Help Save The Rainbow Clubhouse

Published on May 16, 2024, 4:29 pm
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Rainbow Clubhouse is a work-ordered rehabilitation program for adults with a mental health diagnosis. It is a supportive environment where members are encouraged and assisted to reach their individual and self-determined goals. They work to maximize their abilities to reach their potential. Rainbow members are provided an opportunity to find meaningful employment, healthy relationships and a supportive community.


Rainbow, one of the Bowen Center’s oldest programs, is among a series of clubhouses throughout the city that in danger of being closed.

Last fall, the Department of Mental Health (DOHMH) announced new requirements for clubhouses and mandated that they all reapply for new contracts. The Bowen Center was just beginning the second of a nine-year contract awarded by DOHMH in 2022.

The city was expecting to cut the number of clubhouses from 16 to 13, so it could create larger clubhouses. When the city announced its awards late last month, eight existing clubhouses were informed they would be losing their city contract funding.

The RFP process was far from transparent and has left organizations wondering what will happen to the hundreds of clubhouse members whose clubhouses are being forced to close, especially when one of the new organizations awarded a contract does not currently have a clubhouse program.

The Bowen Center is not faulting any of the organizations that were awarded contracts. Our issue is with the process, the lack of transparency and the way in which the city’s plan is treating clubhouses as if they are a retail chain store, that can close one location and open another larger location and expect everyone to flock to it.

Clubhouses are a safe place for its members. According to Clubhouse International, the organization that was established to serve as a global resource for the international clubhouse community, states that, “To be a member of an organization means to belong, to fit in somewhere, and to have a place where one is always welcome. For a person living with mental illness, these simple things cannot be taken for granted. In fact, the reality for most people who live with mental illness is that they have a constant sense of not fitting in, of isolation and rejection. Mental illness often has the devastating effect of separating people from others in society.”

In many cases it takes months, if not longer, for individuals with severe mental illnesses to feel comfortable going to a new place. It cannot be said that the city is thinking of how this upheaval will affect the lives of hundreds of clubhouse members across the city.

How can you help?

Please watch the video about featuring Rainbow Clubhouse members discussing how the program has positively impacted their lives as well as their thoughts about losing the program.

Then, please click the link below to voice your concern over the city plan to consolidate eight clubhouses, including Rainbow, in a just over four months. It is a short 13-question form, accessible by visiting here.

Your responses will be kept confidential. In fact, you do not even need to leave your name or contact information unless you wish to be kept further informed about the situation.

We will compile all of the answers submit them to the city as we work with other area clubhouses on behalf of our members to ensure their well-being.

We cannot thank you enough for your continued support of the Bowen Center and hope that you will join us as we fight to save one of our most important programs.

To donate, please visit here.

Jonas Bronck is the pseudonym under which we publish and manage the content and operations of The Bronx Daily.™ | - the largest daily news publication in the borough of "the" Bronx with over 1.5 million annual readers. Publishing under the alias Jonas Bronck is our humble way of paying tribute to the person, whose name lives on in the name of our beloved borough.