Chestnut Place Clubhouse
4042-44 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
Director: Marvin Elias
The Chestnut Place Clubhouse helps members attain self-sufficiency and overcome obstacles to achieving their goals. Core to the Clubhouse philosophy is the belief that everyone has a right to work and will always find support at Chestnut Place.
Members and staff work together; members choose when, where, and how they wish to participate at the Clubhouse.
Chestnut Place Clubhouse is a program affiliated with The West Philadelphia Mental Health Consortium ("The Consortium") in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Consortium was the first Community Mental Health Center in the United States country, formed under the Mental Health Act of 1966. Founded in 1967, it was led by former United States Surgeon General, Dr. Luther Terry.
The Consortium developed a new program, known as a "clubhouse", modeled after Fountain House in New York, developed in 1947. This model of programming has grown to be an internationally acclaimed design in the field of psychiatric and vocational rehabilitation for adults with mental illness. Chestnut Place opened its doors and members began to clean and paint the building on September 3, 1991. Deaf members first attended on October 21st. Peggy Maccolini, a pioneer in the clubhouse movement and a founder of the PA Clubhouse Coalition, was the first director of Chestnut Place from 1991-2000. Chestnut Place experienced a quick and overwhelming response upon opening. Due to the rapid growth and interest, the Philadelphia Office of Mental Health recognized and responded to this demand by providing funds for the purchase of the adjoining property. Chestnut Place's expansion was completed in 1998. Chestnut Place Clubhouse received ICCD certification in 1997 and was certified again by the ICCD in 2001, 2004, and 2008. Chestnut Place occupies the space of two three-story townhouses. The average daily attendance is 35 people; the active membership is 109.
Features of the Work Ordered Day
The Work Ordered Day Program consists of two work units: The Hospitality Unit and the Business Unit. New members may choose to experience each unit during an orientation period in order to determine which area is of greatest interest to them.
The Business Unit oversees clerical projects, such as accounting, photo copying, ordering supplies, new member tours, intakes and orientation, computer work, word processing, data management and preparation of the monthly newsletter; management of the library; personal wellness and community support, educational resources and support; and active advocacy. Some members and staff have been trained as tutors through the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy. The Business Unit includes Administration functions which include budget development and management, research, writing reports, and applying for grants. The unit also includes work related to the Clubhouse’s employment program. The Business Unit manages The Check It Out Shop, which is the Clubhouse’s Thrift Shop.
The Hospitality Unit is located on the first floor of Chestnut Place Clubhouse and includes food service, snack bar, deaf services center, the reception area, including answering phones and taking messages, the garden, in-house plant care, and making guests and new members feel welcome.
The van Amerigen Food Services includes meal preparation, grocery shopping, menu planning, outreach, cashiering, financial procedures, and operation of food service equipment and maintenance of food service areas. This unit maintains the grounds and garden.
The Transitional Employment Program obtains entry-level, paid employment opportunities in our local business community for Chestnut Place members. Placements are part-time and last approximately six to nine months. T.E. is available to all members and T.E. participants are encouraged to experience more than one placement. Employment dinners are held for all working members and those members interested in working. The T.E. Dinners provide a forum for members to discuss barriers and incentives to work.
Chestnut Place provides all clubhouse services and opportunities to individuals who are both mentally ill and deaf or hard of hearing. Chestnut Place has been recognized as the only clubhouse in the world that fully includes deaf and hard of hearing members in all clubhouse activities, working with hearing and deaf members together. Staff who are fluent in American Sign Language are available to provide services and other needed supports. Chestnut Place has two TTY’s for use by deaf members as well as closed captioning and a lighted fire system. Sign language classes that include deaf culture are conducted weekly for both hearing and deaf members as well as staff. Support services and advocacy such as assistance with appointments, referrals and emergencies are provided. Chestnut Place Clubhouse has developed an environment that provides deaf individuals the same opportunities as their fellow hearing members. All meetings and presentations are interpreted and members are integrated into every aspect of clubhouse life. Chestnut Place advocates and educates other service providers and employers about the unique rights and needs of people who are deaf and have mental illnesses.
Chestnut Place is open every Tuesday afternoon from 4:00 – 7:00 PM and the second Saturday each month from 12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. for recreation. Members enjoy board games, cards, arts and crafts, music, dancing, and videos and a meal. Once a month on the fourth Saturday there is an activity in the community, such as a trip to the zoo, movies, bowling, restaurants, a museum, etc. Open Mic takes place on a Thursday afternoon from 4 – 7PM every other month. Chestnut Place is also open on the holidays 10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.
The Check-It-Out Shop
Chestnut Place has a thrift store that sells men’s and women’s clothing, jewelry and other assorted merchandise. The shop is open for the members’ convenience and is run by the members.
From 76, get off at 30th St. exit. Go right. Circle from the back to the front of the 30th street station. Turn right at 2nd light onto Market Street. Go on Market Street. Get in left lane. Turn left at 42nd Street. Turn left at first light onto Chestnut Street; go past first light on 41st street. Chestnut Place Clubhouse is midway down the block on the right at 4044 Chestnut Street. Parking meters are on both sides of the street.