Skills and Centre Gives Present Opportunity Centre Clubhouse
Born From Members
Driving on College Avenue from State College to the Nittany Mall and local shopping centers, you pass by a most unique business. It is not a business with employees, but a business born of members. This business is where members create unique moments that will enrich and inspire others to succeed when, before, they struggled. Opportunity Centre Clubhouse, a part of Skills of Central Pennsylvania, offers its members a place to come and gain or regain the social, educational, and vocational skills necessary to be healthy and productive members of society.
G. Raymond & County Commissioners
In operation since 2002, Opportunity Centre Clubhouse (OCC) is a licensed and certified, evidence-based
psychiatric rehabilitation program, modeled after the New York City Fountain House, the first Clubhouse Model of Rehabilitation in the United States and whose roots extend back to 1945. The official definition of a Clubhouse is “a social and vocational rehabilitation program organized to support people whose lives have been drastically disrupted by mental illness. It is a community of people working together toward the common goal of recover.” According to Director George Raymond, the true power of the Clubhouse is CHOICE
While OCC offers support in education, employment, socialization and wellness, it is up to each member to decide what service(s) best supports them at any given time,” Raymond says. “We have members with GEDs and members with Ph.Ds. Some members have goals of using education to improve personal growth and career choices. Others are looking for employment, which can be independent, supported or transitional. Most are actively involved in the social programs, which help members establish supportive and meaningful relationships.
Raymond explains that the physical structure of the business is designed to provide the environment and tools for each member to experience and experiment. “We have an office setup for those people who want to develop clerical skills, a kitchen and garden for food preparation, sale and service, and a computer lab to learn the necessary program to advance into and in a job,” Raymond says. “Members can participate in one or more or all areas. All the work and maintenance of each program is done by the members, with role modeling provided by other members and the staff. There is a meeting space where members run daily staff meetings. The overriding belief is that we achieve success from our failures.
B. Willits & Members during Open House
When asked to describe OCC in one word, Tammy Driver, a member of OCC, laughed and said that is easy, FAMILY. “Even the staff is included because they don’t direct or demand that we behave in a certain manner, or perform specific tasks. They encourage, guide, suggest and facilitate us in following our own paths.” Ms. Driver is very active in working, volunteering and advocating for the OCC. “What I tell people I meet in the community is to ‘take a chance’ and they will see all that we can do.”
We have to be doing something right,” Raymond offers. “There are clubhouses around the United States and around the world, with 22 in Pennsylvania alone. Letting people have control over their lives is empowering. It works.
11th Annual E. F. "Pat" Houser Golf Tournament
The Skills Foundation presents the 11th Annual E.F. “Pat” Houser Memorial Golf Tournament to be held Monday, July 11, 2016, at Toftrees Golf Resort, State College.
Skills will be treating golfers to a great day on the Toftrees links that includes lunch at the Eagle's Nest, various competitive games including beat the pro, longest drive, closest to the pin, and longest putt and is capped off by the buffet dinner, door prizes and awards for the top three teams.
For more information, call Gwen at 814-238-3245 ext 313.
The Skills Foundation supports Skills by funding therapeutic programming, and specialized necessities for people with intellectual disabilities and mental illness.
Some of the projects funded by Skills Foundation include therapy programs and the provision of specialized equipment, such as wheelchairs and hearing aids; as well as the provision of essential medical and dental services for people who are unable to receive them through traditional funding sources.
For more details, click here. To register, click here.