Racine Friendship Clubhouse: empowering individuals with mental illness

Impact Spotlight

Racine Friendship ClubhouseIndividuals in a pantry

Mar. 15, 2022

Racine Friendship Clubhouse, a United Way impact partner, provides the Racine County community with space, support and resources for individuals living with mental illness through their Work-Ordered Day program. 


What issue or problem is Racine Friendship Clubhouse designed to help/figure out/make better?

Racine Friendship Clubhouse offers programming to support and empower individuals living with a mental illness. 


What does Racine Friendship Clubhouse do (overarchingly and on a daily basis?)

The Work-Ordered Day is the primary program at Racine Friendship Clubhouse. During the program, which operates Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., participants (referred to as members) gain valuable experiences and achieve their social, educational and vocational goals. Each member works with program staff to develop an individualized plan with specific goals. Participants then have opportunities to build practical skills and make progress on their goals through various activities based on the "departments" within the Clubhouse model, which include culinary, reception, maintenance and general. The program also offers a variety of activities involving community speakers, community outreach, recreational and educational outings and psychosocial groups. 


What is Racine Friendship Clubhouse's impact?

100% of Racine Friendship Clubhouse members report an increase in their awareness of mental health because of their participation in activities at Racine Friendship Clubhouse, and 93% of members report that they are able to identify healthy coping skills. 

Paula has been a member of Racine Friendship Clubhouse since March 2019. She took time off during Covid, but she stayed in contact with the Clubhouse by following the Clubhouse's social media and calling in regularly. Paula returned to Racine Friendship Clubhouse on a regular basis in the fall of 2021. 

In addition to regularly offering creative ideas during group sessions, Paula has a unique gift for drawing the community into the Clubhouse. When Clubhouse members planned for Mental Illness Awareness Week in October, Paula thought of a way to create a partnership with her employer. She asked her manager at The Grind Café if Clubhouse members could hold signs in front of the shop during Mental Illness Awareness Week. He agreed and even created a special drink to help spread awareness of mental illness. 

Paula has also made great progress on her personal goals. In addition to working at The Grind Café, she is attending Gateway Technical College. With her Human Services degree, she hopes to join the Human Services workforce one day and help others. 

Sumana joined Racine Friendship Clubhouse at the beginning of 2020. Since then, she has shown a lot of commitment and growth. She has strong communication skills and has maintained contact with Racine Friendship Clubhouse throughout the recent pandemic and program changes. Sumana has displayed great leadership since she became the 2021 member representative on Racine Friendship Clubhouse's Board of Directors. She helps to bridge the connection between members and the board. Her desire to help and be a leader at Clubhouse has led to her involvement with many groups, including a book club and now a recently formed discussion group called "A Time to Talk" covering many different topics with other members. 


What does the future look like for Racine Friendship Clubhouse? How do you envision Racine Friendship Clubhouse changing or growing to remain impactful and relevant over the next 10 years?

The future of Racine Friendship Clubhouse holds many possibilities. Over the next ten years the organization hopes to continue fulfilling its mission but will seek new opportunities to expand its services and impact in the community. This could include new partnerships, new funding, and/or additional sites with the goal of expanding the footprint of Racine Friendship Clubhouse to allow greater access to services and programming. 

Emilee Viera is the community outreach coordinator for Racine Friendship Clubhouse