Work springs from Hope
Florida Weekly – April 10, 2013
Summary: Hope Clubhouse of Southwest Florida recently earned a three-year accreditation from Clubhouse International. The Hope Clubhouse is the only one of its kind in Southwest Florida. Since opening in Ft. Myers in 2010, Hope Clubhouse has served 159 people. At the core of everything they do, as is the case at other Clubhouses around the world, is work. Several members were interviewed for a recent article in Florida Weekly and work was cited as the most important aspect of their Clubhouse experience. Will Prather, owner of a local theatre, has hired several Hope Clubhouse members and has had a good experience. “There’s nothing that can have a more dramatic impact on a person than having a job,” he said. Army veteran and Clubhouse member Jonathan Southard suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome. He works 25 hours a week at Goodwill and plans to go back to school. Dr. William Madaus, chairman of the Hope Clubhouse board as well as board member of Clubhouse International, has been instrumental in the success of the Clubhouse. “It’s almost that work becomes a therapeutic tool in terms of getting back their self-esteem, normalization in terms of working in the community and getting paid for it,” he said.