Virtual Communities

NEW THIS WEEK: TIPS & STRATEGIES FROM CLUBHOUSES BEGINNING TO RE-OPEN

AND: Gradual Re-Opening of Clubhouses

As our international Clubhouse community responds to the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Clubhouses are now adjusting to the reality of having to operate as ‘virtual’ Clubhouse communities. Clubhouse International has been in communication with our International Training Bases and with many Clubhouses around the world. We have been learning about how they are creating systems to ensure that their members still have the critical supports of belonging to a Clubhouse, even as they are not able to gather together in their Clubhouse buildings.

We have always said that Clubhouses are communities, rather than simply being mental health ‘programs.’ Now we are learning just how true this is. Clubhouse resiliency, innovation, passion and dedication have quickly led to an inspiring array of strategies and solutions to address the new reality. Members and staff may no longer being able to gather together inside their Clubhouse buildings, but they have shown that they will continue to support each other through this crisis. We are deeply moved and awed by the extraordinary level of care and connection that continues to hold Clubhouse communities together, despite the severe restrictions regarding physical togetherness.

Our international Clubhouse community should take a moment to reflect on this phenomenon. We should be aware that, as a Clubhouse community, we have succeeded in creating a network of human connectedness and unconditional support that is almost unheard of in today’s society. Even in the uncertainty and anxiety of these days, this is something we should all understand, and celebrate.

Rather than implementing ‘social distancing,’ as our governments have suggested to us, Clubhouse communities have chosen to implement a system of ‘physical distancing.’ And in spite of this physical distancing, we are finding creative ways to remain socially engaged with each other.

It is also important to note that even amid all the anxiety and chaos of this moment, Clubhouses have identified some bright spots. Here are a few:

Clubhouse community is about getting to know one other as whole human beings. Our work-ordered day, Transitional Employment, and social program have established a framework in which staff and members develop multi-dimensional relationships. As we move into this new dimension of ‘virtual’ Clubhouse connectedness, we will have the opportunity to further deepen and broaden the ways in which we know each other as human beings.

With the temporary reduction of daily Clubhouse tasks until we are organized with a new kind of workday, staff and members can take advantage of the extra time we now have to engage in longer conversations than we might have had in a typical busy Clubhouse workday. Clubhouse relationships have the opportunity to grow stronger, deeper, and richer as a result of this pandemic.

Below, you will find a compilation of suggestions for implementing a Virtual Clubhouse, gathered from many Clubhouses, Clubhouse Coalitions and our Training Bases as they begin to operate as Clubhouse communities ‘without walls.’ These ideas are from Clubhouses with a wide range of different circumstances, in different countries, of varying sizes. Although not all of the ideas in this document will be relevant for all Clubhouses, we hope that your Clubhouse will be able to find some suggestions that will be helpful for the unique needs of your Clubhouse community.

As it looks as if this situation may continue for some time, we will continue to update you with new strategies as we move ahead into this unknown terrain of this ‘new normal.’ We have organized this document loosely according to the overall headings of:

NEW! THE GRADUAL RE-OPENING OF CLUBHOUSES  How to Re-Open Safely: A Collection of Strategies from Many Clubhouses

For the last weeks and months, Clubhouses around the world have had to close their buildings while working to sustain a vibrant ‘virtual’ Clubhouse community. Now, in various parts of the world, many Clubhouses are beginning the process of gradually re-opening. We have asked Clubhouses to send us updates about how they are going about doing this, to optimally balance their enthusiasm about being together again with the need to remain vigilant about maintaining physical distancing and keeping the Clubhouse disinfected.

Click here to open and view a collection of strategies from many different Clubhouses. Each Clubhouse is required to comply with its local governmental requirements and restrictions, but within those parameters Clubhouses are working to find ways to be together that are safe and at the same time meaningful and satisfying. Thank you to the many Clubhouses that have shared their evolving reopening plans with us!

