Contact: VIP Community Services
VIP Community Services
1910 Arthur Avenue 4th Floor
Bronx, NY 10457
VIP Community Services is dedicated to changing
lives and transforming our community. We offer a continuum of services to individuals with histories of chemical dependency. Our client-centered approach empowers people to take charge of their lives and discover their personal paths to self-sufficiency.
Celebrating 35 years of Service to our Community
In the 1970’s and ‘80’s, drugs, violence and arson destroyed many homes and neighborhoods in the Bronx. Families moved out. Much needed social services disappeared as agencies left the Borough for other parts of the City.
Founded in 1974, VIP played a key role in bringing this community back to life. Inspired and led by Father Robert Banome, residents and community leaders in the East Tremont/Crotona section of the Bronx joined together to grapple with the neighborhood’s most pressing problems—safety, family disintegration, drug abuse, unemployment, and housing abandonment.
To address the underlying problem that was making our community dangerous, we began by providing a safe place for those who wanted to quit drug use. VIP slowly grew as treatment for drug addiction became state licensed.
Next, we created rental housing for families as well as for those in recovery from addiction, the homeless, and others with special needs.
Sandra Ruiz Butter became President of VIP in 1992, a tenure that lasted 17 years. Mrs. Butter grew up in the neighborhood. She witnessed first-hand the devastation to her beloved community, as well as VIP’s commitment to restoring its dignity and vitality. Under her leadership, VIP created a highly effective model of integrated services, offered many different doors to treatment of addiction and HIV, opened new transitional and permanent supportive housing for the homeless, provided opportunities for clients to receive education and vocational services, leading to employment through our affiliated Managed Work Services (MWS). We have pioneered in the development of services for those with the co-occurring disorders of substance abuse, mental illness, and HIV/AIDS.
In March 2009, Debra De Jesus Vizzi became VIP’s third President. Also hailing from the Bronx, she brings a deep commitment to the community and its residents. Mrs. Vizzi is a talented chief executive and licensed social worker with wide experiences serving the vulnerable and underserved. Under the leadership of Mrs. Vizzi, and the guidance of our Board of Directors, VIP continues as an effective organization, deeply rooted in the community, with a broad range of services that enables us to fulfill our mission of changing lives and transforming our community.
Today, VIP serves over 10,000 people a year. And although the community has come a long way from the devastation of the 1970’s and ‘80’s, there is much yet to be done. The Bronx remains the poorest borough in the City, and the poorest urban county in the nation. The confluence of poverty, substance abuse, mental illness, HIV and other infectious diseases, takes its toll on our community. VIP’s services are more important than ever. After 35 years, we have become an anchor in our Bronx community, and an integral part of the lives of its residents.
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