When I became a member at Gateway in 2011, I barely spoke to anyone. Not to my doctors, not to my therapists, not even to my family. I had no friends. Gateway helped me to emerge from a dark place.[The Clubhouse Colleagues] speak about how a member grows within a Clubhouse versus a program that just keeps someone “stable.” I have attended many of those programs. Hospitals have been a revolving door since I was fifteen. I felt nothing. I believed I WAS nothing.
Gateway helped me find my voice. Gateway helped me find a life worth living. Yes, the meaningful work at the Clubhouse helped. The work-ordered day gave me a steady routine. I have the amazing opportunity to live independently in a beautiful apartment. But it’s the relationships that make it work. I have true friendships among members and staff. I am constantly reminded of how much I am wanted…not just needed…wanted.
Through my time at Gateway, I have grown in so many ways. I have learned confidence and now I have belief in myself. I went from being non-vocal to public speaking. As of December 2018, I have NOT been hospitalized for over a year. I now have a job at the YMCA, which I love.
I want to let you know how much Gateway has (and continues) to change my life. Your passion as staff members has trickled down to me as a member.