A community of recovery, hope, and dignity that empowers people with mental illness through friendship, meaningful work, and cultivation of strengths.
To afford people whose lives have been disrupted by mental illness the opportunity to recover meaningful and productive lives through reintegration into the workplace and the community.
Clubhouse: A Proven Model of Recovery
Since the first clubhouse opened in 1948, clubhouses have been successfully implemented in more than 300 communities across 28 countries. The clubhouse approach is a proven model for rehabilitation, recovery, and reintegration into the community. Members share ownership with a small staff and take responsibility for the success of the organization. They build on their strengths instead of focusing on their illnesses. Membership in the program is voluntary and for life: a clubhouse remains a place of care and support for members for as long as they want to be part of it.
The Elkhart County Clubhouse creates an accepting community where people with a mental illness can participate in valuable work within the organization. It provides space to socialize with friends and coworkers, and it gives access to employment within the wider community. All aspects of the clubhouse operate with the basic belief that every member can recover from the effects of mental illness enough to lead a satisfying and productive life. Clubhouse members are dedicated to one another's success. People recover through work and work-mediated relationships, which studies show are restorative and provide a firm foundation for growth, self-respect, and success.
A brief history of how we came to be
Several members of the Oasis Support Group (affiliated with the Anabaptist Disabilities Network) first learned about the Clubhouse model of rehabilitation for people with mental illness in 2006. In January 2009, five Oasis members adopted the goal of establishing a certified clubhouse in Elkhart County.
A public community forum was held in April 2009 at Maple City Chapel in Goshen to share information about the Clubhouse concept and invite wider participation in the project. A team of six people from Elkhart County attended the New Clubhouse Development Training, May 7-8, 2009, in Fort Wayne, IN, sponsored by the International Center for Clubhouse Development (ICCD) and hosted by Carriage House of Fort Wayne. The training team produced an action plan to move the project forward.
A working group began meeting monthly in June of 2009. Committees were formed to work on board development, communications, finances, and location criteria. Articles of incorporation were filed in October 2009 and bylaws were drafted. Clubhouse representatives participated in a number of speaking engagements at various church and community groups to spread the word about the project.
A board of directors, reflective of the diversity within the wider community, was appointed and began meeting in June 2010. Charitable status as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization was received from the Internal Revenue Service in November 2010, which allowed for more concerted efforts at raising funds.
In 2011, Rich Meyers was hired on as the new Director of the Elkhart County Clubhouse. Meyer took the Comprehensive Clubhouse Training at Gateway House in Greenville, SC after five weeks internship at Carriage House.
The Elkhart County Clubhouse concluded its search for a building on May 1, 2012 with the purchase of a historic victorian house in downtown Goshen located at 114 S. 5th Street. We officially opened on May 22, 2012 and held a grand opening celebration several months later on October 5. On May 21, 2013, just one day before our 1-year anniversary, we received accreditation from Clubhouse International.