In 1969, a concerned mother, Dorothy Anderson, along with fellow citizens and community leaders, began meeting at Episcopal Hospital in North Philadelphia to develop mental health services for people in the neighborhoods of Kensington, Port Richmond, Fishtown, and Juniata Park. Community leaders, citizens, and family members who participated in these meetings would become the core of an advisory board for a new center with the goal of making the new program a freestanding (rather than hospital-based) center.
In 1974, a new nonprofit corporation was established and named COMHAR, Inc. In January 1975, Episcopal Hospital received a small grant to expand to a full community organization. This grant was then transferred to the new corporation and COMHAR became a free-standing center with a community governing board.
From these early beginnings, COMHAR has grown and formed into a comprehensive human services organization pioneering innovative programs that meet the complex and unique needs of the individuals, families, and communities we serve. These include outpatient treatment, co-occurring behavioral health and substance use treatment, community integrated recovery centers (CIRCs), residential programs, a Clubhouse, services for the Latino community, services supporting individuals with HIV/AIDS, employment supports, and children and family services. Today, our services are offered in the Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Northampton County communities, in our various facilities, homes and schools helping over 5,500 individuals each month.
With over 550 staff members, COMHAR is dedicated as a mission driven people first organization, trusted to help transform the lives of the most vulnerable among us living with chronic and complex behavioral health challenges and intellectual and developmental disabilities. COMHAR blends clinical excellence with compassion to offer exceptional health and human services. Through our diverse offerings and inclusivity, we are wholly dedicated to positively impacting the lives of every member of the cultures we serve in the community in need of our support.
There are five divisions within COMHAR―Children’s and Family Services, Collaborative Community Support Services, the Intellectual Disability Division, Intensive Residential and Community Services, and Outpatient Services. Each division offers multiple programs.
COMHAR collaborates closely with numerous organizations to ensure the delivery of essential programs and services. COMHAR is a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) and offers integrated behavioral health and physical healthcare. Partners include Community Behavioral Health, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities, SAMHSA, The National Council of Wellbeing, The Alliance of Community Services Providers, The Philadelphia Coalition, the Regional Community Providers Association (RCPA) and other community partners that include Temple Episcopal Inpatient Psychiatric Hospital, Friends Hospital, and local health centers, detoxification, and rehabilitation centers.
With over 550 staff members, COMHAR is dedicated to our mission of providing services to support persons in their recovery and empower them on their journey.
At COMHAR, We Believe
- Individuals are more than their diagnosis or disability, they are people FIRST.
- We respect every individual as a valuable person with unique capabilities.
- We meet each person where they are from, we build trust and a sense of partnership.
- We help individuals identify strengths to build upon and dreams to aim for, making recovery a believable possibility.
- Individuals choose their goals and own their growth and recovery process. We are there to guide, coach, support, encourage and create opportunity.
Our services are delivered in homes, schools and throughout the community at 7 office locations along with over 100 residential sites. COMHAR now has over 600 dedicated staff providing person-centered care to more than 5,500 individuals each month.
Chief Executive Officer
Trapeta B. Mayson
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Director of Human Resources
Chief Information Officer
Dr. Luis Bird
Board of Directors
At COMHAR, inspiring hope, building self-confidence, encouraging independence and becoming integrated
as part of a community are pillars of our service delivery model.
No matter the person or level of need, COMHAR will help you THRIVE!
“To provide health and human services that empower individuals, families and communities to live healthier, self-determined lives”
We believe that all people have the ability to change and grow and that services built on choice enable that growth. We know that individual differences enrich our lives with diversity, new ideas and new perspectives. We know that people are spiritual beings who seek meaning and purpose for their lives and so we are committed to holistic care. We see that peer support is effective in promoting growth and recovery.
Ultimately, it is the extraordinary community of individuals and employees that make COMHAR a special place. It is “COMHAR People” who want to make a difference by supporting recovery and changing lives for the better. From program to program, this spirit and commitment permeate our organization.