Sanctuary House – Past and Present
In 1998, members of NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill-Guilford County) set out to develop a network of coordinated support and rehabilitation services for adults with mental illness in Guilford County. Several years later, their vision became reality when the doors of Sanctuary House opened on April 23, 2002.
Nestled in downtown historic Greensboro, North Carolina, Sanctuary House is proud to be one of twelve clubhouse model programs in North Carolina and among 400 programs around the world. A private nonprofit (501c3), Sanctuary House provides psychosocial rehabilitation emphasizing the Fountain House Clubhouse Model.
Sanctuary House was established to provide a place of comfort, belonging and inspiration to those who experience a mental illness and has rapidly evolved into a close-knit, uniquely supportive community. Each day, members and staff work closely together to learn new skills, build confidence, gain a greater sense of independence and pride, and prepare for a purposeful, rewarding life that our members desire and undoubtedly deserve.
Sanctuary House membership is currently close to 200 persons working alongside a skilled, dedicated staff. On any given day, attendance peaks at 40 members. Membership is open to anyone with a history of major mental illness such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, psychotic disorder, or major depression. Vital issues and programming decisions are discussed at daily open meetings, thereby encouraging members to voice their opinions and to have a greater impact on their own daily lives.
Having a physical location is of great value to everyone at Sanctuary House. However, real value for us is derived from watching each member experience personal growth, from seeing friendships forged and solidified, and from reaping the rewards of mutual respect and hard work. Sanctuary House offers the chance for members to progress at a comfortable pace. There is a warm sense of assurance that members will be welcome here and afforded the support necessary in their recovery. With the endless encouragement of staff and fellow members, each individual confidently works toward building a solid future.
Members do not live at Sanctuary House but use it as a base of community support in their efforts to recover from the effects of mental illness. Offering a new and innovative learning community, Sanctuary House is organized into programs that allow members to work alongside and with staff members on their life journey. For many members, participation in these programs presents the first opportunity to ease into the world of work and social integration. Members regain a sense of self-worth and often find, for the first time in a long time, that they are wanted, needed, and valued.
Programs currently available at Sanctuary House include: