Clubhouse Info


In 1944 as a way to prepare for discharge, patients at Rockland State Hospital in New York created a weekly meeting group called WANA (We Are Not Alone).  It was formed under the belief that people with mental illness are capable of helping each other.

In 1948 two people who helped develop WANA bought a building which had a fountain in the back, and they called the place “Fountain House” which is the first Clubhouse.

In 1994 a non-profit organization was created called The International Center for Clubhouse development (ICCD), which sets the standards for all Clubhouses to follow in order to ensure member success and recovery.

To view more information on Fountain House click here

To view the Fountain House Interactive History Timeline click here

The Clubhouse Model

The Clubhouse model is based on the belief that members are partners in their own recovery, rather than merely the passive recipients of treatment, and that meaningful work and relationships are integral parts of their recovery.

Clubhouse Standards

The Standards serve as a “bill of rights” for members and a code of ethics for staff, board and administrators. The Standards insist that a Clubhouse is a place that offers respect and opportunity to its members.

The Standards provide the basis for assessing  Clubhouse quality, through the International Center for Clubhouse  Development (ICCD) accreditation process.  This process is done to ensure that we are following Clubhouse protocols properly, to give members the best chance at recovery.  Fresh Start Clubhouse became accredited in 2011 (there are only 6 accredited Clubhouses in Michigan!)

We review one standard twice a day for a week.  They are read out loud at each morning and afternoon meeting.  This process is done to generate discussion on the topic and to make us think critically about how our Clubhouse follows that standard, or how we should make changes to fit with it.

To view the full list of standards click here: standards


Similar to the ‘WANA’ group, a small gathering began in 1982 in the basement of an Ann Arbor church.  It was formed by the parents of a child diagnosed with mental illness and they called this group ‘Trailblazers’.  Over the years this group began to grow and moved locations to fit the increasing attendance.  Trailblazers was put under contract through Washtenaw County and changed names to ‘Fresh Start’.  Due to the need for more space, in 2004 Fresh Start moved to it’s current location.  We continue to be under contract through Washtenaw County Health Organization and are operated by Touchstone Services, who also operates two other Clubhouses.

Fresh Start Clubhouse received its ICCD Accreditation in 2011, which demonstrates that we meet the highest standards of service a Clubhouse can provide.

To view or join the Fresh Start Facebook page click here

To view photos of Fresh Start activities click here


Forms and Clubhouse Documents