Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap

Visitors from Bridge House Clubhouse in Connecticut demonstrate that our commitment to rehabilitation is the bridge that connects us.

The thing about being a part of something greater than ourselves- that is, Clubhouse International- is that we never know when we might run into one of our own. Today, we received a visit from Xavier Aquino, a staff member of Bridge House Clubhouse in Bridgeport, Connecticut, along with his son Max. Xavier is new to the Clubhouse model, having just been hired in January, but his commitment to the rehabilitative model is evident as he chose to pay us a visit during his travels.

Member Kevin Luckner gave them a tour, along with staff Idanes Paredes. Xavier was full of insightful questions while his son Max documented the visit on his phone. Maybe we will be famous on the Bridge House website? Max said his favorite part of the tour was our multimedia studio. “This is too cool,” he said with wide eyes and a grin.

They stayed for lunch, which Xavier, when asked, described as “better than exceptional,” and then they spent a bit more time with us, just chatting with members and staff, checking out the garden and snapping more photos. By the time they left, they felt like old friends.

Bridge House has been around for over 34 years, and is organized similar to the Academy, with Membership Services, Culinary Arts and Business units. Like us, they offer transitional and supported employment, and provide support for those members working independently. They have an overall membership of over 200. Although daily attendance has suffered in the last year, Xavier said that they are building back towards the robust daily attendance of pre-pandemic days, and they are full of hope and optimism. Maybe that’s how we recognize our own; by that oh-so familiar indomitable spirit.

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