Celebrating a decade of compassionate care: TSINY Miele’s Respite Program thrives in Queens Village

On Wednesday, staff and local elected officials celebrated the 10th anniversary of Miele’s Respite.
Photo by Athena Dawson

Dozens of local community members, elected officials and staff gathered at Transitional Services for New York (TSINY) Miele’s Respite for its 10th-anniversary celebration on Wednesday, June 12.

Located on the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center Campus in Queens Village, the respite program provides an alternative to hospitalization for clients with psychosis-related or emotional crises in a supervised living setting. 

The celebration started with speeches led by Dr. Larry S. Grubler, CEO of the respite, who spoke about the program’s success over the last decade. Grubler said the respite program has served over 1,500 people who use the program to get back on their feet. “This gives us an opportunity to work with people in crisis and get them access to services. 

Dr. Grubler speaks passionately about the services the respite provides to those in emotional crisis. Photo by Athena Dawson

Grubler also shared how the program allows people to stay out of the hospital and continue with their lives, as well as have a soft landing when they leave the facility. The people involved in the program are people who have dealt with their own lived mental health experiences and have been trained to support those who receive services from the facility.

It was also explained to the crowd how the center got its namesake. “Joel Miele was the chairperson of our TSI Cares Corporate Alliance reception and events sponsors. He was one of the best leaders and was able to get people together and he was extremely supportive. When we opened up this facility, he had just passed away, and so we decided to name the facility after him,” said Grubler.  

Local elected officials and their representatives also praised the respite program at Wednesday’s event. Deputy Borough President Ebony Young shared how the facility has helped people who, at times, feel stuck and unable to get out of an emotional crisis. “This very organization at TSINY understands that their leverage is reaching into those boxes, those spaces and places, and opening doors for people to breathe,” Young said. “We are so grateful and thankful for the work you do every single day, helping people to re-discover themselves.”

Deputy Borough President Ebony Young center praised the respite program for its rehabilitation work. Photo by Athena Dawson

David Sperry, chief of staff for Assemblymember David Weprin, shared that the Assembly Member is proud of the positive impact the respite program has had on the local community. 

During the celebration, Jasmine, a former guest of Miele’s Respite program, spoke about her journey towards bettering her mental health with program resources after she faced a life-altering accident. “In 2021, my life took an unexpected turn when I was struck by a semi-truck while walking. This challenging incident sparked a profound transformation in me, helping me to find resilience and a new sense of purpose,” Jasmine said.

Jasmine continued, sharing how she has been attending group therapy to dive into her own mental health journey. Jasmine also shared that she not only overcame homelessness but also navigated the complexities of mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. “Miele’s respite provided me with a nurturing environment to comprehensively address my mental health challenges. Through therapeutic interventions, counseling, and a peer support group, I gained valuable insight into managing my conditions and fostering resilience and self-discovery,” she said. 

Miele’s daughter, Vita Marie and wife, Josephine Miele spoke on his dedication to helping others in need. Photo by Athena Dawson

Toward the end of the program, Miele’s wife, Josephine Miele, and daughter, Vita Marie Miele Chu, said a few words in honor of Miele’s legacy.  “Those who knew my dad knew that after his family, he loved nothing better than to be of service. He was very proud of [the facility’s]mission and especially the peer counselors who are so integral to its success. Miele’s Respite offers support, connection, acceptance and affirmation, sometimes just an ear, and it changes lives,” Vita Marie said.