As a right of membership, Potter Place provides members with opportunities to return to paid employment in integrated work settings through Transitional, Supported, and Independent Employment programs.
Transitional Employment is a highly structured program for members returning to work in local business and industry. Transitional Employment placements are at the employer’s place of business, are part-time, and include on-the-job and off-site support from Potter Place staff and other members. These placements generally last from six to nine months. Members can then try another placement or move on to Supported or Independent employment. Transitional Employment is specifically designed as a vocational rehabilitation program where a member can gain or re-gain the skills and confidence necessary to have a job while he or she is employed in a “real world” position. The only requirement for the member to participate in Transitional Employment is the expressed desire to work. Current Transitional Employment placements include the Waltham Chamber of Commerce, the Wayland Public Library, and Hannaford Supermarket.
Supported Employment is a program of the Clubhouse through which members, when ready, are helped by the Clubhouse to seek and obtain a job of their own. The Clubhouse then provides ongoing support and encouragement for the members as long as they remain employed and want assistance. The distinguishing factor between Supported and Independent Employment is that with Independent Employment there is no on-site support at the place of business; all support takes place at Potter Place, or in the community. For Supported Employment positions, on-site support is provided as needed by the employed member.
Many Potter Place members have had to interrupt their educational plans because of their mental illness. Some have not finished secondary school, while others had to curtail their university studies. Potter Place offers educational opportunities for members to complete or start certificate and degree programs at academic institutions and adult education providers. The Clubhouse also utilizes the talents and skills of members and staff to provide educational opportunities at Potter Place, particularly in areas related to literacy.
A Work-Ordered Day
The daily activity of Potter Place is organized around a structured system known as the work-ordered day. The work-ordered day parallels typical business hours during which members and staff work side by side as colleagues to perform the work that is important to our community. All of the work in the Clubhouse is for the Clubhouse and not for any outside agency or business. There are no clinical therapies or treatment-oriented programs in Potter Place. Members volunteer to participate as they feel ready and according to their individual interests.