Today, ACC welcomed Robert and Liz from the Star Light center. The Star Light Center provides adults who have been disabled by mental illness the opportunity to gain confidence and self-esteem, learn job skills, and obtain employment. Star Light Center believes every individual has the right to work and to lead full and productive lives as contributing members of our communities. We had a big turnout of over 15 people today who were all very excited to hear about the opportunities that come with being a member of the Star Light Center.
The Star Light Center is an internationally recognized clubhouse modeled program. A clubhouse is a place where people who have a mental illness can go to rebuild their lives. In the clubhouse, staff and members work side by side whether it is cooking lunch, cleaning, doing clerical work, gardening or anything in between. One of our ACC participants was very excited to learn that the Star Light Center has three gardens that members can enjoy. Everyone is always encouraged to get involved at the Star Light Center through doing something they enjoy.
Liz believes that people at the Star Light Center deserve to be treated as the person they want to be and not what society and doctors say they are based on their diagnoses. With this said, the Star Light Center is always trying to help people get out of their shells and to try new things. They offer events for members such as valentine’s day dances, field trips to the beach and to other fun locations on Saturdays, dinner at local restaurants, and even movie nights every second Friday of the month! Our participants of ACC were very excited to hear all of the fun opportunities that the Star Light Center had to offer and a few shared their interest in attending the luncheon on Saturday that will be held at Bertucci's in Amherst at 12.
The Star Light Center gives people the momentum to go out and work in a competitive society by helping members with job applications, resumes, practice interviews, and even help people who are struggling with a current job. One of the most important steps members take towards greater independence is through the Transitional Employment program, where members get to work in the community in real jobs. These jobs are at places like Texas Roadhouse and the Department of Mental Health. Even if people do not need help with their job search or current job, the Star Light Center is a place people can go so they do not feel alone and isolated. At the Star Light Center, they pride themselves in being a community, just like ACC does!
Membership at the Star Light Center is for life so members have all the time they need to secure their new life in the community. To become a member at the Star Light Center, you just need to fill out an application and have it signed off by a doctor, therapist, psychiatrist, or social worker that shows proof of a mental illness.
The Star Light Center is located in Florence, MA at 251 Nonotuck Street. They are open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
By: Alex Shore