Split the Plate is one of UUCW’s programs of outreach and generosity. Each month we give half of all undesignated offering monies to a nonprofit organization as a way to help us live our Unitarian Universalist values and serve our community.
Our STP partner for January 2020 is The Grand Avenue Club, the GAC, established Milwaukee County in 1991. The Grand Avenue Club is just ‘the Club’ to its people. It is a workplace where its members, Milwaukee County citizens who are recovering from a psychiatric disability, come to work side by side with a small but dedicated staff in jobs that make the program run—word processing, record keeping, maintenance, faxing and copying, preparing meals and mail handling.
“Our clubhouse” is the historic Bank of Milwaukee building, the oldest commercial building in Milwaukee. Its rich history and strong foundation are a metaphor for the Club. By running GAC, members ready themselves for paid employment or additional training or education via GAC’s Employment Program or Supported Education Program.
Cooking and serving delicious meals on-site is a learning experience for some, job training for others, and an onsite healthy relaxing means of sustenance for all. Breaking bread together is a centerpiece of the Club. Some 450 members share their lives at The Club every year.
Membership is voluntary. Each day is structured on what needs to be accomplished to run the Clubhouse. Everyone has responsibilities. The focus is on a work-ordered day. Learning and refining skills here may lead to a job in the community. Staff and members speak of themselves as peers and partners. The Clubhouse is operated by members and staff working together to run the Clubhouse. “We are strength-based, not clinical.”
GAC is one of 300 Clubhouses throughout the world. Clubhouse International, www.clubhouse-intl.org has headquarters in New York City. Our Grand Avenue Club welcomes queries from future members and potential employers at its website, www.grandavenueclub.org