January 27 – 29, 2010 — In an effort jointly organized by Independence Center of St. Louis, MO; Magnolia House of Cleveland, OH; and Fountain House, representatives from more than twenty independent clubhouses in the United States met together in St. Louis to discuss pertinent issues. Almost immediately, a surprising theme arose: from North Carolina to Washington State, participants expressed concern that US clubhouses are in trouble.
Equally astonishing was the speed with which the group reached a recommendation. There was a clear sense of urgency by many in the room that steps must be taken in order to increase the number of American clubhouses and to stem the loss of existing ones. Additionally, participants felt national organizing and a national conference are imperative to the health of the movement. To that end, the group proposed the development of what it would like to call the United States Clubhouse Coalition (USCC).
Joel Corcoran from the International Center from Clubhouse Development, the organization charged with developing and strengthening clubhouses world-wide, attended the meetings and supported this new initiative.
From within this group an organizing committee was selected. Their first order of business is to inform all other U.S. clubhouses about the discussions that led to this proposal and to invite them to join the effort. These remarkable few days in St. Louis clearly tapped into a need felt in quarters all around the country: now is the time to act together.