Giving Thanks and Giving Back
Dear friends and partners:

We are eight weeks away from saying goodbye to 2021. At Acacia Network, this represents an important period of reflection, where we take stock of the work done over the past year and set ambitious goals for the one ahead.

The end of the year also means that we are approaching the giving season – a time for giving thanks and giving back. As we kick off the thanksgiving season and launch our Year-End Appeal, we will be sharing some of our key accomplishments and success stories from the past twelve months. These stories serve as a powerful reminder of the great need that exists in our communities and they underscore the importance of supporting our work in the frontlines, so we can continue to ensure that hundreds of thousands of vulnerable individuals across New York State and beyond can overcome the systemic challenges preventing them from attaining better health and wealth for themselves and their families.

As we prepare to close out the year, we hope you will consider making a tax-deductible donation to Acacia Network or one of our affiliates. Will you become an Acacia ally today?

As always, our lifesaving work would not be possible without the generous support of our countless partners, allies, and donors, and the tireless efforts of our staff, leadership, and board of directors.

Please read on for important news and updates on our programs and services. We look forward to sharing more in the coming weeks.

P.S. Please consider donating to Acacia Network and our affiliates this giving season. Your tax-deductible donation will enable us to continue saving lives and building futures.
The Queens Village Committee for Mental Health for J-CAP
Our integrated primary care and residential treatment affiliate in Queens, J-CAP, was featured in a recent episode of NYS Senator James Sanders Jr.’s podcast, "Let's Be Clear", which was dedicated to the topic of opioid addiction.

In this episode, Senator Sanders interviewed Bryan D. White, Executive Director of the Thomas White Jr. Foundation and son of one of J-CAP’s co-founders, as well as Acacia Network’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. David C. Collymore and three current patients of the residential treatment program. The three patients who were interviewed –Saqib Bhatti, Daniel Nemeth, and Eric Salasbonilla – spoke candidly about their journeys with opioid addiction, what led them to seek treatment, and how J-CAP helped them get their lives back on track.

Saqib, for instance, is proud to say that he has been in recovery for over a year thanks to J-CAP, and he has also become certified as a “peer advocate” in hopes of helping others like him to overcome addiction. Originally from Pakistan, Saqib moved to New York City in 2001. He has a childhood history of trauma, which he believes led to challenges with addiction later on in life. He began using marijuana and alcohol as a way to cope at the age of 18, and eventually started dabbling with benzodiazepines (“benzos”) and opiates. Shortly after, Saqib became addicted to heroin. As a result, he lost his employment, income, and his marriage. He became homeless and was in-and-out of the shelter system, while continuing to spiral out of control. At his worst, he overdosed 7 times in one year. Saqib realized that the only way to save his life would be to get treatment. Today, he hopes to help and inspire others so they, too, can overcome addiction.  

Thanks to Saqib, Danny, and Eric for sharing their stories, and for trusting J-CAP with their care. To watch the special podcast episode, CLICK HERE.

We also take this moment to mourn the recent passing of longtime J-CAP board member, Marie White. Our thoughts are with her family during this very difficult time. 

To learn more about J-CAP and the services we provide, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about Acacia’s footprint in Queens, CLICK HERE.
Building Futures Across New York State & Puerto Rico
Our affordable housing projects in New York City, Upstate New York, and Puerto Rico continue to make important strides! 

Sendero Verde in East Harlem –a mixed-use affordable housing development in partnership with Jonathan Rose Companies and L+M Development Partners that features 708 affordable units, as well as community, education, and social services, and community gardens– was recently featured in the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits, a prestigious industry publication. CLICK HERE to check out the article, which includes interviews with Acacia Network’s President & CEO Raul Russi and our COO Lymaris Albors.

In addition, this innovative project recently won the American Architecture Award granted by The Chicago Athenaeum, which is one of the most prestigious design awards in the country. You can learn more HERE! 

Meanwhile, La Plaza de Virginia in Buffalo –our affordable housing development featuring 46 units for seniors 55 years of age and older– and our Resilient House Prototypes in Caguas, Puerto Rico continue to reach critical development milestones, bringing us steps closer to handing off the keys to families and individuals in need.
Expanding our Presence through Capital District LATINOS
Capital District LATINOS (CDL) –Acacia Network’s affiliate in the Capital Region– continues to build important partnerships and secure resources to further expand its capacity to provide critical services to underserved communities in the Albany area. 

Most recently, CDL secured grants to further its vaccine outreach efforts, including $160,000 from the Hispanic Federation and $60,000 in CDBG funding from the County of Albany. Meanwhile, the Business for Good Fund of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region (CFGCR) provided a $250,000 donation to support CDL’s capital improvements campaign. Thank you to our generous partners and donors for supporting CDL’s continued efforts!

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, CDL has been busy ensuring that underserved communities in the Capital Region are able to gain access to critical resources, including food, essential items, and COVID-19 education and vaccines. Among other initiatives, CDL was active in 2020 Census efforts, and has hosted multiple outreach events and pop-up vaccination clinics at its Cultural Empowerment & Community Engagement Center, in partnership with the Albany County Department of Health and other CBOs and local agencies.

