The HALI Story
Hands Across Long Island, Inc. (HALI) is a grassroots advocacy community founded in 1988 by survivors of the state psychiatric system, meeting as “peers” in a Long Island diner, healing together to thrive in the community. HALI’s first office was on the grounds of Kings Park Psychiatric Center, and HALI staff was instrumental in the formation of the first supported housing programs on Long Island, the first mental health awareness walk on Long Island, and the first peer certification and training processes in NYS. Built and run by people who have “been there”, HALI’s understanding of our community and our continuous innovation to meet its needs allowed us to grow into a strong, widely respected, and unique non-profit that fills a critical need in the local system of care. We remain the only recipient-run behavioral health agency in our region, part of a state network who set best practices for impactful peer services that save Medicaid dollars, but more importantly inspire and save lives.
We imagine a world where all people can fulfill their personal vision for a self-directed, meaningful life.
HALI offers peer-delivered supports and advocacy for people who experience trauma, mental health, substance use, and other life-altering challenges on Long Island and the NYC metro area, creating an empowering community in which people can heal, learn and grow.
HALI succeeds by assuring our core values are infused in everything we do, both internally and externally. Our values shape who we are, who we strive to be, how we see those who come to us for services, and how we provide services. The values that guide us include:
- Mutuality: We believe in the transformative power of peer support, forming collaborative relationships based on shared experience.
- Hope: With the right supports, every human being has the capacity to excel.
- Inclusion: We embrace diversity, work toward equity, and maintain a state of cultural humility.
- Compassionate Transparency: We believe these go hand in hand, and we treat people with understanding, patience, and kindness, while building trust through honest and direct communication.
- Empowerment: We believe in autonomy, choice, and self-determination.
HALI is a peer operated organization, meaning the majority of our Staff and Board of Directors is composed of people who have experienced the mental health, substance use, social services, and/or criminal justice systems themselves at some point in their lives. By having that unique personal experience, HALI is best suited to understand what can help and what can harm each individual on their personal journey to healing, recovery and growth.
HALI carries out our Mission through a multitude of services, including Supported Housing, a peer-run Recovery Center, Employment Supports, Homeless Outreach, and Community Bridging.