Dear Friends of HOPE Clubhouse,
On behalf of the members and Board of Directors of HOPE Clubhouse of Southwest Florida Inc. I would like to share a bit of our story.
What began as a small grassroots effort operating in a tiny 500 square foot space, has become a transforming fore for Lee County. HOPE Clubhouse is an exceptional place, an exceptionally good place, where people with lives once shrouded in darkness and despair experience hope and opportunity. At HOPE clubhouse, adults living with a severe and persistent mental illness join a community built on the philosophy that work is the therapy that changes people and lives. At HOPE Clubhouse, our participants, who are called members, voluntarily participate in real work-this is the core healing process. Then, through "Recovery through Work" partnerships with community employers, our members move into competitive jobs and is on the road to greater independence, self- sufficiency, and reintegration into society.
One in four individuals will suffer from a mental disorder in the next year such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or severe depression. Many are either among the homeless or on the fringe of homeless. Many more remain isolated from society due to stigma, poor social skills, low self esteem, and lack of confidence. They merely exist. HOPE Clubhouse is especially important in Southwest Florida where there is a significant gap in services for people living with mental illness. We believe through our psychiatric rehabilitation model that our members will overcome the effects of mental illness and lead satisfying and productive lives. Here is an example of a member who met with success through HOPE Clubhouse:
Jourdan is a young, 21 year old woman. She lives with multiple mental illnesses including bipolar disorder, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder. Jourdan has encountered several bumps along the road, including hospitalizations and other unfortunate events such as having to leave college.
Before HOPE Clubhouse, Jourdan isolated herself in her house and lived in a dark hole of fear and depression. On September 16th , 2010 she tried to take her own life; luckily she was unsuccessful and found hope. In her own words, “HOPE Clubhouse changed my life. I am able to maintain stability and have made plenty of friends and met people that believe in me. I have self-worth and confidence all over again. Most importantly I am no longer defined by my illness.”
Thanks to HOPE Clubhouse, Jourdan is now back in college, has a support network, and will be working in the beginning of the New Year. Once again, in her own words: “ The Clubhouse has shown me the true meaning of life. I receive love, care, and respect here and feel at home. What I love best is that I am not alone and I am not treated as an individual with a mental illness. I am treated as a regular human being as I am.”
We cannot help Jourdan or anyone else without you. We have served 82 people in the last year and a half and have a waiting list. Our ability to assist, promote, and partner with them in their effort to recover social and vocational skills and become employed is directly dependent on your generosity. Your contributions to HOPE Clubhouse directly support our members in daily rehabilitative service.
Will you help HOPE Clubhouse continue to transform the lives of individuals living with a mental illness?
Your contribution will assist individuals like Jourdan. In addition, it will help HOPE Clubhouse maintain its status as an exceptional place – an exceptionally GREAT place!
When you donate, you too can know the joy of helping someone realize a full life, as Jourdan is doing. It is truly a priceless feeling!
Debra Webb, Chief Executive Officer