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Fountain House opens new social enterprise, Fountain House + Body, in SoHo to provide paid employment opportunities and retail experience to people with serious mental illness
Kate Spade New York Foundation partners with Fountain House to support new social enterprise to challenge the stigma around mental illness
May 1, 2019 – In response to the growing trends for low-waste, package-free household products, NYC-based Fountain House – the most widely replicated evidence-based model for people living with mental illness in the world – has launched its latest social enterprise, Fountain House + Body, alongside primary sponsor Kate Spade New York Foundation and with support from Newman’s Own Foundation. Fountain House + Body, located in SoHo, operates with a triple bottom line: to provide meaningful paid work opportunities to people with serious mental illness; to produce and sell environmentally sustainable, low-waste products; and to generate a profit to sustain and enhance Fountain House’s award-winning employment programs.
“Fountain House has been at the forefront of innovation in employment for people with serious mental illness since the 1950’s,” remarked Fountain House Employment Director Ian Campbell. “In 1953 Transitional Employment was invented at Fountain House and is now used internationally as a model to challenge stigma around the illness and help adults living with it return to work. In 2013, we started our social enterprises in response to the changing landscape of employment in New York City. What began as one company employing three individuals with serious mental illness has grown to five businesses employing more than 100 people each year.”
“The Kate Spade New York Foundation is honored to support Fountain House + Body and their empowerment efforts for individuals with mental illness. The power of connection and creation to create positive pathways for people living with depression and other mental health issues is real. We look forward to watching Fountain House + Body become a fixture in their community in the coming years.” remarked Valerie Biberaj, Director, Kate Spade New York Foundation.
“Newman’s Own Foundation is proud to support Fountain House and their launch of this social enterprise,” said Robert Forrester, President and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation and Co-Chairman of Newman’s Own. “Just as Paul Newman founded Newman’s Own to give back and help make the world a better place, this new venture is giving back by supporting environmental sustainability, while recognizing that people with mental illness are still people with potential and dignity, and empowering them through meaningful employment.”
Funding provided by primary sponsor Kate Spade New York Foundation and with support from Newman’s Own Foundation will cover start-up costs, on-the-job training and development for more than 40 individuals with serious mental illness, development of marketing collateral, and rent.
Since its inception, employment has been the cornerstone of Fountain House’s programming as it is the activity that most clearly speaks to the fundamental belief that people with serious mental illness can become productive members of society. Currently, Fountain House members – individuals living with serious mental illness – work at over 40 major corporations and have achieved an employment rate double the US average for people with mental illness.
“For years the Fountain House team has served as adjunct staff at our firm. In actuality, they have become a vital part of the Kramer Levin family” said Nicholas Tortorella, Executive Director of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP. “They provide an invaluable service to our attorneys and are considered valued members of our support team. Fountain House is a critical component of our service team success and we look forward to a bright future together.”
Fountain House + Body will host an open house on May 14, 2019 from 12 to 8 pm. Customers will have the opportunity to learn more about Fountain House, meet members of our community, participate in giveaways, and enjoy light refreshments.
Fountain House + Body is located at 105 Thompson Street New York, NY 10012
ABOUT FOUNTAIN HOUSE + BODY
Opened in 2019, Fountain House + Body is a social enterprise by Fountain House with a triple bottom line: to provide meaningful paid work opportunities to people with serious mental illness; to produce and sell environmentally sustainable, low-waste products; and to generate a profit to sustain and enhance our employment program.
Fountain House + Body’s eco-friendly products range from bamboo toothbrushes and handmade dish-brushes, to organic cotton towels and glass water bottles. All of our products have minimal and low-waste packaging, and all of our cleaning solutions are sold in refillable glass bottles.
ABOUT FOUNTAIN HOUSE
Fountain House empowers people with serious mental illness to live and thrive in society. Every day, hundreds of individuals with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression come to Fountain House to contribute their talents, learn new skills, access opportunities, and build friendships. Alongside staff, they operate award-winning employment, education, wellness, and housing programs and work as partners to perform the functions that keep our community going.
Fountain House is the most widely replicated evidence-based model for people living with mental illness in the world with over 300 model programs serving over 100,000 people throughout the US and in more than 30 countries.
Fountain House is the first mental health organization to receive the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, the largest and most prestigious recognition of humanitarian efforts.