Mission and Values

Mission, history and values

SPOP’s mission is to enhance the quality of life of older adults and to foster their independent living through the delivery of comprehensive mental health and supportive services, advocacy and education.


SPOP was one of the first agencies in the U.S. dedicated to meeting the comprehensive behavioral health needs of older adults living in the community.  Launched in 1972 as part of Selfhelp Community Services and originally known as New York Service Program for Older People, the agency was developed by a consortium of health care and social service providers that recognized the need for behavioral health services among the older population of Manhattan’s West Side.  In 1979 SPOP became an independent agency supported by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  In 2006 the agency’s name was changed to Service Program for Older People.

Over the course of nearly five decades, SPOP has expanded to include a wide range of behavioral health and support services, delivered at our office, in the home, and at 18 satellite clinic locations throughout Manhattan, the Bronx, and Downtown Brooklyn. Today SPOP is the only organization in New York City that is entirely and exclusively dedicated to meeting the mental health needs of older adults.

Funding for SPOP is provided by city and state agencies; Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance reimbursements; client fees; and contributions and grants from foundations, corporations, individuals and government entities.

Values Statement

Commitment to High Quality

We work to ensure that our services are age-friendly, accessible and designed through the perspective of the aging population.

We strive to be a provider of excellence.

We foster a workplace that encourages lifelong learning, open dialogue and sharing gained knowledge.


We conduct our business with the highest standards of professional behavior and ethics.

We do the right thing for our key constituents: our clients, employees, partners, funders, and affiliates.

We value transparency and honesty, and we take great pride in maintaining our reputation as a trustworthy organization.


We believe that well-being and quality of life are defined by the individual.

We maximize independence by building on individual strengths, interests and abilities, and helping people achieve their best life.

We treat each person with dignity and respect.

We value our constituents’ right to self-determination and we join with them to help them use their voices for self-empowerment.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

We value our communities and are committed to supporting a diverse population.

We strive to create an environment that reflects the communities we serve where everyone feels empowered to bring their authentic and whole selves to SPOP.

We are committed to creating a respectful work environment that supports diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, creativity, learning, teamwork, and advancement.  We understand that the pathway to our workplace looks different for everyone, and our staff includes people with disabilities, people of color, veterans, those pursuing a career change, and the LGBTQA+ community.