Clubhouse Winnipeg is Manitoba’s first and only psychosocial rehabilitation agency based on the Fountain House Model, which originated in New York City in the late 1940s. There are hundreds of Clubhouses worldwide helping adults gain work-oriented and life skills to live fuller lives, seek out employment opportunities, and increase their involvement in the community
Clubhouse Winnipeg's story begins in the early 1990s, when a number of parents, family members, and community stakeholders recognized the major gap in services available for adults with severe and persistent mental health challenges in the Winnipeg Region. Moreover, these individuals lacked a safe, positive, accepting and supportive environment where they could attend regularly. Recognizing that the Clubhouse/Fountain House model could address these needs, the group lobbied various Manitoba Government departments and public bodies to secure the funds necessary to start up Manitoba's first and only Clubhouse.
In late 1998, after years of public presentations and petitions, the necessary start-up funding was granted by the Province of Manitoba. The team could now begin to search for a suitable location and found 172 Sherbrook in the heart of West Broadway. Renovations began in January 1999, with opening taking place the day after Canada Day that same year. Clubhouse has been open every weekday since then, with the exception of statutory holidays and the mandatory COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.
(from Clubhouse International)
The word “Clubhouse” derives from the original language that was used to communicate the work and vision of Fountain House, the very first Clubhouse, which was started in New York in 1948. Since its inception, Fountain House has served as the model for all subsequent Clubhouses that have been started around the world. Fountain House began when former patients of a New York psychiatric hospital began to meet together informally, as a kind of “club.” It was organized as a support system for people living with mental illness, rather than as a service or a treatment program. Communities around the world that have modeled themselves after Fountain House have embraced the term “Clubhouse,” because it clearly communicates the message of membership and belonging. This message of inclusion is at the very heart of the Clubhouse way of working.