World-Class Partners Enrich Client Experience

Military Family Center visits Ed Thompson

The 43rd Street and Ed Thompson Veterans Programs in New York City offer a wide array of clinical programming and services. Yet, funding from Federal, State, City, and private resources can only go so far.

Funds typically pay for the costs associated with operating the Veterans Programs including building, medical and clinical, food, and staff salaries. Little remains to enhance and build upon the clients’ experience or clinical needs.

In New York City, a growing group of nonprofit foundations, healthcare providers, and small businesses are bridging the gap. They donate their expertise in ways that are making the difference for clients and staff alike. Among them are:

Back on My Feet

A national organization, Back on My Feet (BoMF) uses running to inspire real change in the lives of individuals who are unhoused or recovering from addiction. Runners regain the confidence needed to achieve independence and self-sufficiency by finding employment and housing. The program has had success in breaking the chain of poverty and addiction.

BoMF partnered with 43rd Street Veterans Program to form a new running chapter called Team Times Square. BOMF leads the clients in basement warm-ups and then 2-4 mile runs several days a week.

As clients build their running stamina, they increase their self-esteem and confidence. Over the years, vets from 43rd Street have participated in 5K and 10K races. The experience is transformative for the men. Several have gone on to run in the New York City Marathon.

Participants gain access to financial aid and educational and job training opportunities only available through BoMF. To ensure the runners' progress both on and off the pavement, Samaritan Daytop Village works with BoMF and the runners to create a road map for a sustainable, independent, and productive lifestyle after treatment.

David Lynch Foundation

For more than five years, the David Lynch Foundation (DLF) has been introducing our veterans to Transcendental Meditation, or “TM” for short. The easy-to-learn form of silent meditation was created in the 1950s to help individuals heal from trauma and toxic stress. Academy Award winning film director David Lynch, who began practicing in 1973, founded DLF in 2006 to teach TM to underserved populations. Some of our clients started the program as skeptics but immediately became champions. The technique has made a tremendously positive impact on vets suffering from PTSD. You can hear several vets speak about their personal experiences with TM in this video.

Row New York

Through our partnership with Row New York, our vets engage in physical exercise weekly as a form of physical therapy and an example of a pro-social activity to continue after treatment. In the Winter, veterans take the workout indoors, thanks to rowing machines provided by Row. Once the Spring arrives, veterans go to Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens where they row together as a group on the water.

Sanctuary Institute

The Sanctuary Institute provides training and consultation to organizations working with adults, children, and families impacted by trauma. Staff from our Veterans Programs benefit from additional training and consultation in the Sanctuary Model, a clinical approach focused on trauma-responsive care. The added training strengthens staff members’ current skill base in this area and enhances their capabilities to deliver services in the most trauma-informed manner.

Stella Adler Studio of Acting

As an important part of their pathway to recovery, our partnership with the Stella Adler Studio of Acting provides a unique opportunity for expression through the performing arts. The Studio’s “Outside/In” program is one of New York City’s first re-entry arts programs. Outside/In students are formerly incarcerated, in recovery from substance use disorder, or living with mental health disorders. They are joined by current Stella Adler students and alumni, as well as other professional actors in weekly meetings. The group takes part in actor and playwright training, workshops original material, and shares experiences. In December 2023, the Studio’s Connection Project presented four performances to several Samaritan Daytop Village programs, including the Ed Thompson Veterans Program.

Steven A. Cohen Military Family Center at NYU Langone Health

Through our partnership with NYU Langone’s Cohen Military Family Center, clients receive individualized psychotherapy for PTSD, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression. The world-class center provides free care to veterans and family members experiencing long-term effects from military service and other challenges.

IMG 08481TDF (Theater Development Fund)

Vets experience the performing arts, thanks to TDF’s “Veterans Theatregoing Program.” TDF provides free tickets to a selection of Broadway and off-Broadway shows to veterans’ groups in NYC. Samaritan Daytop Village has been a recipient of this special program since 2018. Among some of the shows our clients have attended are “Miss Saigon,” “The Play That Goes Wrong,” “MJ,” “Six,” and “Beetlejuice.”

United War Veterans Council

The United War Veterans Council (UWVC) is a nonprofit association serving and supporting veterans, military service members, and their families. The organization provides numerous free services to our clients.

The UWVC’s Health & Wellness Program has benefited hundreds of our clients. The program assists at-risk veterans suffering from PTSD or having difficulty transitioning to civilian life. Each week small groups participate in a selection of activities including hiking, equine therapy, sailing, camping, and art therapy. Most of these outings take place in the Navesink River area of New Jersey, offering clients a beautiful retreat from the hustle and bustle of New York City.

UWVC also produces the annual NYC Veterans Day Parade, the nation’s largest Veterans Day commemoration. Clients from our Veterans Programs volunteer in the months leading up to and on the day of the big event. Every year, clients, staff, and members of the Executive team, including President & CEO Mitchell Netburn, march side by side in the parade together. Several clients also ride on the UWVC’s Health and Wellness float or have the honor of carrying the garrison flag.

As part of the Health & Wellness Program, the UWVC enlists the support of a few partners of theirs including:

Serenity Stables – From Combat to Calm

Thanks to the UWVC, our vets have been introduced to the power of equine therapy through Serenity Stables – From Combat to Calm. Serenity Stables serves active military, veterans, and their families. Located in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, the stable is a popular Health & Wellness Program outing during the late Spring to Fall months.

Horses are sensitive to movement and emotions, and therefore respond naturally to nonverbal communication. They are especially useful in helping treat children and adults with past trauma. In one example, a combat vet being treated at 43rd Street slept in a bed for the first time in years after his first visit to the stable.

In equine therapy, clients form a connection with their horses and immediately feel a sense of safety during the session. Serenity Stables offers diverse ways for vets to interact with and relate to individual horses. With the assistance of licensed clinical counselors and a team of horse professionals, the interaction helps clients explore their personal coping behaviors.

ANI Art Academies America

Located in Red Bank, NJ, the ANI Art Academies America offers art skills education in a multi-year program. Yet, the art school opens its doors – and hearts – to deliver art therapy to clients from our Veterans Programs. At the walk-in session, the clients receive a lesson in pencil sketching and drawing. The focused activity provides a soothing, calming space for students to express themselves on paper. Each of the veterans walk away from the session bursting with pride from their artistic accomplishments. The ANI Art Academies America is part of an international nonprofit organization with locations in North America, Asia, and the Caribbean.


If you would like to donate your services or expertise and become a partner of Samaritan Daytop Village’s Veterans Programs, please contact our Veterans Programs directly.