March 10, 2021
Members of the Petoskey Club were able to take part in clubhouse activities during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to a $1,023.00 grant from the Charlevoix Community Foundation’s Hestia Woman’s Giving Circle Fund which allowed Petoskey Club to purchase smart phones and data plans for members who would otherwise be disenfranchised.
According to Jama Moffett, Petoskey Clubhouse Director, Petoskey Club needed to close temporarily due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as of March 13, 2020.
Moffett explains that Petoskey Club serves persons with serious mental illness as a program of North Country Community Mental Health: Clubhouse program members (clients) come to Petoskey Club from Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet Counties. Normally the clubhouse is open five days per week to parallel normal business hours, as a place where members take part in running the program in a collegial capacity with hired staff. Members are engaged with staff side-by-side to complete tasks and take on responsibilities that invariably build their skills and confidence. Petoskey Club also provides support in various areas of integrated community living, with an emphasis on seeking and retaining employment in the broader community.
During program closure, Petoskey Club staff initiated a broad range of outreach initiatives to provide support and connectedness for members, many of whom would otherwise be quite isolated, with most not having their own transportation. In addition to meal and grocery delivery, phone calls throughout the day and individualized mailings helped members to retain their sense of belonging. Members had lost the structure of the clubhouse work-ordered day as well as social-recreational opportunities provided by the clubhouse.
Petoskey Club began daily zoom meetings to facilitate different types of interactive activities each workday. Unfortunately, some members were not able to participate in the zoom interventions because they did not have a smart device. The Hestia Woman’s Giving Circle grant enabled Petoksey Club to purchase smart phones and data plans for members who would otherwise be excluded. Clubhouse staff delivered the devices and provided instruction.
The support provided by the Hestia Woman’s Giving Circle, through the Charlevoix Community Foundation, resulted in recipients remaining connected with their clubhouse “intentional community” and lessened the consequences of isolation which often accompanies mental illness. Through this challenging time, with the compassionate spirit of Hestia women, emotional stability and quality of life were enhanced for persons who would otherwise be left out of the valuable interactions described previously.
According to Moffett, Petoskey Club colleagues are very appreciative of the Hestia grant. Catherine, one of the members, said, “I am so thankful to have this phone to stay connected to the clubhouse. I zoom with the club at least twice a week. Thank you!”
The Hestia Woman’s Giving Circle is a donor-advised fund of the Charlevoix Community Foundation formed in 2005 with a mission to promote the economic self-sufficiency and well-being of women and girls in Emmet and Charlevoix counties. The Circle is named for the Greek Goddess Hestia, who expressed her love and concern for others through thoughtful acts. The Woman’s Giving Circle provides an opportunity for women to pool their donations to make a significant impact locally, and to educate themselves about issues facing women and girls in our community.
Petoskey Club is a membership organization dedicated to advancing and enhancing the lives of adults who have psychiatric disabilities. A program of North Country Community Mental Health, the Petoskey Club is holder of the highest level of certification from Clubhouse International (CI.org) and has maintained that level of vitality since inception in 1994.
North Country Community Mental Health provides services to residents of Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Kalkaska and Otsego Counties experiencing a serious mental illness, severe emotional problem, or intellectual/developmental disabilities, including individuals with co-occurring substance use disorders. Persons wishing to know more about the agency are encouraged to visit www.norcocmh.org or to access services call 800-834-3393.