Crossroads Clubhouse celebrates 25th anniversary

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published October 5, 2018

 At the Crossroads Clubhouse open house Oct. 3, Executive Director John Kinch was honored during a retirement tribute.

At the Crossroads Clubhouse open house Oct. 3, Executive Director John Kinch was honored during a retirement tribute.

Photo by Sean Work

 Crossroads Clubhouse member Jason Herndon, of Sterling Heights, right, and volunteer Nate McCullough, of Detroit, left, play pool during the clubhouse’s 25th anniversary open house.

Crossroads Clubhouse member Jason Herndon, of Sterling Heights, right, and volunteer Nate McCullough, of Detroit, left, play pool during the clubhouse’s 25th anniversary open house.

Photo by Sean Work

WARREN — In 1993, Crossroads Clubhouse of Macomb County Community Mental Health opened its doors to county adults living with mental illness.

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, those individuals have developed social skills, made friends and improved their lives through jobs and various activities.

Crossroads provides psychosocial rehabilitation for Macomb County adults 18 or older who quality for the program and have been diagnosed with a mental illness, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe depression and anxiety disorder.

On Oct. 3, Crossroads Clubhouse — located at 27041 Schoenherr Road, just north of the Interstate 696 service drive — celebrated its silver anniversary with an open house. During the celebration, held from 2 to 7 p.m., Crossroads members enjoyed a hearty dinner and cake while community members and elected officials toured the facility.

“The members enjoy being with other members and the staff,” said Bruce Dunton, Crossroads Clubhouse director. “They like being accepted for who they are and not identified by their diagnoses. Psychosocial rehabilitation is an opportunity for people to come together and have meaning and purpose instead of sitting at home.”

Inside the facility, Crossroads Clubhouse members stay busy on a regular basis. They start out each day performing a variety of jobs. Some members work in the business unit on Medicaid billing, while others are responsible for Crossroads Clubhouse’s newsletter or greet visitors at the receptionist’s desk. There’s even time to make greeting cards for birthdays and other occasions to give to members at the appropriate times.  

In another spot, there’s a production room furnished with various equipment in which members create videos to post on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Other members are assigned to the maintenance crew that does cleaning, painting touch-ups and more.

There is a wellness program available, daily walks, and a social room complete with a billiards table and paintings on the walls created by members. The members are not paid — they are all volunteers. Once the work is done, there is time for recreational activity, but Dunton said all know that “work comes before leisure.”

Breakfast is offered for 50 cents every morning, and lunch is held from noon to 1 p.m. and costs $1.50 each day. A menu is posted every week, and it’s always leftovers on Fridays. Food proceeds go back into the program.

On average, about 30 members come to Crossroads each day. Outside of the clubhouse, the members either live independently, with family or in group homes.

Dunton has worked in the mental health field for 30 years and said there are 47 such clubhouses in the state. While more work still needs to be done, he has witnessed a number of positive changes for individuals with mental illnesses.

“You’re always battling the stigma, but I think the medications have improved. The services have vastly improved as well,” Dunton said. “Sometimes our society makes assumptions about people suffering with mental illness. They just want to be recognized as people and not a diagnosis.”

At the open house, Macomb County Community Mental Health peer support coordinator Lori Doyle set up a table to provide information regarding mystrength.com. The website — free to residents who work or live in Macomb County — is a place where people who are experiencing mental issues can log on for help.

Users input information about themselves and their symptoms, and the website will provide coping skills for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, stress, substance use, chronic pain, sleep challenges and more. To access the website, visit www.mystrength.com.

April Petrucci, of St. Clair Shores, began coming to Crossroads Clubhouse in 1995. She’s generally there three times per week.

“It helps get me out of the house. I like to work in the business unit. I enjoy doing paperwork,” Petrucci, 47, said. “I enjoy doing the skills. I wish it could be open on weekends. The staff are very nice. I enjoy when they offer us help. I enjoy socializing with peers here.”

That includes her friend Sheryl Wendorf, who is at Crossroads twice a week, where she works the receptionist’s phone and does billing.

“I like to be with my friends,” said Wendorf, 53, of Eastpointe. “I like to be here with the staff and do the job.”

Macomb County Community Mental Health programs and services are supported and funded, in part, by the Michigan Department of Community Health and the Macomb County Board of Commissioners, and are administered by the Macomb County Community Mental Health Board.

For more information on Crossroads Clubhouse of Macomb County Community Mental Health, call (586) 759-9100.