To the Editor:
Members and staff of the Daybreak Clubhouse of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS) urge Island legislators to protect funding for Clubhouses.
The Department of Mental Health (DMH) has proposed $3 million in cuts to Clubhouses across the state. Losing the Clubhouse would be losing the lifeline for people with mental illness on the Island.
“Daybreak has enabled me to find stability and structure in my life … and keeps me out of the hospital,” said a member.
Upwards of 30 Islanders are active with Daybreak, upwards of 100 Islanders are permanent members. Seven thousand hours of attendance are logged each year.
Daybreak provides community.
“Not everyone has the support of a family member to rely on. That’s what Daybreak does,” said one young woman.
The Clubhouse is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
“It gives me something to do during the day … It has given me the opportunity to work at Murdick’s Fudge and Cronig’s,” said one man.
Many essential services would be lost without the Clubhouse.
The community would lose much of the financial contributions made by Clubhouse members.
The Clubhouse holds jobs with local businesses. Ten to fifteen members are working at any given time in the community, logging 6,812 hours a year and earning an aggregate of over $65,000.
Vocational training also would be lost if Daybreak Clubhouse closes. An education scholarship fund at Daybreak provides scholarships of up to $500 allowing members to advance their skills.
The Clubhouse is open weekends and every holiday for social events.
The Daybreak Clubhouse cannot afford to lose any more funding. The Clubhouse already operates on a bare bones budget, having been flat-funded for 13 years.
It’s unfortunate that DMH is proposing such deep cuts to the Clubhouse program. If anything the Clubhouse program is the most successful program for those who are vulnerable. To limit the services of the Clubhouse would be a great expense to all.
Please support the Daybreak Clubhouse of MVCS by calling Rep. Tim Madden, 617-722-2810, and Sen. Daniel Wolfe, 617-722-1570 and voicing your support.