What We Do
AIM Center Transforms Lives!
When members feel safe and accepted for who they are in the Clubhouse, they can relax and focus on their recovery while building authentic relationships with one another through shared work. Participation in a positive environment and work-ordered day leads to a shared purpose in recovery and transforms their life. Clubhouses are organized around a belief that work is restorative and provides a firm foundation for growth and individual achievement, as well as the belief that normalized social and recreational opportunities are an important part of a person’s path to recovery.
The four units that members choose to be a part of and work within each day include the Administrative Services Unit, the Employment Resource Unit, the Visual Communications Unit and the Member Support Unit. Daily morning and afternoon work unit meetings engage members in the work of the clubhouse, and eight different activities are offered each day centered on employment readiness, computer, reading, math, culinary, health, and other life skills to improve and maintain the member’s recovery from mental illness.
Administrative Support Unit
ASU keeps the Clubhouse Moving!
ASU is the largest unit in the Clubhouse, providing a sense of ownership for members who enjoy the administrative work of the Clubhouse. Members participate in meaningful work that helps them build skills necessary for personal recovery and management of their mental illness.
Clerical Work of the Clubhouse
Members in ASU work side-by-side building relationships and learning administrative responsibilities including reception desk, data entry, publishing the Clubhouse newsletters, and other clerical support work.
ASU offers a Member Bank for members who choose to utilize a Clubhouse-based bank account. Through managing their own bank account, working as a teller, or participating in Financial Literacy activities, members have the opportunity to develop financial management skills.
Skill Development Activities
ASU provides skill building opportunities for members who have an interest in improving their workplace skills. Members can participate in or lead structured activities designed to improve workplace relationships, basics of office management, and guest relations.
Caring for the Clubhouse
The maintenance of a safe and clean Clubhouse is accomplished through side-by-side work coordinated in ASU. Members work together with staff to ensure that the Clubhouse is an inviting and attractive environment for members and visitors to enjoy. Everything from cleaning the restrooms and taking care of the floors to making sure the windows sparkle happens here in ASU.
Employment Resources Unit
Relationships + Work = Recovery!
Employment creates purpose in the lives of members at AIM Center. For someone who is successfully managing their mental illness finding a job can be a daunting task. ERU provides support from every aspect to members in their search for employment. The Clubhouse provides members skill building opportunities to develop the confidence to gain successful employment. Resume and job application assistance are among many of the activities in ERU. Interview and Job search skill development and job support once a member obtains employment are what we do! ERU is a “one-stop-shop” for our members who are seeking greater independence in managing their mental illness through work.
At AIM Center, our strength-based philosophy is demonstrated through our Transitional Employment (TE) and Individual Placement and Support (IPS) approaches for members. Our traditional Clubhouse approach to employment is TE. IPS is our newest approach for members to gain meaningful work.
- TE allows members to work in a position for 6 to 9 months to determine if that job is best for them. Members can try different placements and decide what kind of job is best for their recovery. AIM Center staff serve as Job Coaches to work side by side to train and support members while they are learning and performing the job for the entire 6 to 9 month TE placement.
- IPS is a slightly different approach to employment. Rapid job search and placement allow members to pursue employment immediately based on personal preferences. Each member has a dedicated staff member from ERU that provides individual job search assistance and follow-along support while the member is employed.
AIM Center and ERU have a proven track record of placing and supporting members who have never been employed and helping members who had their employment interrupted by a set back from their mental illness regain their confidence to obtain employment while they successfully manage their mental illness. ERU lives by the Relationships + Work = Recovery philosophy.
Housing Support Unit
AIM Center was created to provide a safe place for individuals who have been diagnosed with a mental illness and desire to regain their life. AIM Center Housing also follows this philosophy. Established in 1997, AIM Center Housing manages 74 safe and affordable housing units for low-income individuals successfully managing their mental illness.
AIM Center Housing also provides support services which assist tenants’ development of independent living skills. Residents focus on recovery and growth through decision-making that supports successful management of their mental illness. Meaningful relationships and resource navigation are benefits of living in AIM Center Housing.
AIM Center Housing opportunities include shared apartments, private units, and family housing. All units are well-maintained and kept to the highest standards. AIM Center Housing has a reputation of excellence in the supportive housing community in the state of Tennessee. AIM Center Housing maintains a waiting list of prospective tenants in accordance with HUD and Fair Housing guidelines.
AIM Housing also provides regional services for southeast Tennessee. A Regional Housing Facilitator provides support to organizations in search of grants to increase affordable housing. A Consumer Housing Specialist works with homeless mental health consumers that need assistance obtaining and maintaining safe housing.
Member Support Unit
MSU is the Center of Self-Improvement in the Clubhouse!
Adult Supported Education
MSU creates and provides a sense of accomplishment and motivation for members in the Clubhouse through self-improvement and learning. MSU is focused on Adult Education, Wellness, and Community Resources. MSU offers various literacy activities for members that help improve skills needed to navigate everyday life. When a member chooses to learn computer skills, learn how to responsibly use Social Media, or improve their reading and math skills, MSU can help!
MSU also provides activities that enable members to build and develop healthy relationships both inside and outside of the Clubhouse. MSU features a Self-Determination activity that encourages members to grow through making healthy decisions that positively impact their lives.
Wellness and Recovery
Physical and mental exercise is an important part of healthy living. MSU features a fitness center that offers members the opportunity to exercise, practice mindfulness, successfully manage stress, and improve their health.
MSU keeps the Clubhouse connected to the community through numerous resources. Members learn how to access and engage resources in the community that will help them develop and maintain recovery skills that enhance daily activities for living.
Visual Communications Unit
VCU is where creators and communicators work side by side!
For members who love to be creative or want to explore their creative side, VCU is here for you. AIM Center has discovered through years of experience that members in the Clubhouse often increase their ability to learn through the use of visual tools. VCU provides many of the activities seen throughout the Clubhouse with a visual twist. You’ll find members working on healthy relationships, creating healthy boundaries while working side by side caring for their unit and Clubhouse with that visual twist.
Activities include visual opportunities to develop problem solving skills that teach members to make better choices and accept consequences from decisions utilizing a creative visual process. Members have created amazing projects such as of art, mosaics, weaving, puppets and even stop animation as a result of this decision making tool. Members participate in ongoing community integration and gain the needed skills of navigating our community and successfully managing their mental illness.
VCU is home to our own AIM TV. The Clubhouse has created our own internal TV broadcast shown weekly in our Clubhouse wide business meeting. The broadcast includes many of the features you would find on a local TV newscast such as breaking news, features and the weather forecast. Our members are involved in all areas of video production in producing AIM TV. We also produce free-form videos for the clubhouse closing out our business meetings and other special events.
Creativity in the Clubhouse provides a plethora of benefits for members to build the skills necessary to manage their mental illness. Members gain the confidence and courage to take risks and learn to accept the successes and setbacks in our Clubhouse strength-based environment which enables members to grow regardless of the outcome.