“I couldn’t deal with the truth of how our world had modified,” says Clark, who misplaced his job and was unable to pay for the medicine prescribed for his nervousness and melancholy. “Months of battling ‘Your life is over, you’ve messed every little thing up, you’ll by no means have pleasure, you’ll by no means have peace.’ It’s draining and debilitating.”
Clark had been in that darkish place earlier than.
“You attempt to self-medicate earlier than you perceive the issue,” he says. “I used to be chronically homeless. I’d get depressed and simply hand over and the sample stored repeating itself.”
This time was completely different. As a member of Gateway, Clark had discovered housing, significant work, and a neighborhood of people that understood. Although the Clubhouse facility was closed because of COVID-19, the workers and members had been nonetheless checking in with one another. Government Director Randy Redlinger visited Clark’s house and helped him get his medicine.
“Right here, you may develop and study as an individual. It’s what we do day by day – mentoring or being mentored. All of us play each roles.” – Jade Clark
“He lovingly helped me again,” Clark says. “I’m very grateful for Gateway. Whenever you’re so weak and susceptible, each day stuff appears like climbing a mountain. Right here, you may develop and study as an individual. It’s what we do day by day – mentoring or being mentored. All of us play each roles.”
Orlando Wright agrees. Due to a perceived taboo surrounding psychological well being within the Black neighborhood, he had tried to handle his nervousness, alone, whereas dealing with devastating private losses.
“I used to be scared to speak about it so I might hold it deep inside. I hid it in ingesting and medicines,” he says. “I used to be shedding mates, I misplaced my children.”
A member for nearly two years, he credit Gateway with serving to him open up and handle his nervousness in order that he can get pleasure from a full life.
“I’ve good conversations right here with individuals identical to me. All people works collectively as a crew,” he says. “My confidence is excessive. I’m even taking up the problem of studying find out how to play piano.”
Gateway’s program builds confidence by way of social interplay and a workday mannequin. Members examine in each day then both serve numerous roles inside the Clubhouse or go to transitional jobs with accomplice companies or unbiased employment. Members who don’t examine in obtain a name.
“Members help one another—it doesn’t all fall on workers. When confronted with a disaster, it didn’t change who we’re,” Redlinger says. “At first we had been serving to with meals, medicine, or getting arrange for telehealth visits. Later, we reached out by way of Zoom, created a Fb digital group and dropped by Gateway housing for porch visits. By Might, members began coming again in restricted numbers.”
In August 2020, Gateway’s new 20,000-square-foot Clubhouse was accomplished, permitting extra members to soundly collect. Now, membership is round 110 and Redlinger estimates 80–85 individuals move by way of each day. At capability, the constructing will be capable to serve 200.
“Psychological sickness is the primary reason behind incapacity, worldwide—greater than most cancers, diabetes, or coronary heart illness,” Redlinger says. “There are merely not sufficient Clubhouses for these with psychological sickness.”
Funding for the development of the brand new Clubhouse got here from many beneficiant donors together with the Community Foundation of Greenville, Greenville Women Giving, The Charity Ball of Greenville, Greenville Health Authority, and The Leon Levine Foundation.
“Might is Psychological Well being Consciousness Month, a time to speak brazenly and dispel misconceptions,” says CFG President Bob Morris. “Gateway has supplied a spot of hope and neighborhood for greater than 1,451 members and is one in all solely 12 coaching bases for the Clubhouse mannequin, worldwide. Greenville is lucky to be house to this distinctive useful resource.”
Director of Growth Martha Armstrong invitations anybody keen on seeing Gateway’s program to arrange a tour. For extra info, go to https://gateway-sc.org/