The search for the Clubhouse Model began in 1998 when
delegates from our county-level Mental Health Office began the
journey to Fountain House in New York City, the originating
Clubhouse in the Clubhouse Model. After attending a training
session at their training base during a colleague training, it was
decided to then advocate for funding.
The plan was presented and brought upon the proper officials in
our county and commonwealth and in early 2001, a Request For
Proposal (RFP) was put in place to find an administrative entity
for the program. It was decided effective at the beginning of the
2001-02 Fiscal Year that our present auspice agency, then
known as Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh's Fayette County
Affiliate would be the designated auspice of the program.
A few months later, in October 2001, proper delegates both
potential member and mental health professionals made the
journey to Chattanooga, Tennessee for the 11th International
Seminar of the International Center for Clubhouse Development.
This is a bi-annually meeting of Clubhouses around the world, in
which a venue is operated as a gainful learning experience for a
week. This to date has been the only IS that Union Station has
been involved in since its genesis.
Shortly after, plans were made and the Clubhouse facility,
located at 690 West Main Street in North Union Township was
prepped for occupancy, which was completed on January 2,
2002. This has been known as the "Clubhouse Anniversary
Later in 2002, the first colleague training group of Staff,
Members and agency delegates were sent to Gateway House
in Greenville, South Carolina, as this was the chosen training
base for Union Station based on convince for travel and a
The following year, a Breakfast was added to the Clubhouse
program and later that year, a monthly eat-out program was
added to the social gamut. Over a decade later, this is still a
favorite for members as they get to vote on a dining venue and
go and enjoy a food and fellowship with their members and staff.
In 2004, our billing process was streamlined to managed care,
for the most part and the cost of lunch went from $1.00 to
$1.20. During the 2003 Summer, we sent another set of
delegates to Gateway House for Colleague Training along with
establishing our first two Transitional Employment Placements
(TEP's) at our Auspice Agency's Workforce Development
Center, one in the reception area and the other in the
lunchroom, positions we still hold in part to this day.
2005 seen both great progress and trying times for the
Clubhouse community at Union Station. In early 2005, we had
our first ICCD Certification visit, and later achieved our first
one-year certification. Later that year, due to increasing new
programs in Fayette County, we seen declines in attendance. It
was unsure that the Clubhouse model was a fit for those with
mental illness in Fayette County.
In 2006, it seemed that the "newness" of the other models worn
off and through progressive efforts of both members and staff
alike, the Clubhouse was regenerating. Our attendance in a few
months nearly doubled from the attendance rate at the
beginning of the decline and near the time of this it was time for
another Certification Visit from the ICCD, which due to the
progressive efforts of the influx of both members and staff, we
successfully attained another 1-year Certification.
The Clubhouse Member Base grew over the next few years and
was steadily growing and in 2007, we again sent delegates to
Colleague Training at Gateway in Greenville, South Carolina.
This was the first and only time in Union Station Clubhouse
history that we sent individuals to a two-week training that was
a pilot then, it is now a option to the traditional three-week
training offered at the bases.
Shortly after that delegation returned, the Clubhouse went
through a series of enhancements to prepare for our next
certification by the ICCD in October 2008, and through the
comprehensive efforts yet again by members and staff, Union
Station received a three year conditional certification, in which
we had a year to meet the expectations defined in the
certification report, which we did the following year.
Growth continued throughout the next several years at Union
Station to the point of near overcrowding. In the fall of 2013, a
relocation proposal was sent to the Goodwill of Southwestern
Pennsylvania Board of Directors for a new location. After
searching, it would be decided that the agency would purchase
a former mental health case management office in the
Downtown Business District of Uniontown. This location offered
more privacy for meetings and member issues as well as a
commercial grade and licensed kitchen along with expanded
program spaces and double the occupancy for sanitary
facilities. After an almost one year renovation, we moved in to
the new Clubhouse at its current location in September 2014.
We had a ribbon cutting with the local Chamber of Commerce
the following month and look forward to our new Clubhouse for
years to come.