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Open Doors Transition Center and Peer Program

Open Doors Program
Do you want to live in your own home or apartment, in shared housing, or a small group home? It's your choice, and if you want to move home and have community-based services, contact us and we can talk about the options available to you.

The Open Doors program helps people move from institutions, like nursing homes and intermediate facilities, to a home in the community. This program helps states shift Medicaid long-term care services and supports to people living in the community.

Through our Transition Centers and Peer Outreach and Referral Program, we will work with you to make that move happen.

Transition Center
The Transition Center helps people living in nursing homes and intermediate care facilities to receive home and community based services. This includes giving you information about the services and supports that are available where you live. There are transition specialists at Independent Living Centers in counties all over New York State. Suffolk Independent Living Organization houses the Open Doors Transition Center and Peer Program for all of Long Island.

Transition specialists will meet with you and/or your family members to identify what services you will need and help you in getting those services.

Those services may include:
Community Preparedness Education, to make sure that you have the information and skills you need as soon as you return to the community.
Identifying specific services to meet your individual needs.
Finding affordable, accessible housing that meets your needs.

The transition specialist is here to create a plan that will meet your needs and to help you move successfully to the community.

Peer Program
Open Doors Peer Program is a group of people who have lived in institutional settings and then moved to home and community based settings, and who have received services and support where they live. Peers visit nursing homes and developmental centers to share their experiences with residents and support people who want to move to the community.

Peers will work with you to get control over the
choices that impact your life, such as:

Whether to move at all.
Where to live.
Service Provider, including direct service worker.
When and what to eat.
What to wear.
To call or visit family and friends.
Place to worship.
Temperature control.
Privacy and security of possessions.
When to shower and/or take a bath.
Uninterrupted sleep when you want.
Roommate or the choice to not have a roommate.

All peers complete formal training and are employed by Suffolk Independent Living Organization. There are enough peers to provide help in both counties across Long Island. Family peers are also available to work with family members who have concerns about moving.

Open Doors

For more information
contact the
Open Doors Program
(631) 880-7929 or

OPen Doors

Regional Lead Michelle Darling-Downs
Administrative Assistant Eileen Thomas and
Transition Specialists Martha Vargas and Kim Geha