Our Place Clubhouse Fundraising Letter

Dear friend,

Imagine your life is radically different than it is right now.

You are full of fear and despair.

You feel alone….oh so alone.

You feel deep inside there’s no one to turn to, nowhere safe to go.

Life as a person with mental illness is difficult under the best of circumstances.

But without help?  It is impossible.

You feel confused, ashamed – You’re so afraid to talk to anyone.

Imagine feeling you don’t fit in anywhere because of your mental illness.

It’s really not so hard to imagine if you knew my friend Janice.

Over the last 32 years, Janice has been hospitalized repeatedly.

But not recently – since 2014, Janice has found solace and comfort at Our Place.

At Our Place, she gets positive interactions with a caring staff.  And as important, with other sufferers of mental illness.  Our Place is a clubhouse where people can hang out without being judged or being mistreated because of their illness.

Our Place is a safe place.

Members can get breakfast or lunch, gain job skills or help out in our thrift shop.  Our community creates opportunities for people with mental illness. It helps them be a part of society and make a positive contribution.

Let’s face it.  The world is a safer place for everyone if we can make room for those who are vulnerable.

One in five people suffer from mental illness. You probably know someone who has some form of this affliction. Giving resources helps them heal and be a part of the community. With treatment and proper intervention, many can go on to live productive lives.

But getting that treatment can be a frightening experience for a person with mental illness…without the care and support of friends like they have at Our Place.

Our Place Clubhouse gives dignity, safety and opportunity to those in need. When we care for others, we also care for ourselves.

So, no matter who you are, whether you know someone with mental illness or not, won’t you give now to help a person with mental illness?

Why should you support Our Place?

Perhaps you have a loved one who has mental illness. We understand the pain of a close friend or relative suffering from an illness few understand and are afraid of. But, Our Place provides vital hope and help.

There’s a place for people with mental illness in Tucson; a place to learn new skills, hang out and just be. When you help the members of Our Place, you help your community.  You help make the world a little safer for those so often misunderstood and isolated.

When you contribute to Our Place, you’re making communities safer and more resilient. Society becomes stronger for everyone.

You never know when someone you know or love could benefit from Our Place Clubhouse. You get education about mental illness. Clubhouses help keep members out of jail and cuts down on health care costs. With the support of a clubhouse community, members don’t have to go to the hospital as often. Our community also helps keep those with mental illness out of prison.

You get to be a part of a community that promotes advocacy, healing, help and compassion for those so often maligned.  Clubhouses help members get their lives back because they get the help and support they need.

Our Place members are empowered by the staff to learn new skills.  Our Place is a work based program and is modeled after the first clubhouse for people with mental illness in America, NYC Fountain House.

Across the nation, approximately 42% of clubhouse members are employed, a much higher number than others in the public mental health sphere.

There are five departments at Our Place.  For job training, members can work in the kitchen and help prepare delicious meals for the members.  We have Rethreads, a thrift shop that sells quality used clothing.  The proceeds help pay for the costs of Our Place.  We have a job developer that helps members find jobs and then there’s advocacy.  We help members get housing, food, clothing, medical care and legal help.   And finally, members can participate in writing for and publishing, “the Free Spirit”.  This is the Our Place Clubhouse monthly newsletter.

Where does your contribution go?  It helps pay the staff, keeps up the building and helps us buy necessary supplies and pay for utilities.  Our Place is fortunate in that we own the building, but we need to pay the electric and water bills.

Contributions help the members get the services they need to help them become productive members of society.

Our Place also works to reduce the stigma against mental illness.  Many people are afraid of those who suffer from these afflictions because they believe those with mental illness are dangerous.  The majority of sufferers are not violent.  On the contrary, they are more often victims of crime.

Our Place offers education on mental illness, its costs to society and how we can all help reduce the fallout from having these illnesses.  Together, we can make a stronger community.  We invite all those who have an interest in helping those with mental illness to donate to Our Place.

Come on by for a tour!  We would be happy to show you around.   You can check out our kitchen where we prepare delicious meals or visit Rethreads, our resale clothing shop.

We also have a website at coyotetaskforce.com

Thank you for your generous donation.

Sincerely, Mattie Bernstein

P.S.  There’s a 14 to 1 ROI with clubhouses!