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Racine Friendship Clubhouse: The Right to a Place to Come

ID: Group of 20 people of mixed genders and races, wearing t-shirts that say "Racine Friendship Clubhouse." The photo is dated 2020. /IDImpact Partner Spotlight 

Racine Friendship CLubhouse: The Right to a Place To come For Those with Mental Illnesses 

Racine Friendship Clubhouse is a day program, a club, where adults living with mental illness can find support and encouragement and participate in Racine Friendship Clubhouse’s day-to-day operations. Its facilitates four basic rights for its members:

  • The right to a place to come   
  • The right to meaningful work
  • The right to meaningful relationships
  • The right to a place to return

1. What makes Racine Friendship Clubhouse stand out among other agencies?

Our program participants, who we call members, participate in the Work-Ordered Day, which is a core element of Racine Friendship Clubhouse. We actively support members in developing skills they can use in all aspects of their life. Through this skill building as well as goal setting, members often stabilize their symptoms, strengthen their independence and flourish in the rest of their lives. We have helped Clubhouse members find employment, friendship, and increased quality of life. There is no other program like this in our community.

2. Can you tell me a story about a time when you realized your organization’s impact?

During COVID-19, we have been unable to offer our regular presence and activities to members. As a result, some of our members have filled in the gaps by organizing Zoom classes and meetings for one another or coming in to clean the building and support our food giveaway. We’ve been really grateful to see members taking initiative to help each other through this crisis.

3. What do you think most people would be surprised to learn about RFC?

People with mental illnesses can come to the Clubhouse to meet others and participate in our program and opportunities at no cost. The only time members are charged is a small fee when they participate in meals we offer.

4. Is there anything else you think the community should know about your work?

These last few months have brought many changes to the Racine Friendship Clubhouse. Like all agencies, we have been hard at work trying to maintain a safe environment in response to COVID-19. We have gone through a rapid series of transformations in this time, from being completely closed, to opening our doors to a limited number of people for shorter hours, to our current stage.

Right now, we are open Mondays and Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m. and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visitors are required to wear masks and social distance, and we clean the facility frequently to keep one another safe.

Although we have to limit members’ attendance at this time, we are keeping in touch through regular Zoom meetings, weekly phone calls, our Facebook group for members, and a food giveaway each Wednesday. We are here for our members continued wellbeing and are looking for ways to support them wherever we can.

Marisol Salazar is the director of Racine Friendship Clubhouse. You can also find Racine Friendship Clubhouse on Facebook at facebook.com/RacineClubhouse.