Fresh Start Clubhouse is an intentional community for adults living with mental illness in Washtenaw County. Participants are called members, not patients or clients, and the focus is on their strengths and wellness, not their illness. Work in the clubhouse, whether it is clerical, data input, meal preparation or reaching out to fellow members, provides the core healing process. Every opportunity provided is the result of the efforts of the members and small staff, who work side by side, building meaningful relationships. Membership is for life and participation is voluntary.


To become a member an individual must:

• Have a primary diagnosis of a serious mental illness (formerly Axis 1) such as depression, bipolar, schizoaffective, or schizophrenia. Functional impairment is due to SMI.

• Indicate an interest in rehabilitation/recovery goals (e.g. employment, education, housing, or social goals).

• Be 18 years of age or older.

• Be able to independently meet self-care and safety needs. As individuals are free to come and go as they like from the Clubhouse, they must possess the necessary safety skills and judgment to move about the community without constant or one-on-one supervision.

• Not currently pose a threat to the Clubhouse community or themselves.

• Be a client of Washtenaw County Community Mental Health.

• Have had a scheduled formal tour of the Clubhouse within the 6 months prior to applying for membership.