Some of these strategies include:

Consensus Decision Making

  • The Clubhouse community is comprised of members, staff, board and administrators, with many different needs and various levels of comfort with how best to begin the reopening process. It is important to have community-wide discussions to hear the opinions and fears and hopes of the whole Clubhouse community, as part of the process of establishing a reopening plan. This open discussion will also help to ensure greater ‘buy-in’ from the whole community as the plan is implemented.

Contact tracing

  • Keep records of who is in the building at different times during the course of each day, and what they were involved with, in order to be able to trace back to others who may have come in contact with anyone who later tests positive for the virus.

Daily Schedule

  • Some Clubhouse are staggering hours, with members coming for different ‘shifts’ during the day to avoid crowding.
  • Some Clubhouses are requiring members to sign up in advance for a visit to the Clubhouse to ensure that numbers remain low enough to be safe.
  • If advanced sign-up is not required, some Clubhouses have organized a process so that if a member arrives but the Clubhouse is already at maximum capacity, a staff or member will come out and meet that person and go for a walk together in the neighborhood.
  • Some Clubhouses are beginning their reopening process with only one or two days per week, with the expectation of gradual expansion of Clubhouse hours over the next few months.
  • Daily or twice daily meetings are held using videoconference to allow everyone to remain at their desks and also include members still at home.
  • Most Clubhouses are not having onsite evening and weekend social programs, but many continue to provide online virtual social activities.

Maintaining a ‘Hybrid’ Clubhouse – integrating the ‘virtual’ Clubhouse with the onsite Clubhouse

  • Since many members will still be isolating at home, it is important to continue to offer the online, telephone, and mobile outreach efforts that had been implemented when the Clubhouse was closed. Maintain a vibrant online schedule of Clubhouse meetings and activities even as the Clubhouse is now open for members.

Daily Clubhouse Cleaning and Sanitizing

  • Develop enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols for the Clubhouse, particularly for high-contact and shared locations such as doors, light switches, faucets, and elevator buttons. Make disposable wipes and/or spray cleaners available for facilitate frequent cleaning.
  • Many Clubhouse have a daily schedule for thoroughly disinfecting (for example 9am, 11am, 1pm, and 3pm) these common areas.
  • All communal items that cannot be easily cleaned, such as shared magazines and newspapers, should be removed from the Clubhouse.
  • Desk areas, phones, faucets, keyboards, countertops, toilets and other high touch points should be disinfected after each use.

Measures to Avoid Person to Person Spread

  • Promote and facilitate frequent and proper handwashing by providing sanitizer or hand washing stations at points of entry and at locations where goods are handled.
  • Encourage coughing or sneezing into the elbow and prompt disposal of used tissues.
  • Require that masks are worn while inside the Clubhouse. Many Clubhouses are providing masks and hand sanitizer.
  • Some Clubhouses are screening everyone who enters the building with a brief health survey, asking whether the person has had any known contact with anyone testing positive for COVID-19, or has difficulty breathing, persistent cough, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, fever or feeling feverish, unexplained achiness, skin rash, or appearing obviously unwell.
  • Some Clubhouses are taking the temperature of everyone entering the building and not admitting anyone with a fever of greater than 38 C or 100.4 (Guidelines of US Centers for Disease Control).
  • Provide a written set of guidelines, including description of effective handwashing technique and other safe hygiene practices and require everyone in the Clubhouse to sign it.
  • Ask members and staff to bring their own pens to avoid spread of virus.

