MHA began collaborating with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) as part of the phase out of Belchertown State School. In 1990 MHA obtained HUD financing to open two community residences in Longmeadow – one for men and the other for women. Today, MHA offers a range of supported living and community-based residential models to meet the needs of individuals requiring various levels of support and assistance. We operate 8 community residences and provide supported living services to more than 65 participants living in their own homes.

DDS often seeks services from MHA when a secondary diagnosis is present, such as mental illness or substance abuse. The common goal through our partnership with DDS, participants and their families is to offer and facilitate genuine opportunities for meaningful community engagement. We honor each participant’s personal vision for themselves and work to provide the support, connections and skill-building that best facilitates the pursuit of this vision.

Community Residences

These are permanent homes for our participants and each house reflects the preferences and personalities of the people who live there. Staff provides support with skills of daily living to increase independence and build on individual strengths. The promotion of wellness and attention to medical needs are also integral components of our programs. We provide support and opportunities for people to enjoy everyday community experiences and pursue interests and activities guided by personal choice.

Emergency Respite

This program is designed to offer temporary residential support to individuals who are experiencing a difficult transition in their personal lives, such as the loss of a primary caretaker, leaving an abusive relationship or homelessness. Assessment and stabilization are the focus of the supports provided.

Supported Living

This is a community outreach model supporting individuals who live independently. Support staff engages with participants in their homes and community settings. Support hours are typically during the day and early evening, focusing on activities of daily living and increasing independence. An afterhours response team is available to individuals in the supported housing models.

Shared Living

This program offers individualized and personalized supports within a family home. Participants engage in community life, exercise choice and build new skills while benefitting from the support of a family setting.

Private Contracts

In 2002 MHA began designing specialized services for individuals who have private financial resources and are not eligible for traditional state-funded developmental disabilities services. MHA creates a support plan to respond to an individual’s unmet needs. These needs may include medical support, independent living skills, social and community interactions, entitlements, and money management. The number of support hours varies from person to person. Most individuals benefit from ongoing weekly services.

Brain Injuries

In 1999 MHA established a 24-hour residential program for two individuals with brain injuries who require a highly supervised and structured setting. This program is funded by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC).

In 2015 we opened a DDS funded program for people with brain injuries who had been residing in long term care facilities. We opened a second program for this population in 2016.