Fountain House Makes a House Call
Visiting colleagues help us put plans into action.
Last fall, the Academy sent Jerry Clancy and Ben Burnside to New York City for a two-week colleague training at the flagship program and training base, Fountain House. Coincidentally, the Academy was selected as one of seven founding affiliates of the new Fountain House National Network. While at Fountain House, Jerry and Ben were immersed in the units working side-by-side with members and staff, they participated in spirited philosophical discussions regarding the 37 Standards (the defining ideologies that bind all Clubhouse programs), and, in synthesizing their experiences, they created an Action Plan to bring back to the Academy to assist our continual efforts to progress and improve.
Jerry and Ben went into this training focused on specific areas in which we would like to improve. For example, a resounding matter for us is our early morning and late afternoon attendance. As one part of their Action Plan, they suggested adopting Fountain House’s practice of serving a daily hot breakfast (we already serve a hot buffet in place on Fridays and it’s no coincidence that it’s often our highest attendance of the week). This is just one example of how this type of training helps us to grow.Flashing forward to this week, Fountain House colleagues Micaiah King and Delaina Peek visited us as a follow-up to that training last fall. They checked in on our Action Plan to see where we have successfully implemented new strategies and where we might seek more coaching. They celebrated our accomplishments, rolled up their sleeves in our teams (and took away some new ideas to bring home to Fountain House), and presented a dynamic presentation on the role of a social practitioner (a title and concept that they coined and developed). It was educational, inspirational, and a whole lotta fun hosting them in our community! It’s a gift to collaborate with those who share our passion for recovery and the belief in the power of community and productivity.