Ensuring Physical Distancing

  • Restrict the number of people in the Clubhouse at one time. Most Clubhouse’s local governments have provided guidelines for how many people can be in a room or building at one time.
  • Clubhouses that have gardens can establish an organized work-ordered day in the garden and expand the number of members ‘in the Clubhouse’ that way.
  • One Clubhouse will schedule member work-ordered day activities one week in advance, so that members can sign up for days that are particularly interesting for them. All members who were active in the three month period prior to the physical closing of the Clubhouse building will be contacted by phone or social media and invited back. Staff will work out a mutually acceptable schedule for all members.
  • Some Clubhouses will give priority to members who have been most challenged by the isolation of having been at home for this long period of time.  Others will open attendance opportunities on a first come first served basis. Others will invite members show particular skills and talents are most required by the Clubhouse during this reopening phase.
  • Some Clubhouses will limit times a member can attend in the course of a month, in order to ensure that any member wishing to come into the Clubhouse can have that opportunity.
  • Eliminate all non-essential gatherings such as meetings.
  • Some Clubhouses will continue to hold daily meetings via teleconference or videoconference (Zoom, Slack, Facebook Live)) formats, which will include colleagues in the Clubhouse as well as those still in their homes.
  • Some Clubhouses are requiring the members and staff to remain in one designated work area, and not move around the Clubhouse during the day.

Who can come, if space is limited?

  • Some Clubhouses are contacting members with known high risk factors (underlying medical conditions, over 65 years old) and encouraging them to check with their doctor before coming to the Clubhouse.
  • Some Clubhouses are using a ‘first come first served’ approach.
  • Some Clubhouses are actively extending invitations to members who are most likely to be greatly challenged by the long period of having been isolated from others.

Arrangement of Furniture and Physical Space

  • Place a carpet sprayed with diluted bleach at the entrance of the Clubhouse for wiping off shoes.
  • Arrange chairs in shared spaces to discourage large gatherings and ensure that people maintain appropriate distance.
  • Add tape markers to indicate six-foot (two meter) markings where needed.
  • Place posters in prominent locations to remind everyone to practice hand and respiratory hygiene.
  • Install physical barriers and increase separation between desks.
  • Limit the number of people allowed in the smoking area. 

Lunch (Clubhouse Food Service)

  • Some Clubhouses are not making/serving lunch in the initial phase of their re-opening strategy.
  • Clubhouses that are serving lunch might arrange the dining room so that there is at least six feet (two meters) between people, and people are all facing in the same direction rather than facing one another.
  • Some Clubhouses that are serving lunch are having lunch in shifts to avoid crowding in the dining room. Members and staff sign up in advance for a particular lunch seating to prevent crowding.
  • Weather permitting, many Clubhouses are also providing socially distanced outdoor seating for lunch.
  • Disposable gloves are worn when handling food or drinks.
  • Some Clubhouses are using disposable cups, plates and silverware for initial stage of reopening plan.
  • Have members and staff bring their own utensils for meals.
  • Some Clubhouses ask everyone to bring their own lunch.

Visitors

  • Clubhouses that are screening people coming into the building are using the same screening criteria for visitors.
  • No community presentations will occur inside the Clubhouse or in the larger community during the initial phase of reopening.

