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Grant will expand hours and programs at Summit County Clubhouse

The Summit County Clubhouse was one of the grant recipients from his year's Park City Rotary Club.
Leslie Thatcher
The Summit County Clubhouse was one of the grant recipients from his year's Park City Rotary Club.

The Summit County Clubhouse was one of nine nonprofit organizations to receive a grant from Park City Rotary Club. The money will be used to expand their programming to provide for the growing membership.

The Summit County Clubhouse provides opportunities for adults with mental health challenges to participate in their own recovery process by working and socializing together in a safe, and welcoming environment.

Executive Director Jen O’Brien says an estimated one in five adults in Utah experiences mental health challenges each year. And since she started at the clubhouse, the number of members has increased 50% since last September. Daily attendance, she says, is also up dramatically.

“That’s been super exciting,” O’Brien said. “I think it's just the sign of the times that there's a great need out there and also a sign of our efforts to really expand our footprint to those evening opportunities to weekend opportunities for social and recreational programming.”

The $5,000 grant from Park City Rotary she says will be used to build its education and employment dinner on Thursday nights.

“Most clubhouses internationally are really modeled around a business day, 9-to-5 hours of programming,” she said. “For our clubhouse here in Summit County, it's extremely difficult to live off disability benefits. So, for us, that 9-to-5 model just doesn't work. We need to expand our footprint and be able to provide programming and continual support for those who are returning to the workforce or to their college courses and so on.”

The grant money will be used to pay for the additional staffing as well as the food that’s needed to prepare the dinners.

O’Brien says they’re also looking for local employers who are willing to partner with the clubhouse for its transitional employment program. She says for employers willing to work with them, the clubhouse staff will help train their members for the job and guarantee that someone will fill the position if the employee is unable to show up for whatever reason.

“We will do the training and we will do the hiring,” she said. “They [the employees] don't need to go through the application process. And then if this employee is not able to show up, we have a designated point person at the clubhouse that will fill in and cover that shift unpaid because we are paid as staff members of the clubhouse. So that employer knows that that shift is going to be covered.”

The clubhouse is owned by the Park City Community Foundation for explicit use by the clubhouse, but all upkeep and maintenance obligations are paid for by the clubhouse organization. O’Brien says they’re looking to raise $28,000 to replace the roof and repair the siding this year – one of many ongoing capital projects the building will need in the years to come.