For more info about Capital District LATINOS, CLICK HERE to download our one-pager and impact report.
Building Bridges through Agendas Comunes
Earlier this year, Acacia Network worked with its local partners in the island of Puerto Rico to bring together a robust network of community-based organizations, and agencies from different sectors, including healthcare, education, foundations, arts and culture, faith-based organizations, and others. The coalition that resulted from these joint efforts has been called “Agendas Comunes”, and its goal is to explore cross-sector collaborations to improve access to integrated primary care, mental health & addiction services in Puerto Rico for at-risk populations.

In November 2021, we met with more than 20 members of Agendas Comunes to continue sharing knowledge, best practices, and key insights, while exploring potential avenues for collaboration across Puerto Rico and the mainland.

Thank you to everyone who joined us, including our partners at Migrant Health Center, Proyecto Salud y Acupuntura para el Pueblo, Casa La Providencia, EDP University, Salud Integral en la Montaña (SIM), Guara Bí, Puerto Rico Salud, Nuestra Familia LGBTT Puerto Rico, Sistema de Salud Menonita, Estancia Serena, Corporación SANOS, National Council for Mental Wellbeing, and Acacia Network. Special thanks to Acacia Network Board Members Carmen J. Villa-Lugo, Esq. (Chairwoman), Henry Comas (Vice Chair), Eliezer Rodriguez, Esq., and Cynthia Isales for saying "presente"!
Providing Accessible Health Care in your Community
Acacia Network and our health partner, La Casa de Salud, provide integrated, bilingual services to individuals of all ages at our federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and clinics in the Bronx and Queens. Our services include:

  • Annual Health Exams & Wellness Checks
  • Comprehensive Immunizations for Children, Teens, Adults, and Seniors
  • COVID-19 Testing & Vaccinations
  • Dental Care
  • Chronic Disease Management
  • Mental Health Services

In addition, we offer the COVID-19 Vaccine initial series, as well as the booster shot and third dose for eligible individuals. Please note: Although the COVID-19 vaccine is available for individuals age 5 and older, minors under the age of 18 can only receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Because Acacia Network is not presently administering the Pfizer vaccine, we can only make appointments for individuals ages 18+ at this time. CLICK HERE for more info!

Get your flu shot and/or COVID-19 vaccine today, or simply come in for a check-up. We accept most insurances and offer sliding scale fees. Undocumented and uninsured patients are welcome. 

We offer same-day appointments! Call 718-734-2539 or visit www.acacianetwork.org.
Follow Us on our Journey to Immunity
Acacia Network, in partnership with the Loisaida Inc. Media & Technology Center, launched a special Halloween episode of our "Journey to Immunity" COVID-19 and flu vaccine awareness campaign. In this episode, our vaccine champion goes door-to-door in costume to convince neighbors to get their COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots. A surprise encounter at the end features our vaccine champion’s worst enemy!

The “Journey to Immunity” vaccine outreach campaign features a series of multi-lingual public service announcements (PSAs) that seeks to spread awareness about COVID-19 and promote vaccine uptake in hard-to-reach communities, while dispelling myths and misconceptions among those experiencing high rates of hesitancy, such as the Latinx/Hispanic community. It is made possible with the support of the UnidosUS Esperanza Hope for All program, with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Stay tuned... more episode coming soon! Make sure you don't miss them by following us on Facebook and YouTube.
Sharing Resources from our Affiliates & Partners
We are pleased to share local resources and programs in the areas of primary care, mental health, addiction treatment, social services, and public benefits that are available to community members either free or low-cost.

In this edition of our newsletter, we’ve included information on: 

For more information about Acacia Network and to connect with our wide array of integrated services in New York State and beyond, CLICK HERE!
Donate to our Year-End Campaign
Acacia Network and our affiliates provide integrated, culturally-competent, and trauma-informed services to more than 150,000 individuals of all ages every year. For more than 60 years, Acacia and our affiliates have provided uninterrupted access to critical resources to ensure that those most at risk are able to overcome the challenges of mental health and addiction disorders, chronic health conditions, poverty, housing insecurity and homelessness, food inequality, economic hardship and unemployment, educational barriers, and cultural alienation.

As we wrap of 2021, we hope you will consider becoming an Acacia Ally by making a tax-deductible donation today.

Your contribution will enable us to continue providing critical services and resources to those most in need. Will you become a champion for Acacia?
About Acacia Network
Acacia Network is one of the largest Latino-led nonprofits in the nation, serving more than 150,000 individuals annually through integrated, trauma-informed services in the areas of health, housing, social services, economic development, and cultural revitalization. Our Network comprises more than 100 affiliates across four boroughs in New York City, Buffalo, Albany, and Syracuse in New York State, as well as Maryland, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Connecticut, and Puerto Rico. For more information, visit: www.acacianetwork.org