About Us

We are a community-partnership program where people whose lives have been drastically interrupted by a major mental illness come voluntarily to rebuild their lives.

This successful evidence-based model helps people with mental illnesses stay out of hospitals to achieve dreams goals of social, financial, educational, and vocational independence.

  • Person-Centered Acceptance, Dignity, Social Inclusion, Recovery
  • Meaningful work with stable, competitive employment
  • Community engagement
  • Reduces stigma and discrimination
  • Restorative environment emphasizing abilities & talents
  • Access to services, supports, housing
  • Meaningful relationships
  • Grounded in internationally-proven model

Clubhouse Services

Clubhouse services are structured, community-based group services provided in a group rehabilitation service setting. These services include a range of social, educational, pre-vocational, and transitional employment rehabilitation training utilizing behavioral, cognitive, or supportive interventions to improve a recipient’s potential for establishing and maintaining social relationships and obtaining occupational or educational achievements.

A clubhouse group service is designed to strengthen and improve the recipient’s interpersonal skills that emphasizes a holistic approach focusing on the recipient’s strengths and abilities to promote recovery from mental illness and disorders. This service is primarily rehabilitative in nature, using a wellness model that offers a setting to restore independent living skills. These services are designed to assist the recipient in eliminating the functional, interpersonal, and environmental barriers created by their disabilities and to restore social skills for independent living and effective life management. The service may also be used to facilitate cognitive and socialization skills necessary for functioning in a work environment focusing on maximum recovery and independence.

The daily work of the Clubhouse community is organized and carried out in a way that continually reinforces this message of belonging. This is not difficult, because in fact the work of the Clubhouse does require the participation of the members. The design of a Clubhouse engages members in every aspect of its operation, and there is always much more work to be done than can be accomplished by the few employed staff. The skills, talents, and creative ideas and efforts of each member are needed and encouraged each day.

Participation is voluntary, but each member is always invited to participate in work which includes clerical duties, reception, food service, transportation management, outreach, maintenance, research, fund raising and managing the employment and education programs. Currently GOC offers weekly art, social, and computer classes. We seek to greatly expand our classes to include classes in: Job skills, Social skills, Conflict resolution, Mindfulness, Career planning, Music, Dance, and Nutrition. These classes have been identified by members as what they would like the Club to offer.

The daily activity of a Clubhouse is organized around a structured system known as the work-ordered day. The work-ordered day is an eight-hour period, typically Monday through Friday, which parallels the typical business hours of the working community where the Clubhouse is located. Members and staff work side by side, as colleagues to perform the work that is important to their community. All of the work in the Clubhouse is for the Clubhouse and not for any outside agency or business. There are no clinical therapies or treatment-oriented programs in the Clubhouse. Members volunteer to participate as they feel ready and according to their individual interests.

As a right of membership, Clubhouses provide members with opportunities to return to paid employment in integrated work settings through supported employment in the form of Transitional Employment and Independent Employment programs. Transitional Employment is a highly structured program for members returning to work in local business and industry. Transitional Employment placements are at the employer’s place of business, are part-time (15-20 hours per week), and include a lot of on-the-job and off-site support from Clubhouse staff and other members. These placements generally last from six to nine months. Members can then try another placement or move on to independent employment. Transitional Employment is specifically designed as a vocational rehabilitation program where a member can gain or re-gain the skills and confidence necessary to have a job while he or she is employed in a “real world” position. The only requirement for the member to participate in Transitional Employment is the expressed desire to work.

Independent Employment is a program of the Clubhouse through which members, when ready, are broadly helped by the Clubhouse to seek and obtain a job of their own. The Clubhouse then provides ongoing support and encouragement for the members as long as they remain employed and want assistance. There is no on-site support at the place of business for members in Independent Employment; all support takes place at the Clubhouse, or in the community.

In addition to work opportunities, Clubhouses provide evening, weekend, and holiday social and recreational programming. Members and staff together organize structured and non-structured social activities. These activities are scheduled outside of the work-ordered day. Holidays are celebrated on the day on which they fall. Activities are scheduled both at the Clubhouse and in the community. We will continue to provide these social opportunities and will expand our programming.

Part of the daily work of the Clubhouse involves keeping in contact with all members. When a member does not attend the Clubhouse or is in the hospital a “reach-out” telephone call or visit is made. Each member is reminded that he or she is missed, and welcome and needed at the Clubhouse. This process not only encourages members to participate, but it is also an early warning system for members who are experiencing difficulties and may need extra help.

Decision-making and governance are an important part of the Clubhouse work. Members and staff meet in open forums to discuss policy issues and future planning for the Clubhouse.

 

Watch Video Description of Gainesville Opportunity Center


Evidence-based research on the Clubhouse model