Transportation

  • Most Clubhouses are advising against use of public transportation.
  • If the Clubhouse van is used, seats are left empty to allow for appropriate social distance.
  • Members are encouraged to walk, bike, or drive themselves whenever possible.
MAINTAINING COMMUNITY
  • NEW! Clubhouses are stressing the importance of maintaining a daily structure, for both staff and members. Some Clubhouses are asking staff and members to establish goals for themselves for each day, and then report in on how they have done with those.
  • NEW! Establish house and/or unit meetings, via conference call or online platform (Zoom or WebEx can be accessed through the internet or by phone), preferably twice daily, in the morning and afternoon.
  • NEW! Put your weekly schedule of calls and meetings on your webpage and FB page. Include the links and/or dial-up information for each call. Clubhouse weekly meeting schedules can include: daily (or twice daily) all-house community meetings; individual unit meetings; health and wellness updates; education and employment meetings; young adult meet-ups; DRA meetings, etc.
  • Create small ‘reach-out families’ consisting of one staff and a small group of members. Askthat each member of each reach-out family to contact each other person in the cluster on a daily basis(whether by phone, text, email, or any other form of communication).
  • Reducing stress levels is an important way to boost our immune systems. Relaxed, daily conversations with members and staff can be helpful to one’s overall health.
  • Create a Clubhouse warm-line with established hours that all members know they can access.
  • Consider expanding the hours of current warm-lines.
  • Most Clubhouses are establishing once or twice daily tele-conference or video-conference calls for the whole community. This is a substitute for daily house meetings or unit meetings.
  • Some Clubhouses are having Virtual Lunch together, where members and staff join via internetaccess or just uploading pictures of their lunch to the Clubhouse Facebook page.
  • Share a recipe with the whole Clubhouse community so that once per week everyone cooks the same meal at home and eats together at the same time. Share pictures of everyone’s version of the meal on the Clubhouse Facebook page or other social media.
  • Schedule a Facebook live session for an hour a day, at a particular time.
TECHNOLOGY
  • Zoom has a platform that is specifically created to be HIPAA compliant, for use in healthcare settings. The link for this platform is: https://zoom.us/healthcare
STAFF SCHEDULING AND ROLES
  • NEW! Lengthen the hours of operation of the Clubhouse so members can have greater access to support. This can be done by staggering staff hours, some to start earlier in the morning, and some to work into the evening hours.
  • Clubhouse staff roles are shifting from mostly site-based and unit-based activities to virtual engagement and reach-out responsibilities. Staff job descriptions are changing to reflect the need to stay in touch with members while practicing physical distancing. This includes continuing to engage members in meaningful work and daily routines along with needed community support services.
  • Clubhouses are finding that it is very important to maintain a daily schedule and structure. Staff should check in with each member to help them establish some kind of routine, and then help to provide the support for them to maintain that routine. Staff should develop dependable routines for their work and availability, so that everyone knows what they can count on from each other every day.
  • Many Clubhouses are staggering staff schedules so that some of the staff are onsite each day, and others are working from home. Some Clubhouses are doing two shifts per day, with some staff coming into the Clubhouse for the morning and others in the afternoon. While at the Clubhouse staff are busy with activities such as fielding telephone calls from members and responding to their needs, reach out logs and other recordkeeping, organizing plans for virtual Clubhouse work, keeping track of member contact information, grab-and go meal preparation, etc.
  • All staff join the teleconference or video morning meetings, whether they are working onsite or remotely. Some Clubhouses are also having staff initiate individual unit meetings by phone to coordinate supports for members and other specific unit work functions. Staff and members can organize and complete this work together in one-to-one or small group calls.
  • Some Clubhouses have created a separate Zoom (or other virtual meeting program) account for each staff, to allow frequent and ongoing contact with members.
  • All staff have one primary mission: reach out and engage. The plan is to reach out to every member, every day, unless a member communicates that he/she would prefer fewer contacts.
  • All staff are responsible for tracking reach out and communicating emerging needs of members, and facilitating effective and appropriate responses.
  • As you begin working ‘without walls,’ have staff call all active members and screen over the phone for symptoms, update emails, addresses, etc. Create a "script" to ensure that questions about food, transportation, meds, etc. are being asked. For those members that do not have working phone numbers, utilize their emergency contacts to make contact with the member.
  • Active membership is divided up amongst staff and it is the responsibility of every staff to contact those on their list every day to check in.
