Since the first Clubhouse opened in 1948, clubhouses have been successfully implemented in more than 300 communities across 28 countries. The Clubhouse approach is a proven model for rehabilitation, recovery, and reintegration into the community. Members share ownership with a small staff and take responsibility for the success of the organization. They build on their strengths instead of focusing on their illnesses. Membership in the program is voluntary and for life: a Clubhouse remains a place of care and support for members for as long as they want to be part of it.
The Elkhart County Clubhouse creates an accepting community where people with a mental illness can participate in valuable work within the organization. It provides space to socialize with friends and coworkers, and it gives access to employment within the wider community. All aspects of the Clubhouse operate with the basic belief that every member can recover from the effects of mental illness enough to lead a satisfying and productive life. Clubhouse members are dedicated to one another's success. People recover through work and work-mediated relationships, which studies show are restorative and provide a firm foundation for growth, self-respect, and success.
Elkhart County Clubhouse is accredited by Clubhouse International, an umbrella organization that promotes the Clubhouse model, encourages the opening of new Clubhouses and the development of existing Clubhouses around the world.
Who Was Cora Dale and why did we name our Clubhouse After her?
Cora Belle Dale was the daughter of JM and Bessie Dale, the couple who in 1889 built the residence that currently houses the Clubhouse. Cora was a teacher, a talented musician and a playwright. She spent much of her young adult life in Chicago studying with famous musicians and artists of the day. In 1909 she returned to her childhood home in Goshen to care of her sick mother. When her mother died in 1918, Cora had a break down at the funeral. That very afternoon her family sent her to the state mental hospital in Logansport. They told members of the community that she had died and scratched her out of family photographs. Letters that she wrote from the hospital begging to be allowed to come home were ignored and hidden under the floorboards of the house. She died at Logansport State Hospital in 1941 at the age of 74.
When the Elkhart County Clubhouse brought the Dale house in 2012 we had never heard of Cora, but over time we were slowly able to piece her story together. A previous owner had found her letters and there were more hints about her life at the local historical museum. In 2020 when a second Clubhouse opened in the neighboring city of Elkhart (and we were no longer the only Elkhart County Clubhouse) we thought it was the perfect opportunity to honor the memory of Cora Dale. We hope that there could be no better way to remember Cora than to create an effective community of support for adults with mental illness and reduce the stigma that surrounded those with mental illness in Cora's time and continues to surround those with mental illness today.
Rich Meyer took the Comprehensive Clubhouse Training at Gateway House in Greenville, SC after five weeks internship at Carriage House in Fort Wayne, IN. Rich was on the board of Maple City Health Care Center for fifteen years; during twelve of those years, he worked for Christian Peacemaker Teams. Prior to working for Cora Dale House, Meyer was self-employed in repair and maintenance of home, auto and light sport aircraft. Meyer is a commercial pilot with an instrument rating, and enjoys calling square dances.
Cris started in August 2012 as a masters of social work intern from Edinboro University (online) in Pennsylvania. He was hired in May 2013 as a Clubhouse Generalist. He is originally from central Texas. He eagerly awaits the day when his three adult children permanently move out of his house.
Erich joined the Clubhouse as Generalist in June of 2015 and did his Comprehensive Clubhouse Training at Gateway House in South Carolina in April 2016. Originally from the Goshen area, he spent most of his adulthood wandering the world from Bangkok, Thailand to the Oregon Coast before returning to the area in 2015. He spends his free time working on his small family farm with his dog Sasha and 12 cats.