Located in the scenic Hudson Valley of New York, The Academy House Community Residence (AHCR) is an 18-bed residence in the historic district of Poughkeepsie. We are a Level II program, licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health.
Academy House specializes in creating a supportive, empathetic environment for adults over the age of 24 who are living with severe and persistent mental health diagnoses. We provide a structured yet home-like atmosphere with 24/7 supervision and medication management. Academy House is one of the few long-term residential housing options available for individuals who require ongoing supervision and care in NY. Our facility has been caring for individuals with mental illness for over 45 years.
We strongly believe that every person can live a happy, healthy, and productive life. We treat all residents with the dignity and compassion they deserve to increase their self-confidence as they continue on the path to learning new ways to manage their diagnoses. "We are a Family Serving Families" is more than just our motto – we provide our residents with the same care and respect we give to our own families.
As proud members of the American Residential Treatment Association (ARTA) we are fortunate to have a large network of other programs available if it is determined that a different level of care is more suitable for you or your family member. We are happy to go over your options with you.
Academy House chooses staff not just for their credentials, but for their kindness, compassion, creativity, and dedication to supporting people with mental illnesses. Our team is comprised of people who have professional backgrounds in mental health care, as well as artists, chefs, yoga instructors, musicians, teachers, gardeners, and dancers. Each individual is encouraged to bring their own personal strengths and interests to enrich the therapeutic environment that our community residence provides.
Ben Howard, Owner, learned the importance of creating a meaningful program for individuals with mental illness at an early age. When Ben was young, his father started Academy House’s sister program at Woodstock Manor. Having grown up in the business, and having family members who have struggled with mental illness, Ben’s dedication is reflected in the quality of care that residents receive at Academy House. After a successful career in the Medical Device Industry, Ben left the corporate world to re-dedicate himself to caring for people with mental illnesses. He and his wife Olivia have owned and operated AHCR since 2010. Ben is also passionate about music and enjoys the playing guitar and teaching his 6 year old daughter piano. Ben may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (845) 505 - 4961.
Olivia Howard, Program director. Olivia holds a B.A. in Psychology from Mount Saint Mary’s University. She has always been passionate about working in the field of mental health. Our “Family Serving Families” approach to caring for residents and their families is reflective of Olivia’s commitment to providing exceptional services. Olivia can be reached at email@example.com or (845) 505-4962.
Gillian Hammond, LMHC, serves as the House Manager at Academy House Community Residence. Gillian holds an M.S. in Mental Health Counseling, an Advanced Certificate in Trauma and Disaster Mental Health, and a B.A. in Psychology from SUNY New Paltz. She also has a background in crisis counseling, disaster studies, and studio art. At Academy House, Gillian is dedicated to creating an empathic and therapeutic environment to facilitate personal growth and support each individual in attaining their goals. Gillian has lived in the neighboring town of New Paltz for 10 years. She is interested in the therapeutic nature of animals and enjoys hiking in local state parks and fiber arts. Gillian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Marcelle Urban, M.A., is originally from the United Kingdom. She has an M.A. in Special Education and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. Marcelle has studied Arts in Medicine at Florida State University, and Laban Movement Therapy at the Laban Institute. She has been part of various community theater groups in NYC and has taught movement and dance and chair yoga at the Capital District for the Arts. Marcelle continues to advance her studies in movement and dance, and is in the process of completing a DanceAbility training certificate. Marcelle’s other hobbies include traveling and animal rescue.
Emily Passik is a recent graduate of SUNY New Paltz where she received a B.S. in Music and a B.A. in Psychology. Throughout her undergraduate studies, Emily gained experience as a volunteer staff member at a crisis counseling center and through an internship at SUNY New Paltz's Children's Center. Emily also completed a psychology internship at Academy House, which ultimately led to her current position as a staff member. Emily is currently enrolled in the M.S. in Mental Health Counseling program at SUNY New Paltz, and intends to further her education through completion of additional programs in Art Therapy and Trauma & Disaster Mental Health. Emily enjoys making music with others, yoga, meditation, local community theatre, spending time with animals, and experiencing nature.
Andy Rose Rinaldo currently runs a small-scale Ecological Gardening business in which she implements sustainable, resilient design concepts that are intended to give back to the individual as well as the land. Andy has Horticulture Therapy training through the New York Botanical Garden, and has taken part in a variety of volunteer gardening projects, including working with inmates on Riker’s Island in the Greenhouse Program. Andy has over a decade of organic growing experience, education in Herbal Medicine, and experience in Floral Design. She has studied at the Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism and Northeast School of Botanical Medicine. Andy is dedicated to helping people understand their connection to Nature as an essential form of healing.
Camile Johnson is a Direct Care Aide with over 10 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities and mental illnesses. She became a Certified Nursing Assistant in 2009 and developed a passion for providing support and care to people with special needs, including assisting individuals with activities of daily living. She places an emphasis on creating a sense of safety and comfort which is reflected in her patient and compassionate nature.
Ashley Korin is currently studying English and Environmental Geochemical Science at SUNY New Paltz. She has experience volunteering with local agencies including the Woodstock Animal Sanctuary and the Kingston Farmer’s Market. Ashley has also been involved with Students for Sustainable Agriculture at SUNY New Paltz. In her free time, Ashley enjoys researching the nature of the coexistence of animals, humans, and our environment.
At Academy House, we believe every person deserves dignity and compassion to increase their self-confidence, as they learn new and different ways to manage their illness.
- Ben Howard