  • Additionally, staff can review the list of members who have become inactive in the last year and together with members can make reach-out calls/connections with all of them to check in on their health and wellbeing. Those who are interested should be welcomed back into active membership in the virtual Clubhouse effort.
  • Make sure that all staff have home computers and good WIFI connectivity. The Clubhouse should have a good video-conference capability that can be used remotely.
SPACE
  • If Clubhouses are preparing meals for delivery it is important to maintain at least six feet of physical distance from each other. Use masks and gloves if you have them. Wipe down and disinfect all surfaces, appliances, door handles, bathrooms, etc.
  • Take advantage of having the building almost empty to get carpets cleaned, floors waxed, lighting repaired, etc.
  • Avoid using the language stating that the Clubhouse is ‘closed.’ While the building may be closed, most Clubhouses are providing a wide array of services for their membership. It is important to articulate for members, families, other agencies, and funders, that the Clubhouse is indeed operating, albeit in a different fashion currently. Some Clubhouses have signs on the door stating that members can now access the virtual Clubhouse, providing phone and website contact information.
REACH-OUT
  • NEW! Here is an example of a helpful, engaging Clubhouse "house call”! A member had a death in her family, so another member made a beautiful card, and another member, who is a talented baker, made a gorgeous batch of cookies. The baker dropped off the cookies at the Clubhouse.  Yet another member picked up the card from the first member's house, then stopped at the Clubhouse, picked up the cookies, and then dropped off both card and cookies on the porch of the member who was grieving.  It was a really good example of members coordinating meaningful work to help another member.
  • Deliver books to member’s homes.
  • Members are saying they want to see the faces of others in their Clubhouse community, so one Clubhouse is creating Jib-Jab videos with people’s faces and sending them to their Clubhouse members and staff.
  • Clubhouses should check with their local phone and internet providers. Many providers are extending free and/or enhanced service during this time. This can be extremely important with no (or very limited) phone and/or internet service.
  • Have ‘reach out parties’ where a staff person conferences in one or two members who then can reach out to other members together.
  • Create reach-out ‘clusters’ consisting of one staff and a group of members. Ask that each person in each cluster gets in touch with the other members of their reach out cluster every day. Some members do not want to be part of that – but many do.
  • Develop a script or discussion outline for reach-out discussion to ensure that all the important topics are being considered (e.g. health and wellness, food security, money and budget, social connectedness, medication if applicable, appointments and schedules, safety, routines, etc.
  • Clubhouses are generally discouraging home visits, but will pre-arrange with members to drop packages of food/medication/essentials at the door. One Clubhouse calls this the ‘Clubhouse Door Dash.’
  • If members are in need of mental health crisis services, the Clubhouse will coordinate with providers and ensure there is a response. Clubhouses are expanding their systems of providing crisis support (e.g. expanded hours of availability for warm-lines, extra means of contacting staff, systematic reviews of each member’s current situation, etc.).
  • Ask each member for one positive thought or something good that has happened, each day, and post these on the Clubhouse webpage or Facebook page.
  • Check in with members about the needs of their pets.
HOUSE AND UNIT MEETINGS
  • NEW! Have a daily Facebook Live meeting at an established time. Staff and members take turns hosting. Members and staff provide updates on themselves, share employment news, engage in Clubhouse discussion, go over a Standard of the day, are provided with a virus update, and request any resources they may need.  Members without Facebook have the option to call in for the meeting or receive an email overview of the topics discussed.  All meetings can be saved to be viewed at a later time, if desired.
  • NEW! Click here to view a virtual white board unit meeting agenda, created to ensure that Clubhouse relationships remain “work-mediated,” in spite of the physical distancing. You can see that this agenda ensures side by side collaboration between staff and members throughout the meeting.
  • Schedule tele-conference or video-conference calls every day to retain a rhythm and daily Clubhouse schedule. For most Clubhouses, staff are required to participate and members are invited and encouraged. Many are using WEBEX or Zoom; some just using conference call capacity.
  • Have a standing agenda, which might include: a general check-in; updates (government public health announcements, local resources available, news about Clubhouse members and staff, news from Clubhouse International, etc.), information about local food pantries, subsidies, etc.
  • Meetings should be facilitated by members and staff and responsibilities for the agenda, notes and post meeting follow-up can be organized by members and staff together via email, telephone, Facetime, Skype, etc.). Virtual side-by-side methods of sharing work can be creatively developed.
  • Purchase and distribute disposable phones, or if possible, tablets, for members without access, to ensure everyone can participate. Some members may need a little financial help to extend their available minutes and data usage on their phones.

