Self-Advocate and Job Connection Center Clubhouse (JCC) member Tiesha Jenkins wrote the following article about her club’s visit to the Sky Light Center, a community-based psychiatric and substance-use rehab facility:

On Wednesday, July 6, 2016, staff and a few members from AHRC NYC’s Job Connection Center Clubhouse visited Sky Light Center Clubhouse located in Staten Island. When we got there, a few of the members were waiting outside to meet us; they were all friendly. After the introduction, the member giving the tour told us about Sky Light Center Clubhouse and how it started. He gave us flyers explaining more about the Clubhouse.

The member said the Clubhouse has about a thousand of members in total, and about 30 members daily. We were also told that the Clubhouse is open seven days a week. He also said that the youngest member is in his 30s.

We were told that they are understaffed so that members can do some of the work at the Clubhouse. He also said that Sky Light Center Clubhouse is members-led. He explained to us how he got his peer support certificate online and that he works as a peer support counselor.

The tour started from the kitchen unit. We were all so amazed at how big the kitchen was that I asked the staff over there if I can take a picture of the kitchen. We learned that they cook three meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and we were told that they get free food from the food pantry and food bank. We also learned that in order to help cook food in the Clubhouse, you have to take a class on the computer.

He also took us to the library upstairs where they have computers. They have a music room which is sometimes used for meditation, and they use it as a quiet place for people who are trying to quit smoking or stop drug use. We also saw their basement where they have their freezers, a food pantry and a laundry room. They also have a garden at the yard and about five cats. We really enjoyed the tour and got to ask a lot of questions about the Clubhouse.

I would like to see JCC Clubhouse become as big as Sky Light Center Clubhouse one day, so that we can have a big kitchen like theirs.