Programs

Employment

We believe that every person with a desire to work has the right to gain paid employment. We manage transitional, Supported and Independent Employment Programs which offer varying amounts of support to members and employers. To fulfill our goal to provide our members with employment opportunities, we will pursue part-time entry level jobs with employers in our community.  We strongly believe that members must have the opportunity to return to paid employment and we offer a variety of supports and services to help our members reach their vocational goals.

You and your company can help change mental illness into mental wellness by joining the community of businesses around the world that are helping Clubhouse members become respected members of society through employment. For more information, please contact Jackie Powell at jackie.powell@connectionsplace.org.  As a right of membership, Clubhouses provide members with both Transitional Employment and Independent Employment opportunities:

The Clubhouse provides ongoing support and encouragement for members as long as they remain employed and want assistance.

Young Adult & Youth Program

For youth ages 16 to 25 who are affected by mental health issues.  These programs will cover employment, education, housing, social and young adult/youth.  The program takes place once a month to connect youth and young adults who are looking to build a social network in a safe, non-judgemental environment.  We plan to create a youth program based on the Richmond model - with no charge to participants.  Activities will take place in the evening - on a weekly basis and will include a meal, recreational/social activity and transportation home.  The Variety Club, The Richmond Community Foundation and private donors fund this program.

Supported Housing

Our supported housing program provides a continuum of safe, secure and affordable housing opportunities.  Support services and rental subsidies are adapted to the needs of the member.

Supported Education

Support is given to members who return to, or continue with, their educational pursuits.  We assist with application forms, liaise with student services, provide tutors, study space, budgeting, and English as a Second Language (ESL).

Transitional Employment

Transitional employment allows members to try various jobs, be trained by Connections Place staff, and avoid the stress of interviews.  These jobs are 6 to 9 months in length and pay regular wages.  It is a highly structured program for members returning to work in a local business and industry. Transitional Employment is specifically designed as a vocational rehabilitation program where a member can gain or re-gain the skills and confidence necessary to have a job while employed in a “real world” position. The only requirement for the member to participate in Transitional Employment is the expressed desire to work.

  • Placements are at the employer’s place of business and are part-time (15-20 hours per week)
  • Placements include a lot of on-the-job and off-site support from Clubhouse staff and other members.
  • Placements generally last from six to nine months. Members can then try another placement or move on to independent employment.

Supported & Independent Employment

Supported and independant employment is a program of the Clubhouse through which members, when ready, are given help from the Clubhouse to apply for and obtain a job of their own.

  • The Clubhouse provides ongoing support and encouragement for members who are independently employed.
  • There is no on-site support at the place of business for members who are independently employed; all of the support takes place at the Clubhouse or in the community.

Social Programs

On Monday and Wednesday nights, Saturdays, Sundays, and all public holidays, Connections Place offers a combination of in-house and community social activities.  It's a great way to meet new friends, join some organized activities, or have a meal.

The Work Ordered Day

Why Work?

Work is a common denominator in every society. Whether you are from Europe, United Kingdon, USA, Asia, Australia or New Zealand we all have a culture where the desire to work is highly valued. Usually when you meet someone, one of the first questions you are asked is, “What do you do?” Whether we like it or not we are often judged by our vocation and it is frequently a defining character of who we are.

How Can Three Simple Words Have So Much Meaning?

The underlying belief of the Work-Ordered Day is that regardless of a member’s disability every member has a contribution to make that will assist with achieving the work required of the Clubhouse. The belief of members being needed, expected and wanted portrays the message that we need you to be involved and get the work done. This sense of belonging is very powerful and ultimately helps members to increase their self esteem and confidence.

Units vary from Clubhouse to Clubhouse depending on space.   Some are able to accommodate a gift shop and others not for example.  Here are the key units that we are striving to have for our members:

Food Services Unit (Cafe/Restaurant)

Connections Place believes a good quality meal is integral to the life and mental health of our members. This unit is invested in providing interesting and delicious low cost meals to our members every day of the week.  We will take pride in the quality and artistry of the meals that we will produce side by side and take pride in creating delicious menus.

Members and staff will work together to shop for groceries, prepare and cook meals, service lunch, clean up, and run the snack bar. Menu planning creates meaningful work in the afternoon to prepare for the days to come.