One Clubhouse notes: “It is AWESOME to hear/see each person as they join into the call. Each new person entering the call is met with a booming ‘HI!’ which creates a powerful bond of community.

VIRTUAL CLUBHOUSE (UNIT) WORK
  • NEW! During Unit Meetings, review the unit "Birthday List."  Make birthday calls to members, but  also research other ways to send birthday wishes. For example, make a Google doc-type card that everyone can sign which can then be sent, or obtain membership with an e-card company/website for a very small annual fee where you can send an unlimited number of all types of greeting cards to members, with the ability to add personalized messages signed by "the Unit.”
  • NEW! Create a specific outreach list of members who are struggling because they don't have the technology to keep up with Unit Meetings virtually or to stay connected with the Clubhouse via social media.  Seek a donation or grant to help members acquire the technology they need during this crisis to help them stay connected. This can create a lot of meaningful work, including finding out who needs an iPad with larger numbers; whose computer is broken; who doesn't have Internet access, who will place the purchase order for whatever needs to be bought; who will make the purchase; who will bring it to the porch of the member's house; and who will follow-up with instructions by phone or video-conferencing if the member needs a learning curve on the new equipment, etc.
  • NEW! Keep track of members' goals and Action Plans.  Use a form that can be reviewed in conference calls with members to go over their Action Plans. The more of these that you can complete now, and not fall behind, the better it will be for the unit.  Hopefully this will also be a good process for members who need a plan, as they can have a thoughtful phone conversation to identify what goals they’d like to work on at the Clubhouse this year.
  • Jobs from units can be discussed and assigned at the end of each meeting. For example, create a daily newsletter.
  • A member and staff team can be assigned to create an updated, accurate email database to send the daily newsletter to everyone before the morning meeting every day. Check out this example of a helpful newsletter during this ‘virtual Clubhouse’ time. Members and staff wrote the articles in partnership, and it includes listing of opportunities for Clubhouse connections including: book club, wellness challenge, and education club, as well as food resources and easy healthy recipes.
  • Discuss and sign up for cleaning jobs and then complete them at home. This helps everyone become motivated to keep our own home clean and tidy.  Then send pictures of completed jobs to post on Clubhouse site.
  • Have a virtual kitchen hygiene safety class so members and staff can become certified to work in kitchens.  Create food prep videos to share with your Clubhouse community. Have people send in pictures of their cooking endeavors to post on the Clubhouse Facebook page.
  • Create handmade cards to send to all active and inactive members, and staff. The cards can simply be ‘thinking about you’ messages to strengthen the sense of connection and community.
  • Use ‘call forwarding’ feature so that members and staff can ‘man the switchboard’ of the Clubhouse, and forward calls.
  • Establish an ‘I/T HELP DESK’ team of staff and members who can be on-call to help others members connect with technology, etc.
  • NEW! Use free Hallmark software to create birthday cards, reach-out cards.
  • If members request it, the Clubhouse can deliver actual hard copy tasks to do from home. Other members can assume some online responsibility for social media, making videos, contact and supporting other members, etc.
  • In one Clubhouse a very limited number of members are joining staff onsite to assist with crucial unit work (logging outreach, updating database. processing mail and invoices, painting projects, outreaching members, etc.)
  • Some units are holding separate daily online unit meetings. Members can volunteer to help with preparing posts for social media and making contributions toward the newsletter.
  • Projects that can be done remotely include: develop external newsletter, FB page, work collaboratively online, update the Clubhouse video, develop a welcome packet, develop a Clubhouse recipe book.
  • Use Google docs to collaborate on creating newsletters, recipe books, compilations of members’ experiences while in quarantine.
  • Have a member or a small group of members be responsible for taking calls for other members in regard to ordering lunch, or food bank orders, or other daily requests, and then call in the orders to staff who can deliver or implement the order.
  • A member or group of members can keep an updated list of places that deliver food or have take-out options.
  • Members with cars can join a mobile fleet to help make deliveries of food and goods to other members.
  • Members can make birthday cards for other members from home.
