About Our Employment Program:
Clubhouses offer a tiered employment program designed to integrate interested members back into meaningful and gainful employment.
The first tier is Transitional Employment (TE), in which members can work in meaningful part-time jobs outside the Clubhouse procured through partnerships with community entities and businesses. The members selected by the Clubhouse community for these positions receive training from a Clubhouse staff and/or member who are in charge of that particular placement. As an incentive to the employer, job attendance, and performance are guaranteed, as a staff and/or member will support or even fill-in for the Clubhouse member if he or she needs to be absent for any reason. Each member contribution at a TE position is designed to be transitional and temporary, lasting for six to nine months, as these positions belong to the Clubhouse and are designed in such a way so that ideally all members will have an opportunity to work.
The second step is supported employment, in which the Clubhouse community helps an interested member obtains his or her own employment and serves as a resource and support for resume makeup, interviewing skills, on-the-job training (as needed), and employer liaisons.
The final step is independent employment, in which the member is meaningfully and gainfully employed without the intervention (but always the support) of the Clubhouse.
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I had been in and out of jobs since I was about 16 years old. I once had a job working for an all you can eat restaurant that I held for about three and a half years. On my 26th birthday, I reported to work and found out that the restaurant had gone out of business. Not knowing what to do from there, I returned to day treatment and started collecting Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. However, for about the next 13 years, I was in and out of day treatment groups and therapy groups, constantly in search of something worthwhile to do. One day in 2005, a friend called me and encouraged me to go back to work. I remember thinking, “Where am I going to get a decent job? I haven’t worked in almost 13 years!”
Then I remembered a long dormant membership I had with Crossroads. A friend who was also a member invited me on a camping trip with Crossroads, and a few days later, I asked one of the staff about employment.
Almost immediately after I asked about employment, James asked me to try a Transitional Employment (TE) placement. I agreed to work at Hancock Fabric for six months, and after I had got lined up with Vocational Rehabilitation, my VR counselor found me a job working with Albertsons in their deli. I worked with Albertsons for fifteen months, and then in 2007, Albertsons was bought out by Reasors. I signed on to work with Reasors in their deli, and I’ve been there ever since. I’ve made numerous friends and had gotten numerous raises since I’ve been there, but I don’t any of this would be possible without Crossroads.