Fountain House’s programs and partnerships are rooted in its work units. Each unit is a “home base” for a number of members and staff who, together, develop and operate a particular activity. Members volunteer their work and, in collaboration with staff, contribute their talents to planning, developing and running the individual units and overall operation of Fountain House. Unified by common goals, members and staff build relationships in fulfilling the work of the unit. Fountain House presently has seven units:
In the Culinary Unit, members plan, prepare, and serve some 300 healthy meals a day. The program offers members affordable meals, partially subsidized by Fountain House, as well as opportunities to socialize and build friendships.
Our Clerical Unit operates the switchboard, handles large mailings and copy jobs, and publishes daily and weekly newsletters.
The Education Unit supports members studying within the full gamut of educational settings – high school equivalency to graduate studies. Members and staff teach and tutor classes in a variety of subjects; conduct an on-going literacy program; teach for-credit college courses here at Fountain House; and help members attending college navigate registration and admissions. The unit also supports the audio-visual needs of the House and produces a weekly news program for the community.
The Employment Unit is the hub of employment activity at Fountain House. The Unit is a resource for all other units to help them support, coordinate, and nurture employment and employment opportunities for the Fountain House membership.
The Horticulture Unit tends our four gardens, provides plants and flower arrangements throughout the buildings, and designs and creates floral decorations for special events and holidays. It also acts as liaison with High Point Farm.
Our Reception and Membership Unit sets the tone for the entire house. Once in the door, you find yourself in a spacious, wood-paneled reception area with people ready to direct you to your destination, answer your questions, or simply check you in. Members here are also responsible for handling all requests for membership – reviewing applications, meeting prospective members, outreach to new members during their first six months, leading tours and purchasing and distributing supplies to the entire house.
The Research Unit documents and evaluates members’ participation in Fountain House’s programs and services, analyzes the outcomes, and assesses members’ evolving needs. These reports inform organizations and government groups concerned with mental health issues.