Our mission is to ensure Genesis Club members have access to meaningful employment, healthy lifestyles, safe housing, and education and find genuine belonging, friendships, and purpose.
We are a work-focused community based in Worcester, Massachusetts. At the Clubhouse, members work side-by-side with staff to run the organization at every level. This “work-ordered-day” approach helps members rebuild a rhythm and structure and parallels the typical work week. It also helps members sharpen skills needed to re-enter the workforce. While at the Clubhouse, members participate in programs of their choosing and at their pace, including:
• Job skills training and employment support
• Support completing high school, a vocational program, or college
• Health and wellness activities
• Opportunities to build social networks and meaningful connections with others
Genesis Club is an Evidence-Based Practice model, recognized by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Genesis Club is also a certified International Training Center with Clubhouse International.
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Genesis Club is an Accredited Clubhouse, a charter member of Clubhouse International, and an international training center for clubhouses worldwide.
Genesis Club is a proud recipient of The Conrad H. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, which recognized the Clubhouse model as the solution to alleviating human suffering for individuals with mental illness.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Genesis Club is committed to creating an inclusive, culturally competent environment where diverse voices are active in all aspects of our organization. We demonstrate this commitment by creating a culture where differing perspectives, values, thoughts and opinions are encouraged and embraced.
Dignity and Respect
The inherent worth of every person is at the center of all we do — expressed in our clear, honest, non-judgmental communication with each other, how we maintain our clubhouse, and how we advocate for the rights of members.
Genesis Club is based on genuine partnerships between members and staff who work side-by-side to run the Clubhouse and its programs in the community. This model helps others understand the valuable contributions people with mental health conditions make to our society.
Integrity and Accountability
As an accredited Clubhouse, we strive to exceed the International Standards which serve as a bill of rights for members and code of conduct for staff. We embrace all of our partnerships and programs with honesty, transparency and integrity.
Quality and Innovation
We value innovative thinking and are committed to continuously improving quality by providing an evidence-based program and services that fulfill our mission.
As a Clubhouse International training center, Genesis Club is dedicated to being a leader in our field and our community, changing the conversation about mental health.
Hope and Resilience
The Genesis Club community inspires hope and resilience, which help people exceed their expectations and improve the quality of their lives.
What is a Clubhouse?
A Clubhouse is a community of people working together to support the recovery of people living with serious mental illness. More than a program or social service, Clubhouse communities are built on the belief that meaningful work, a sense of purpose, and genuine friendships are restorative and that the sense of purpose people gain through work is not simply a nice idea, but is essential to their recovery.
The first ‘clubhouse’ was founded in New York City in 1948 by six former patients of a Manhattan psychiatric hospital. After their discharge, they continued to meet on the steps of the New York City Library to offer each other the support and respectful relationships they formed while in the hospital. They hoped that their successful recovery would change the way society understood people living with mental illness. The group they formed, “We Are Not Alone” speaks to what remains a central problem for people with serious mental illness today – social isolation. The group went on to found Fountain House, which continues to be a leader in the international clubhouse movement.
Today there are over 300 Clubhouses worldwide and the Clubhouse model is recognized by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA) as an effective, evidence-based practice.
What makes Clubhouses different?
“ The clubhouse model is a radically different way of working in the field of community mental health. Most program models still focus on assessing a person’s level of disability and limiting the expectations based on that assessment. In a clubhouse, the expectations are high and mutual work, mutual relationships, and meaningful opportunities in the community are vehicles of choice.” (Clubhouse International’s Clubhouses: Communities Creating Opportunities for People with Mental Illness, 2014).
For more information on how Clubhouses work, visit www.clubhouse-intl.org
A Clubhouse is a membership organization. People who participate in a Clubhouse are members, not clients. Membership is open to anyone who has a history of mental illness. Membership is fundamental to the Clubhouse concept, because membership implies that an individual has both shared ownership and shared responsibility for the success of the organization. Being a member means you belong, you fit in, and you have a place where you are always welcome. In a Clubhouse, each member is welcome, wanted, needed and expected each day.
Clubhouses are built upon the belief that every member has the potential to sufficiently recover from the effects of mental illness to lead a personally satisfying life as an integrated member of society. Clubhouses are communities of people who are dedicated to one another’s success, no matter how long it takes or how difficult it is. Clubhouses are organized around a belief that work, and work-mediated relationships, are restorative and provide a firm foundation for growth and important individual achievement (Beard, Propst, Malamud, 1982), and the belief that normalized social and recreational opportunities are an important part of a person’s path to recovery.
Relationships between members and staff develop naturally as they work together side by side to carry out the daily duties of the Clubhouse. All of the staff have generalist roles in the Clubhouse; they are involved in all of the Clubhouse activities including the daily work duties, the evening social and recreational programs, the employment programs, outreach, supported education and community support responsibilities. Members and staff share the responsibility for the successful operation of the Clubhouse.
