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ABOUT US

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 Cora Dale House 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 Cora Dale House operate with the basic belief that every member can recover from the effects of mental illness enough to lead a satisfying and productive life. Cora Dale House 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.

Cora Dale House 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.

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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.

Our Staff

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Rich Meyer

Director

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.

Mindy Kathary

Clubhouse Generalist

Mindy joined us as a Clubhouse Generalist Halloween Day 2022.  She comes to us having worked a huge range of jobs in the social service field from case management at Oaklawn to Job Coach for the Special Education program at Goshen Highschool.  She spends her free time hanging with her two kids, her parents and her two cats and watching fantasy and historic dramas on Netflix.

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Erich Miller

Clubhouse Generalist

Erich joined the Clubhouse as Generalist in June of 2015.  He completed Comprehensive Clubhouse Training at Gateway House in South Carolina in April 2016.  In February 2024, he joined the Faculty for Clubhouse Development. 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 going on long walks with his wife and hanging out with his 4 cats: Steve, Sammy, Tweet, and Sarah.

Our Board Members

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Summer Berman has worked in the Clubhouse model of rehabilitation for more than 20 years, including as a Michael Walther Executive Fellow at Fountain House. Most recently, she led the efforts to open the first "freestanding" Clubhouse in Michigan and is a leader in Clubhouse quality improvement efforts in that state. Summer was honored to join Cora Dale's Board of Directors in 2023 and is excited to support the Great Lakes region's growing leadership in the global Clubhouse movement. When she's not championing mental health recovery, you can find Summer reading, snuggling her ever growing brood of black cats, on her SUP or yoga mat, or possibly running on Detroit's Riverfront. 

Summer Berman

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Laurie Blough has been a member of Cora Dale since 2015 and joined the Board in 2020. She is a church organist at Plymouth United Church of Christ and volunteers to play the organ at funerals and weddings. In her free time she is a dedicated pickle ball player.

Laurie Blough

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Kay Bontrager-Singer has been a member of the Board since 2019, however her interest dates back long before then.  As a Pastor, she has had numerous connections to Clubhouse members, some having lived briefly in one of the Faith Mennonite Church's transitional houses. As a social worker, Kay has supervised BSW and MSW student interns at Cora Dale House in their Practicums.  She loves to drop by for a delicious noon meal and chat with the always-friendly welcoming crowd that gathers.

Kay Bontrager-Singer

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Andrew Diener learned about Cora Dale House through his work at Oaklawn Psychiatric Center.  His current role there involves connecting people experiencing homelessness with housing, mental health, and substance abuse resources.  In his spare time, he enjoys kayaking the local waterways.

Andrew Diener

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David George has been a Clubhouse member since 2012, and a Board member since 2017. He went to Clubhouse International Colleague training in 2023. “The Clubhouse has helped me immensely with my own illness management and life recovery, so I want to contribute to the continued success and improvement of Cora Dale House.”

David George

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Johnathan Gingerich

Jonathan Gingerich grew up in Goshen, Indiana. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a teenager, he struggled with employment and social connection as a young adult. This experience led to his discovery of the Clubhouse model, and eventually to him helping to found Core Dale House. Today, Jonathan continues to be invested in the success of Cora Dale house from his home in Madison, Wisconsin where he works as a software engineer for Microsoft.

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Jose Luis Gutierrez

Jose Luis Gutierrez was a founding Board Member for our Clubhouse. “When I received the invitation to be part of the first board, I saw the need for something like a Clubhouse in the community. The number of people in need of help to reincorporate their lives to the working world was amazing. I really enjoyed being a part of this project.”

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Jeanne Liechty

Jeanne Liechty joined the Board in the Spring of 2023. Originally from Goshen, she lived in Massachusetts (where she first learned about Clubhouses) for a number of years. Jeanne is the Bachelor of Social Work Program Director at Goshen College and appreciates knowing the Cora Dale House through the eyes of her students, friends, and family. She enjoys gardening, reading good mysteries, and biking, running, or walking the Millrace Trail.

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Angie Rosenbrock

“I am a wife, mother, and HR professional.  Prior to starting my career in HR, I was an advocate for people living with mental illness.  Through that work, I met and got to know many of the extraordinary people who are part of Cora Dale House.  I appreciate the support and services that Cora Dale House provides to community members.” 

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