Awards & Recognition, In The Media

Congratulations Jose Cotto – City & State Non Profit 40 under 40 Awardee

April 4, 2022

Jose Cotto
Senior Vice President for Residential Treatment,
Institute for Community Living

Jose Cotto’s commitment to helping others is grounded in personal experience. Growing up, he spent some time in the foster care system and saw family members struggle with substance use.

Now in his mid-30s, Cotto is a licensed social worker who serves as senior vice president for residential treatment at the Institute for Community Living, a human services organization that provides mental health care, housing and social support services. While he’s collected various accolades and degrees, Cotto says his background and identity as an Afro Latino, Puerto Rican gay man has been particularly helpful when engaging with clients who’ve experienced trauma.

“My experiences have really helped me connect with people and help change their trajectory so they can live healthy lives and live in an apartment like anybody else,” he says.

Cotto advanced quickly through the nonprofit’s ranks after joining as a clinical specialist in 2012. He’s since served in numerous roles and currently oversees more than 20 residential treatment programs. While his responsibilities have grown, Cotto says he tries to always be person-centered, whether that means leading dance breaks for colleagues or pulling on gloves to help clean someone’s stove during a home visit.

He’s proud to have been given so many opportunities to lead at a young age.

“I just try to be as innovative as possible and genuine,” he says. “I never forget where I come from, and I make sure people know that when the time is right, so they know to never lose hope on anyone.”

– Sahalie Donaldson

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About Institute for Community Living

It is Institute for Community Living’s (ICL) mission to help New Yorkers with behavioral health challenges live healthy and fulfilling lives by providing comprehensive housing, health care, and recovery services. We take a trauma-informed approach—meeting the people we serve wherever they are, working together to support them in achieving their goals.

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