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New Clubhouse Success Stories

Independence Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Club Stairways, Chico, California
Fountain House Kampala, Uganda
Laurel House, New Jersey

"If You Build It, They Will Come”
Behavioral Healthcare – May, 2009

Summary: Independence Center in St. Louis, Missouri has experienced unprecedented growth since occupying its new West End Place Clubhouse in August 2007. It is the second largest Clubhouse in the world (according to the International Center for Clubhouse Development) and has a daily attendance of more than 245 members. Prior to the 2007 opening, there were 2 different Clubhouse centers located seven miles apart. Through an inclusive process involving 11 task forces comprised of members, staff and some board members, the vision of creating a single Clubhouse for Independence Center became a reality. The new Clubhouse is a 50,000 square foot facility, which provides a full array of supports to its members. "The building itself has a palpable energy, and visitors instantly comprehend that this program is all about getting our mentally ill members back into contemporary work settings”, said Executive Director Mike Keller. For more Information, visit www.independencecenter.org.

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 "Stairways to Health”
Chico News & Review – April 16, 2009

Summary: A recent article in Chico News & Review reported on the opening of Club Stairways in Chico, California. This nonprofit gathering place, currently housed at the Jesus Center in Chico, is based on the Clubhouse model of Fountain House in New York City. Mike Little, Executive Director of Club Stairways, has been offering housing and support services for those with mental illness for 8 years through Stairway Recovery. He also serves as president of the local National Alliance on Mental Illness chapter. Little researched the Clubhouse model and used it to create the program. He felt that the interaction of members, who participate in the daily operations of the program, set the Clubhouse model apart from other kinds of services.  In less than 2 months, Club Stairways has grown to 57 members. For more information visit, www.clubstairways.org.

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Fountain House Kampala
April 2009

Veronica Nakywe, President of Fountain House Kampala, Uganda, reports on continued progress and successes:

  • Mrs. Lydia Munabi Boma is welcomed as the new Executive Director of Fountain House
  • Fountain House continues to develop services and programs for its community, including education, wellness and entertainment programs.
  • An Anti-Stigma and Discrimination Campaign was successfully launched, targeting media houses, NGOs, hospitals, affiliation groups and schools.
  • Seven new members were welcomed in April
Serious challenges still exist at Fountain House including: stigma in the community, membership mobilization and accessibility of the Clubhouse. However, the Clubhouse continues to thrive and help its members improve their lives and fulfill their dreams. To see pictures of the Kampala Clubhouse, click here.

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"Club That’s More Like a Family”
The New York Times – December 28, 2008

Summary: The New York Times recently reported on the opening of Laurel House in New Jersey. The opening of the Clubhouse was the result of several years of lobbying and fund-raising by a handful of parents who had seen what didn’t work for their adult children and wanted to try something new.  "They want to lead productive lives, and they want not to be a burden to society,” said Tom Malamud, 70, of Glen Ridge, who became executive director of Laurel House after working for 42 years at Fountain House in Manhattan.

"First NJ Clubhouse for Mentally Ill Coming to Hub City”

The Daily Targum – September 8, 2008

Summary: The Daily Targum reported on the opening of Laurel House in New Jersey and the fact that the Clubhouse is providing those with chronic mental illnesses a new resource to help reintegrate into the work force. "We hope to be the first of many in New Jersey,” said Annette Mayo, the president of the Laurel House Committee, "Their success rate is phenomenal [because] it doesn’t focus on the fact that these people are sick, it focuses on the fact that these people are citizens of the community who would like to have a meaningful life.”

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