  • Create a daily news show. Members can send brief (less than a minute) videos about how they are doing; tips on good movies or books; ideas for Clubhouse projects; etc. Videos can be sent to a staff and/or member with the ability to edit them together. These can be viewed on the Clubhouse Facebook or webpage on a daily basis.
  • Organize a group to research and apply for newly available grants for responding to the COVID- 19 crisis.
  • Organize a research project to keep track of member contacts, crisis diversion, hospitalizations, meals delivered, on-line activities, goal plans adjusted or created, crisis line calls, etc. to make the case post crisis about the value of the Clubhouse community.
EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATION
  • NEW! Schedule individual phone meetings with members who are employed or looking for employment at this time.
  • NEW! Assist members with filing for unemployment.
  • NEW! Work one-on-one with members via phone to work on resumes, job applications, mock interviews, etc. 
  • NEW! Clubhouse Supported Education: deliver materials from the Clubhouse to members’ residences to continue self-paced on-line learning for GED/High school equivalency courses/diplomasIt is important that Clubhouses remain connected to TE business partners, even if all TE jobs have been suspended at this time. Maintain strong relationships with employers in order to ensure a smooth return for members at the end of this crisis. Have a voice conversation with the employer to decide together the best way to manage TE/SE support during this time.
  • Educate and inform members that have lost their incomes about stimulus packages and other assistance that might be available. Check with government unemployment benefits offices as some are expanding coverage to include laid off or furloughed part-time employees.
  • Communicate information about potential employment options, such as Amazon Fulfillment Centers or other on-line retail organizations, to connect interested members with work income immediately.
  • If members are laid off of their jobs, the Clubhouse should work with the member to contact benefits administrators to help members get back on their pensions/entitlements or apply for the first time.
SOCIAL MEDIA
  • NEW! Use chat rooms for special interest groups in the Clubhouse. You can have a chat room for the young adults, for employed members, for seniors, for members in group homes, etc.
  • One staff (along with a small team of volunteer members) can monitor the Clubhouse Facebook page all day, responding to posts and keeping everyone informed about news and updates.
  • Establish a private Facebook group to keep in contact with members during this stressful time.
  • Create a link on the front page of your Clubhouse website to a page of information relating to the coronavirus. Update this page daily (or very frequently).
  • Post your Clubhouse updates and relevant media regarding Coronavirus via Facebook and Instagram.
  • Clubhouses are using Text Now (app), Facebook group pages and live chat, Instagram and Instagram Live, WhatsApp, Slack, etc. to remain in communication with each other.
  • Zoom, Skype and WebEx are good for group video conferencing.
  • Mail Chimp can be a helpful platform to send an email to all members at once. Mail Chimp allows the send to know how many have opened the email, which can be helpful information for the Clubhouse.
  • Create a closed Facebook page just for your Clubhouse.
FOOD
  • NEW! Coordinate bulk food delivery to members, getting a week of groceries delivered at a time.
  • NEW! Partner with other community agencies/programs, with bulk buying, prep, and delivery.
  • NEW! Ask donors to help support local restaurants as well as Clubhouse members by ordering a take-out meal that can be delivered to all members, for a special treat.
  • NEW! Get donations from local Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, etc., and deliver to members.
  • NEW! Grocery shopping once per week. Two or three members gather the lists on Monday and centralize them with the Clubhouse ‘mobile shoppers,’ who then purchase and deliver the items every Tuesday.
  • NEW! Create on-line cooking demonstrations and have the community try to create the dishes at home.
  • Some Clubhouses are making lunches at the Clubhouse and delivering to members. However, it is important to limit the number of food preparation people and practice physical distancing (at least 6 ft/2 meters).
  • Gather information about all local food resources and food pantries in your community and communicate this information to members.
  • If a member cannot get food, the Clubhouse should deliver food or ensure that food is available from another source.
  • One Clubhouse is working with food pantries to deliver a weekly-monthly supply of groceries to members. The Clubhouse asks members to take a picture of their driver's licenses as ID for the food pantry, and then text them to staff at the Clubhouse who will print them up and send them to the food pantry. The Clubhouse is able to pick up 12 orders at a time and then deliver these directly to the members.