The Work-Ordered Day
The daily activity of a Clubhouse is organized around a structured system known as the work-ordered day, an eight-hour period, typically Monday through Friday, which parallels typical business hours in the community. Members and staff work side by side, as colleagues, to perform the work that is important to their community.
Work Units – Where Member and Staff Partnerships Grow
A key part of Genesis Club is Member / Staff Partnerships. Members and staff work together in all aspects of the club. At Genesis Club there are 6 work departments (called units). Members choose which unit they would like to join after completing an orientation.
Meetings open to all Members and Staff
Policy Meeting, Program Meeting, Wellness Committee, Young Adult Outreach, Job Seekers Workshop, Seeking Housing Meeting, Grants Meeting, and more.
In 1987, a committed and passionate group of Worcester community members visited Fountain House in New York City where the clubhouse model of recovery originated. This original board of Directors included individuals from the Central Mass Alliance on Mental Illness, local businesses, law offices, the University of Massachusetts Medical School and consumers of mental health services. Fueled by their passion and some funding from a new state mental health initiative under Governor Dukakis, the Board recruited Kevin L. Bradley from the Westwood’s Clubhouse in Pittsfield, Massachusetts to serve as the Club’s first full-time Executive Director. Genesis Club House opened its doors on September 15,1988 with 25 members.
From a modest beginning, Genesis Club has developed into a leader in the global clubhouse community. Genesis Club House is an Accredited Clubhouse, and recognized as an evidenced-based practice with the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Genesis Clubhouse offers vocational training, education, employment, housing, wellness and social support to over 500 members each year. Still, the Clubhouse remains first and foremost a community, based on genuine relationships of mutual respect; a place where hope and resilience are fostered; and recovery is possible.
In 2003, Genesis Club completed construction on an 8,000 sq. ft. addition that included a full service industrial kitchen, dining room, elevator, café, conference room and new work space to accommodate the growing number of members who join each year. This expansion and renovation would not have been possible without the generous support from community members, many of whom helped to founded the organization.
In 1991 Genesis Club became certified by Clubhouse International as an international training center. We are 1 of twelve in the world and a large part of our work continues to be training and developing high-quality, accredited clubhouses in Massachusetts and around the world. We have trained over 250 Clubhouses, 1500 colleagues from 30 states and 15 countries over the years.
Genesis Club is evidence–based, it is cost effective, it results in people’s healing and recovery from serious psychiatric symptoms, it improves the quality of the lives of member’s families, it promotes a safe, well-informed community, and it contributes to the economic vitality of the Worcester area.
Research shows that when people participate regularly in an accredited clubhouse like Genesis Club, they:
- Get employed at double the rate of non-participants, have longer on-the-job- tenure, earn more in wages and rely less on government support, than those who do not;
- Experience reduced incarcerations;
- Experience a significant decrease in the frequency and number of hospitalizations;
- Experience improved well-being, and sense of belonging and purpose compared with individuals without Clubhouse membership;
- Have better health outcomes because as a recent study showed, they have stronger connections to their primary health care providers.
We can’t do this work alone. Here is a list of friends and supporters who help make this work possible.
Thank you for your support.
Fiscal Year 2023
The Hillis Family Foundation Inc
Berkshire Bank Foundation, Inc
Schwartz Charitable Foundation
The M&T Charitable Foundation, Inc
The Ludcke Foundation
George I. Alden Trust
Reliant Foundation, Inc
The TJX Foundation
Hanover Insurance Group Foundation
Stoddard Charitable Trust
Albert W. Rice Charitable Foundation
The Fletcher Foundation
Cornerstone Charitable Foundation
Fred Harris Daniels Foundation
Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Inc
Agnes M. Lindsay Trust
Our Board of Directors
Jeffrey Gopin, President
Director of Finance, Saint-Gobain
Kathie Metzger, Vice President
William (Bill) Beck, Secretary
Jeffrey N. Hall, Treasurer
LLP Financial, Inc.
Officers at Large
Founder and President, Resiliency Solutions
Patrice M. Muchowski, Sc.D.
Vice President of Clinical Services, AdCare Hospital
Clubhouse International Faculty
Sarlah Bernard, RN
Renaissance Medical Group
Director, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Jeffrey L. Geller, M.D.
Medical Director, UMass Memorial, Dept. of Psychiatry
Genesis Club Inc.
Founding Board Member and Deputy Chancellor Emeritus, UMass Medical School
Ryan Paskins, Ph.D
Cordant Health Solutions
Clubhouse International helps start and grow highly effective Clubhouses around the world. For more information about the global Clubhouse network, accreditation, and training, please visit clubhouse-intl.org.