Emma L. Bowen Community Service Center ABLE Halfway House Reviews, Cost, Complaints
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Emma L. Bowen Community Service Center ABLE Halfway House


New York New YorkEmma L. Bowen Community Service Center ABLE Halfway House Review

Established in 1986, the Emma L. Bowen Community Service Center provides residents of Upper Manhattan—including Harlem, Inwood and Washington Heights—with outpatient substance abuse and mental health treatment services. The Community Service Center also provides transitional care to homeless residents at its ABLE Halfway House in East Harlem.

Emma L. Bowen was a lifelong activist whose efforts integrated the U.S. Senate Page program in Washington DC. She also founded Black Citizens for a Fair Media (BCFM) and was co-founder of the Foundation for Minority Interest in Media. Bowen served as Executive Secretary of the NYC Mental Health, Retardation and Alcoholism Service. She founded the Community Service Center shortly after her retirement from that position.

Accommodations and Food

Up to 20 residents are accommodated in a facility in urban neighborhood of East Harlem. The building houses both men and women who reside in separate, gender-specific sections of the building. Each resident has a roommate and all clients share bathrooms. The house staff prepares standard American food for the residents, who also have daily chore assignments around the facility.

Treatment and Staff

Residents must have 30 days of sobriety to be accepted to ABLE and must also be homeless. Most residents come through referrals from state-run inpatient treatment programs. Once in residence at ABLE, clients must continue their substance abuse treatment at a local outpatient program. Many, but not all, of the residents attend Emma L. Bowen Community Service Center’s outpatient substance abuse program, which offers significant dual diagnosis support. Most residents stay at ABLE for six- to nine-months.

In addition to the group and individual therapy for outpatient clients, group sessions are held on-site several times each week and clients are encouraged to attend 12-step meetings—either in the community or on-site at the Community Service Center. Groups incorporate CBT and Motivational Interviewing (MI) and are led by CASAC.

Residents of the ABLE house have case-managers who help them coordinate health care and employment training. After three months of residence, clients are expected to find steady employment and are not to be in the house during the day. After three months of successful treatment, clients can also apply for overnight passes to visit family. At this time, their case manager helps them begin the search for subsidized or supportive housing options.


ABLE also provides services in Spanish. Since residents of ABLE have case-managers, they have continuity between their care while at ABLE and independent living. The Emma L. Bowen Community Service Center’s other programs include a therapeutic preschool, an elderly clinic and rehab day program for residents with chronic mental illness.

In Summary

With over 30 years of service to the residents of Upper Manhattan, The Emma L. Bowen ABLE Halfway House provides structure and support to those entering recovery who are also battling homelessness. Its case-management, job training program connections and the on-going treatment at its affiliated outpatient clinic ensures that each resident has ample support in creating a new life in recovery.

Emma L. Bowen ABLE Halfway House Location

2009 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10029

Emma L. Bowen ABLE Halfway House Cost

No charge/accepts Access to Recovery vouchers. Reach ABLE Halfway House at (212) 348-4660.

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Photo courtesy of Gryffindor (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (https://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)

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