FHR adds Harbor House to network of recovery services

Published 06/25/2014

Providence clubhouse will continue to provide supportive programs for those recovering from mental illness

Lincoln, RI – June 25, 2014 – Fellowship Health Resources, Inc. (FHR), a non-profit organization improving the quality of life for individuals living with mental illness conditions and addiction disorders across seven states, will expand its Rhode Island scope of services to include Harbor House, a clubhouse for individuals recovering from mental illness.

Located on Bassett Street in Providence, Rhode Island, the clubhouse officially opened three and a half years ago, and has a history that spans nearly a decade. Harbor House originated when a group of parents joined forces to develop a safe, supportive place for family members with mental illness.

Due to limited resources and support, the independent clubhouse has struggled to keep its doors open for the past several years. Today’s meeting and vote to transfer ownership and management to FHR on July 1, 2014 secures a future for Harbor House and those it serves.

“With FHR’s oversight, Harbor House will be able to continue its important mission, which is vital to the well-being of its clubhouse members and all Rhode Islanders recovering from mental illness,” said FHR President & CEO Debra M. Paul. “This partnership allows FHR to leverage our clubhouse expertise by adding Harbor House to our network of recovery-oriented services in Rhode Island.”

“Working with FHR during the past few months has given me the opportunity to see a bright future for the clubhouse,” explained Ralph Lord, Executive Director of Harbor House. “We have struggled for years, and now, with a corporate parent, we will be able to grow and thrive. We thank our new friends at FHR for recognizing the value of the clubhouse and taking a strong interest in Harbor House, and look forward to becoming a part of the FHR family.”

Harbor House is a peer recovery-based clubhouse program, open Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4 pm. Modeled after the typical work day, members attend a morning session, similar to a staff meeting, where the daily work is divided and members are assigned to complete tasks that interest them. These tasks range from administrative duties to preparing lunch for other members.

Clubhouse members also work with staff and one another to develop skills for employment, such as resume building and interview preparation, as well as assistance with housing, educational support, and entitlements. Social hours on Saturday provide additional opportunities for socialization and activities in the community.

“With four clubhouses in the state of Massachusetts – located in Attleboro, Falmouth, New Bedford, and Fall River – FHR has extensive experience with the clubhouse model of service,” said Kristen Guilfoyle, FHR Rhode Island Regional Director.  “We are pleased to expand these services to the state of Rhode Island.”

“FHR’s clubhouses have made tremendous advancements, especially in developing community partners among businesses that offer clubhouse members employment opportunities,” added Tom Couhig, FHR Regional Director of Clubhouse Services. “When people go to work and have a job, they feel good about themselves and their contributions.”

Only two criteria must be met to obtain a clubhouse membership. Individuals are required to be at least 18 years old and have a diagnosed mental illness. Those interested can contact Harbor House at (401) 273-5100 to schedule an introductory, 15-minute tour.

“There is a vibrant energy that comes from clubhouses, because of the support members give one another,” said Lord. “Harbor House is focused on individuals helping one another to rebuild structure. Sometimes, this structure is what provides individuals with a reason to get out of the bed in the morning and make improvements to their lives.”

The community is invited to an Open House and Summer Festival of the Arts on Thursday, August 14, from 4 to 7 pm at Harbor House on 12 Bassett Street in Providence, Rhode Island.