Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Potential Place

Wednesday June 3

It was a short walk from our Sandman Hotel to Potential Place on 10th Ave. SW. We were invited for lunch and a tour by my cousin Gord Young. He is the executive director of Potential Place, a clubhouse for people with serious mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar. We learned it is part of the Clubhouse Society, an international movement that believes that men and women with mental illness (the "members") have the right to a life which includes access to meaningful, gainful employment, a decent place to live, a supportive community, opportunities for education and recreation in their communities,
“Everybody here has a mental illness but that’s not what is important. We don’t talk about the illness or the symptoms. Everyone is focused on recovery and moving on” explained Gord. “People come when they are ready”.
Potential Place is there to help. It is a transitional place for people with mental illness between hospital stays and programs and independent living. It is a place where all the members contribute to the work and organization of the clubhouse. It provides opportunities to upgrade or learn new skills, provides work experience and social contact, it’s “somewhere to be needed, wanted and expected every day.”
Potential Place also owns and operates several residential apartments for members. This is a real community we learned. Should a member become ill and require hospitalization, other members will look after their apartment, make sure there are groceries when they come home.
We were invited to sit in on one of the work groups as they were planning a BBQ.Evident everywhere was good humour, team work and caring.
Lunch was good too.

Check it out:

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