We will cater board meetings and events ad bake treats for Clubhouse and fundraising events.  A small herb garden is planned to be used in the majority of our entrees.  Tending, watering and planting our  garden will create many hours of meaningful work.

The kitchen will be the heart of Connections Place and you will find creativity, fun and teamwork.  In summary the functions of this unit include:

  • Menu planning
  • Inventory
  • Shopping
  • Food handling and safety
  • Housekeeping and general kitchen maintenance
  • Cash register operation/control
  • Special event planning
  • Catering
  • Fundraising
  • Community kitchen
  • Individual/group cooking lessons

Administration, Enrolment and Reach Out Unit

The unit provides administrative support, enrollment activities and reach-out services to the entire clubhouse.  Through participation, members have the opportunity to develop and/or maintain a variety of office skills.  The functions of this unit include:

Administration

  • Typing
  • Photocopying
  • Faxing
  • Office supply control
  • Maintaining computer systems

Enrolment

  • Conduct tours
  • Maintain enrolment forms and files
  • New member orientation

Reach Out

  • Attendance statistics
  • Reach out calls and visits
  • Special announcement reach out

The Receptionist is an important role because they make sure phone calls are transferred appropriately, guests and members are greeted and receive correct information.  Members build their communication skills and self confidence.

newsletters are published on a regular basis and members meet on a regular basis to plan these publications.

Tours of the Clubhouse are not limited to potential members but also include community members, local service providers and student nurses.  These tours involve processing paperwork, inputting data and ensuring that new members are followed up with as they settle into the Clubhouse.

Employment, Education and Finance Unit

This unit assists members to further their vocational and educational goals.  Also, members involved in clubhouse finances assist with accounting for income, expenses and budgeting associated with all clubhouse units.  Functions of this unit include:

Employment

  • Enable members to return to paid work through
    • Transitional employment
    • Supported employment
    • Independent employment

Education

  • Assist member with educational goals including
    • Basic literacy skills
    • Secondary
    • Post secondary

Finance

  • Tracking income and expenses from unit operations
  • Unit budgeting
  • Banking
  • Inventory control and ordering supplies

Supported Education

We believe that education is part of vocational success and we therefore support members’ education goals and aspirations. Members will obtain their GED, attend university, participate in workshops in the community and learning job related skills.  Connections Place will connect members with scholarships, bursaries and tutors.  Members and staff together also run annual in house budgeting and ESL classes.

Gift/Thrift Store/Boutique

To be open Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 am 2:30 pm.  This creates work as members accept, sort, display and sell donations.  New and used items of good quality are for sale to members and the public too.  The Clubhouse in Toronto ‘Progress Place’ has a high-end boutique that sells only new items.  Raymond is a member who works with local businesses in the community who procures new items that are no longer needed (out of season for example).

Maintenance Activities (Shared by all Clubhouse Units)

  • Maintaining hallways, washrooms and common areas
  • Maintaining entrances ways and designated outside smoking area
  • Cleaning windows and maintaining all clubhouse and agency entrances

Social Planning/Activities Examples

Members and staff meet once a month to plan and organize the social calendar.  Our goal is for social to take place on Monday and Wednesday late afternoon/evening til 9:00 pm.  Activities we are aiming for include:  dining out, movies at a theatre, golfing, bowling, dance on Valentines Day.  A portion of the cost will be subsidized by Connections Place.  Activities will increase as Connections Place evolves.

Wellness Program

We recognize the connection between one’s mental health and physical health.  As such, we provide opportunities to be physically active and eat a balanced diet. We will go for daily walks have weekly yoga and low impact fitness classes, do gardening (horticulture unit) and will have a variety of on site gym equipment, as well as monthly presentations from a Dietician.  We goal is to provide free drop in passes for members to access the gym and swimming pools in local community centres.

Horticulture

Living in the City of Gardens our hope is to have Connections Place in a location where a garden is possible.

Supported Housing

This program will help members find access to financial, community and mental health support.

Pathways in owns an operates a 24 unit townhouse complex called Alexandra Court. This is a great for providing members with a place where they can create social networks. Each member receives a support staff who provides tailored services to the member to ensure they maintain their housing. Staff helps members with budgeting, grocery shopping, tenancy disputes, social assistance claims and crisis support to name a few.