Our Story

About Equinox

Equinox is a dynamic human services organization with deep roots in New York's Capital Region. Our mission is: Changing lives and strengthening communities in the Capital Region through a continuum of human services. We provide critical support and life-enhancing opportunities to help those we serve move forward on their paths to recovery, healing, and independence.

Founded in 1947, Equinox has a dedicated staff of 180 and serves 5,200 people annually in 12 locations, including residential facilities. Equinox serves youth, adults and families whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence, drug and alcohol addictions, mental illness, homelessness, and the challenges of living amid poverty and violence. Equinox works collaboratively with numerous community organizations. Equinox also coordinates an annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner. With the support of nearly 4,000 volunteers, Equinox provides a holiday meal to more than 10,000 individuals in difficult circumstances within a 50-mile radius of Albany.

 

Our Beginnings

Equinox is the product of two strong organizations–ClearView Center and Equinox–which merged in 2012.

ClearView Center, originally the Albany Child Guidance Center, was founded in 1947 by a group of parents seeking to keep their children with mental illness nearby. Up until then, these families had been advised to send their children to live in downstate institutions. Parents were left to travel hours back and forth – often by bus – to see their sons and daughters. The Albany Child Guidance Center provided treatment for mental illnesses and much-needed support to family members. As services expanded, including the addition of rehabilitation and case management services as well as residential facilities, the name was changed to Mental Health Association (MHA) in Albany County. In 1999, the name was again changed, to ClearView Center, to reflect the expansion of services and mission. Our comprehensive programs, serving clients and their family members, are a reminder of both where we started and how far we have come.

In 1969, a group of community and religious leaders, students, social workers and medical professionals formed a volunteer organization to reach out to young people alienated from family, community, and traditional social services. Its first program, refer, was a 24-hour crisis intervention center and hotline, created to link young people in crisis with community resources.  As refer grew, it established a network of families to house runaway youth and developed volunteer training programs across the state. The organization incorporated as Equinox in 1973, and in the next year hired its first full-time staff. Over the years, Equinox expanded its counseling and emergency shelter programs for homeless youth; added support services and safe shelter for victims of domestic violence and abuse; created comprehensive after-school offerings for at-risk youth; and established a counseling center for adolescents and adults struggling with substance abuse.

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