Tarrant County Clubhouse

Welcoming community of MI sufferers for building relationships, developing skills and leading more meaningful and productive lives.
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Mission: The Tarrant County Clubhouse will be a welcoming community that provides opportunities for members living with mental illness to build relationships with others and develop skills that allow them to lead more meaningful and productive lives.
Vision: to create a community of dignity, hope and recovery, empowering people who live with mental illnesses to improve their quality of life.
Need for Support: NIMH reports that 6% of the U.S. population has a serious mental illness. That would represent about 120,000 people in Tarrant County. MHMR Tarrant County reports that 300 new adults enter their system each month and 8,000 adults per month secure services from MHMR Tarrant County.
In addressing those needs, the Clubhouse model offers a different and proven approach to recovery. Tarrant County Clubhouse will be a community where people with mental illness can go to find meaningful work, socialize with peers and develop friendships, enjoy low-cost, healthy meals, make progress on overcoming obstacles to education and employment, participate in running the clubhouse via work that relies on talents and strengths, receive emotional support, and move toward improvement.
Centrally located near public transit and open daily during local business hours, Tarrant County Clubhouse will offer a single location where members can take advantage of multiple opportunities. In addition to the work done during the day, Tarrant County Clubhouse will be open for social opportunities on some evenings, weekends, and all holidays. Members have a place to develop the skills and connections needed to venture successfully into the broader world.
A Proven Model of Recovery:Clubhouses are membership-based communities where people can come to rebuild their lives. Since the first Clubhouse opened in 1948, this Clubhouse model has been successfully implemented in more than 300 communities across 33 countries, serving close to 100,000 people. In 2018 the Texas Legislature designated $1.7 million for funding of certified Clubhouses in Texas.
The Clubhouse approach is a proven model for rehabilitation, recovery and reintegration into the community. The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration lists Clubhouse International on its National Registry of Evidenced-Based Programs and Practices.
As a Clubhouse, members share a sense of ownership with a small staff and take responsibility for the success of the organization. Membership is voluntary and good for life: a clubhouse remains a place of care and support for members for as long as they want to be a part of it.
All aspects of a Clubhouse operate with the fundamental premise that every member can recover from the effects of mental illness to lead a satisfying and productive life. Members encourage one another’s success. People recover through work and work-mediated relationships, which studies show are restorative and provide a foundation for growth, self-respect, and success.
Plans for the Clubhouse Tarrant County
Location:Tarrant County Clubhouse will create a dignified, attractive environment which communicates that important work is being done on site. It will have its own identity, separate from any mental health center or institutional settings; be designed to facilitate the work-ordered day, adequate in size and conveying a sense of respect; and be designed so all areas are member and staff accessible, with no staff only spaces.
Staff:The Clubhouse Tarrant County staff will be small, as directed by the Clubhouse International model. An executive director will oversee two or three staff people, working ingeneralistroles. Members will retain primary responsibility for the Clubhouse’s daily operations.
Program details:All Clubhouse Tarrant County programs and activities will be operated by members and staff working together, drawing on the particular talents and skills of the members.
Activities will include:
Work-ordered day: The Clubhouse provides opportunities for meaningful work for all members. During an eight-hour period Monday through Friday, members and staff work together to carry out the tasks of running the Clubhouse. Members volunteer according to their interests. Clubhouse work includes intake and orientation of new members, new staff orientation, administering employment programs, assistance with educational goals, cleaning cooking and serving meals, maintenance and repair of the building , fundraising, outreach, evaluation of the Clubhouse policies, planning social activities, and helping members obtain needed services.
Employment programs:Opportunities for paid employment include transitional employment, a highly-structured program for members beginning or returning to work. In this model, the Clubhouse contracts with employers for entry-level jobs, trains members to do these jobs, and assures that a member or staff person is always present to fulfill their commitment to the employer. Transitional placements are part-time for six to nine months and involve extensive support from staff. After concluding a placement, a member can try another or move on to supported or independent employment. Supported employment offers members help to apply for and get jobs, and provides ongoing assistance as needed, either on site or at the Clubhouse. The Clubhouse also assists members who wish to find independent employment.
Social and recreational programs:Social activities are always scheduled outside the work-ordered day. The Tarrant County Clubhouse will schedule community events on all holidays and plan other events as members suggest and coordinate.
Education:The Tarrant County Clubhouse will help members to complete education that has been disrupted and to undertake certificate and degree programs.
Reach-out: Part of the daily work of the Clubhouse involves staying in touch with members. Reach-out telephone calls or visits let members know they are valued and missed.
Decision making and governance: All policies and future planning of the Clubhouse are developed through open discussions involving both members and staff.
Funding: Most successful Clubhouses operate with a mix of private and public funding. In Tarrant County Clubhouse our intention is to build a diversity of revenue streams from a range of sources, including private donations, foundation grants, corporate donors and sponsors, and public funding.
The short term plan is to raise enough money through private individuals, foundations and community organizations to be able to operate for one year. The estimated start up and operating budget for year one is approximately $200,000.
Most Clubhouses start small, developing their scope and size over time as they acquire membership, experience, and data to support their funding needs.
Benefits for Tarrant County: Clubhouses serve their members and provide tangible benefits to the wider community. This recovery-based model of care has enabled people with mental illness to avoid expensive hospital visits and to stay off the street and out of prison. Research on existing Clubhouses has shown that providing opportunities to achieve their social, financial, and vocational goals improves members’ lives, with positive results for the whole community. Tarrant County Clubhouse expects to achieve the same positive results attained by other Clubhouse International Clubhouses, including:
Higher employment: Studies show that the Clubhouse model yields higher rates of employment, longer job tenure, and higher earnings than traditional programs for people with mental illness.[1]
Reduced hospitalizations:Studies document that membership in a Clubhouse reduced the number of hospitalizations by one-third and the average number of hospital days by 70%.[2]
Reduced incarceration: Studies also document that Clubhouse membership reduces involvement in the criminal justice system.[3]
Improved well-being: One study showed that compared to people receiving typical mental health services, Clubhouse members are more likely to report they have close friendships and someone they can rely on when they need help.[4] Another study found that members value Clubhouse opportunities to pursue mental health recovery, understood as a journey toward living a meaningful life and achieving personal life goals despite the challenges mental illness presents.[5]
Project Summary
Tarrant County Clubhouse envisions a community center of recovery, hope, and dignity for people living with mental illness.
Tarrant County Clubhouse is being established through Clubhouse International. Tarrant County Clubhouse has a mentoring relationship with San Antonio Clubhouse, a certified Clubhouse open since 2003.
The work-ordered day will provide structure for the daily activities of Tarrant County Clubhouse. During typical business hours, members and staff will work side-by-side as colleagues in a variety of activities aimed at building skills and providing one another with support.
A credentialed Clubhouse will provide Tarrant County with a proven, cost effective way to reduce the negative impact of mental illness, benefitting taxpayers by reducing incarceration and hospitalization rates and returning members to employment.
A strong emphasis on transitional and supported employment will help members who have significant barriers as they return to paid employment in the wider community.
Tarrant County Clubhouse is exploring a wide variety of private and public funding options.
No services currently available in Tarrant County use the Clubhouse model. Our Clubhouse will complement and collaborate with existing mental health services.
The target date to open the Tarrant County Clubhouse doors is January 1, 2019.
For further information, contact Peggy Brown: plbbrown@aol.com; 415-309-5701.

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