As we gather our thoughts for the holiday season, Peggy and I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge a special person on our team: Jessica.
Jessica has been working with us for just over a year, since October of 2011, coming in twice a week to do light cleaning and ironing. She is unfailingly cheerful and sweet, and we feel so fortunate to have her working with us.
Aside from her personal qualities, however, we feel particularly grateful to work with Jessica since she comes to us through the coordination of a wonderful organization called Yahara House.
Yahara House, located just across the street from us, is a community-based mental health service and part of Journey Mental Health Center, a private, non-profit corporation located in Madison. Journey MHC is one of the largest outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment clinics in the State of Wisconsin, and is nationally known as a leader in progressive, community-based, culturally competent, person-centered/recovery focused and trauma informed services.
Yahara House is set up under the clubhouse model of community mental health services, focusing on meaningful work and meaningful relationships. In other words, members of the clubhouse can strengthen their healing journey by participating in the events and services provided by Yahara House, ultimately becoming stronger and better equipped to interact with first the clubhouse community, and then extending into the Madison community through social interactions and work opportunities.
We met Jessica through Yahara House by approaching the staff with the hope of finding an individual who’d be a good match to work with us at the Livingston Inn. Since we have always been impressed by the work Yahara House does, we were dedicated to trying to support their programs by hiring a member. We approached the administrative team with our intention of working with them to find someone who could help with light cleaning. They connected us with Jessica, who had experience as a cleaner and had expressed interest in finding work in that area. It worked out wonderfully well. After she’d been with us for a short while, we realized that what we needed even more than cleaning, however, was someone to help with ironing. We asked Jessica is she was interested in staying with us, and learning a new skill. She said yes, and Yahara House worked with us to help her gain the skills and expertise she needed to be successful in that role, too.
We’ve enjoyed working with Jessica, and helping her feel like the valued member of our team that she is. We are so honored to have contributed to and been instrumental in one small success for Yahara House, and in Jessica’s journey to health, wellness and enhanced self-esteem.
I highly recommend you learn more about Yahara House and Journey MHC. It’s a special place, with special people, and it fills a greatly needed role in Dane County, advocating and supporting mental health initiatives that help real people in meaningful ways.