About Us

VIP Community Services

VIP’s commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) is interwoven in all aspects of our work. We believe in lifelong learning, identifying and redressing power imbalances, developing and sustaining inclusive relationships guided by respect and trust, while pursuing accountability on behalf of those we serve.

VIP demonstrates its commitment to these principles in concrete terms by adopting trauma-informed, resilience-oriented, and equitable (TIROE) care principles and practices that improve client and staff engagement and retention, outcomes, and experience with care. We believe that a feeling of safety is the foundation of highly effective teams and quality client care.

VIP Community Services

VIP’s commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) is interwoven in all aspects of our work. We believe in lifelong learning, identifying and redressing power imbalances, developing and sustaining inclusive relationships guided by respect and trust, while pursuing accountability on behalf of those we serve.

VIP demonstrates its commitment to these principles in concrete terms by adopting trauma-informed, resilience-oriented, and equitable (TIROE) care principles and practices that improve client and staff engagement and retention, outcomes, and experience with care. We believe that a feeling of safety is the foundation of highly effective teams and quality client care.

Additional Information

Established in 1974 as the Tremont Commonwealth Council, VIP Community Services (VIP) is an IRS designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. In 1983, the organization was incorporated in the State of New York. 

VIP is governed by a board of directors which delegates the operations of the agency to the President and CEO. Each year, VIP files an IRS Form 990 and an audit according to federal, state and city laws and regulations. Audited financials are available upon request and the Form 990 is available at www.guidestar.org

The distinction as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) licensed by OMH and OASAS, as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), and with an IOS integrated license underscores VIP’s commitment to providing services across the age spectrum at low to no cost in the Bronx and throughout the city.

Additional Information

Established in 1974 as the Tremont Commonwealth Council, VIP Community Services (VIP) is an IRS designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. In 1983, the organization was incorporated in the State of New York. 

VIP is governed by a board of directors which delegates the operations of the agency to the President and CEO. Each year, VIP files an IRS Form 990 and an audit according to federal, state and city laws and regulations. Audited financials are available upon request and the Form 990 is available at www.guidestar.org. 

The distinction as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) licensed by OMH and OASAS, as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), and with an IOS integrated license underscores VIP’s commitment to providing services across the age spectrum at low to no cost in the Bronx and throughout the city.

History of VIP

Founded in 1974 to fill the need for vital social services in The Bronx, VIP to this day plays a key role in supporting the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and the larger community.

Inspired and led by Father Robert Banome, residents and community leaders in the East Tremont/Crotona section of the Bronx joined together to grapple with the neighborhood’s most pressing problems: poverty, safety, family disintegration, illicit substance use, unemployment, and housing abandonment. 

VIP became a safe place where individuals could get help with their substance use disorder, learn a vocation or trade, and get back on their feet. Over time, VIP added housing, shelter, primary and specialty care, as well as mental health services to its portfolio.

History of VIP

Founded in 1974 to fill the need for vital social services in The Bronx, VIP to this day plays a key role in supporting the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and the larger community.

Inspired and led by Father Robert Banome, residents and community leaders in the East Tremont/Crotona section of the Bronx joined together to grapple with the neighborhood’s most pressing problems: poverty, safety, family disintegration, illicit substance use, unemployment, and housing abandonment. 

VIP became a safe place where individuals could get help with their substance use disorder, learn a vocation or trade, and get back on their feet. Over time, VIP added housing, shelter, primary and specialty care, as well as mental health services to its portfolio.

Our Founder

Father Robert Banome was the founder of VIP Community Services. He was a Roman Catholic priest who fought drug addiction and urban decay in blighted neighborhoods of the South Bronx.

For decades, Father Banome worked to reverse neighborhood deterioration and secure social welfare services for the poor in his area. He was bilingual and became a trusted spokesman for his parishioners’ needs. He also created the Vocational Instruction Project Community Services (VIP), developing it from a counseling program for 165 individuals into a drug treatment and rehabilitation service for 1,000 recovering addicts.

His efforts led to the founding of the Fordham-Tremont Community Mental Health Program, and he was the founder and first director of the Tremont Community Council, which offered a health program, a center for the elderly and recreation and tutoring programs for youth. These programs were the precursors of VIP.

He died on December 28, 1992, in the rectory at St. Anthony’s Church, where he was pastor. Sandra Ruiz Butter took over Father Banome’s duties as acting director of VIP Community Services in June of 1992 when his illness worsened.

He was pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in the East Tremont section for 19 years before he became pastor of St. Anthony’s in 1982.

VIP Community Services exists today due to the love and commitment of Father Banome those many years ago. He set the groundwork for programs that would serve thousands in the years to come.

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