  • Order food through the regular Clubhouse food suppliers and make up boxes of groceries to deliver to members.
  • Some Clubhouses are making lunches and distributing them outside of the Clubhouse, in take- out boxes, to reduce physical proximity.
COMMUNITY SUPPORT
  • NEW! Clubhouses in the U.S. that will be having upcoming primaries can help members obtain and submit absentee ballots.
  • NEW! Staff and/or members in recovery can organize online AA, DRA, etc., 12-step meetings for the Clubhouse community.
  • Clubhouses remain committed to ensuring that they continue to provide supports to members in regard to housing, medication, physical health, and other community support needs.
  • Mobile banking: For members that use the Clubhouse member banks, Clubhouses are taking phone calls in the morning and then driving around to get signatures and distribute checks and money.
  • Make sure that all members have access to a Clubhouse Hotline/Crisis line, and that it is always active and will be answered by a live person.
SOCIAL AND WELLNESS PROGRAM
  • NEW! Organize a game show on Facebook Live for the Clubhouse community.
  • NEW! Use an app called ‘Houseparty,’ where members and staff can play group games such as Trivia and “Chips and Guac” (similar to Apples to Apples).
  • NEW! Encourage all members to obtain a thermometer and establish their baseline temperature. If anyone notices that their temperature has gone up by more than one degree from the baseline, they should contact their doctor.
  • NEW! Use the Clubhouse International ‘Directors E-groups’ for support in regard to how staff can best take care and protect themselves during this time. For more information and a link to join one of these groups, contact Lee Kellogg at lkellogg@clubhouse-intl.org
  • NEW! Start an email thread in your Clubhouse community where people can post innovative and fun ways to exercise.
  • NEW! One Clubhouse has started to have online Meditation Mondays, Social Wednesdays (virtual games like Bingo) and Fitness Fridays during lunch hour for members and staff to attend.
  • Use Facebook Live, Zoom/Skype or other social media platform to share exercise classes including yoga classes and meditation groups.
  • There are some excellent virtual tours of museums that Clubhouses can do ‘together’ online.
  • Create virtual book, music or movie discussion groups
CLUBHOUSE FUNDING AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP
  • NEW! Check out this helpful link on Grant Funding from SAMHSA: https://www.samhsa.gov/coronavirus
  • NEW! One Clubhouse that was going to have a 5K fundraiser has decided to go ahead with the event, but do it virtually.
  • NEW! Some Clubhouses have received grants from their local Rotary Clubs.
  • NEW! Contacting local media to make them aware of your supports/services. Local TV and radio stations are looking for positive, community-based stories.
  • Clubhouses and Clubhouse coalitions are advocating with their local governments to establish funding mechanisms to cover new strategies of remote and virtual service provision.
  • Some Clubhouses are finding that they will be able to bill for "community support" when making reach out calls to members. In the US, some states are allowing billing for longer phone calls with members; others allow Clubhouses to bill for dropping off food or meds without face-to-face interaction with a member.
  • Write grants that focus on trying to obtain donations for laptops or iPads for members that do not have access to an electronic device.
  • Rotary International and United Way might be good resources for obtaining grants for digital/virtual support services. Many cities and towns have Community Foundations that make funding available in times of crisis or great need.
BOARD/ADVISORY BOARD

Clubhouses are asking their boards and advisory boards for specific assistance during this time. This includes:

  • NEW! Board/Advisory Board members could support a local restaurant and also provide a needed treat for Clubhouse staff and members, by ordering a take-out meal for everyone. 
  • Raise funds to buy disposable phones, or tablets with internet connectivity, for members who do not have these devices. It will be crucial that all members can maintain communication during this period of isolation. Some members may have phones with very limited minutes available, so the board might be able to help fund purchasing additional minutes for these members.
  • Raise funds to help members who have lost their income due to layoffs and need immediate financial assistance.
  • Enlist the help of boards in advocating with government funders to ensure they know the Clubhouse work continues and that we are well positioned to provide ongoing support to members during this time of crisis. Make sure they have good data and understanding about how you have adjusted your work. If board members are helping with this advocacy it could help with getting government funders to continue and expand payments for Clubhouse services.
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