassionate yet optimistic. Thank you for "being there."

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son participated in the program of Miracle League for Autistic children, partnered with WJCS. Everything was very well organized, and not only games, they also organized parties for our children, and it was the first time that our son was able to be engaged as center of a social event.

WJCS offers a great variety of services for Autistic people and their families. Thank you so much for your dedication!

Review from Guidestar