Photo Oct 18, 7 29 28 PM.jpg

Off the streets and into meaningful work immediately

Mark walked in off the street and in minutes was using his cooking skills to serve others. "Today changed my life," says Mark. Members helped Mark connect with shelter and other resources.

As the numbers of individuals living in tent encampments and under bridges in our city grows, it is imperative to understand that many of these individuals live with serious mental illness (SMI). Some studies suggest 25%-33% of homeless or sheltered individuals live with an SMI Through “Housing First” programs and “medical model” approaches, our community has tried valiantly to improve the lives of those who are homeless with mental illness. But this fact remains: “The most devastating effect of mental illness is the separation from others in society.” -(Joel Corcoran, Clubhouse International President). Only by incorporating more “Community of Care” models do we have a chance to turn the tide on this homelessness epidemic. Many who have SMI’s have been housed, but due to ongoing isolation and loneliness, they end up living on the streets again in an oft repeated cycle. Seattle needs to usher in a new approach that complements the “Housing First” harm reduction model and the medical model. For those living in isolation with serious mental illness, Clubhouse provides exactly this: An immediate entrée into a “community of care.” Yet there is no Clubhouse in Seattle. Neighboring, Bellevue, has a vibrant independent and accredited Clubhouse that is going strong after eleven years -- HERO House has been and will continue to be a vital partner in establishing the Seattle Clubhouse.