MISSION & HISTORY.
The Gathering Place organization was established in May of 1996 as a “consumer self help and peer support program” through the availability of Federal Mental Health block grant money administered through the State. The President of National Alliance on Mental Illness Brown Co. (NAMI) at the time wrote a grant to NAMI Wisconsin and we were awarded $9,000. With other donations, our annual operating budget was $15,000.
The Gathering Place contracted with the Grassroots Empowerment Project, a peer run agency in Madison, who handled the funds and offered technical assistance. The Gathering Place was part of a movement statewide to create “drop-in” centers operated by peers.
When the money became available, Virginia Bryan, Susan Mader, Kim Hoffman and Julie Seidl met to discuss what we would like to do with the funds. It was decided to open a center where people with mental illness could go and receive support of their peers. Kim came up with the name The Gathering Place and we all liked it. A Board of Directors was formed and soon after The Management Team was formed. Volunteer staff was lined up.
We began at the grassroots level, renting the first floor of house downtown Green Bay. Open certain hours of the week with limited programs. The center was fully staffed by volunteers who were “consumers” of mental health services. As the years went on, our focus shifted to include “recovery” alongside the “peer support.”
We now offer an array of services that are funded thru donations, grants and county and state contracts. One of our most successful programs is providing support from Wisconsin Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPS) they facilitate support groups and work with individuals on goals they have set for their individual recovery.
The Gathering Place of Green Bay is a 501-c-3 nonprofit corporation in Wisconsin.
The Gathering Place is one of 8 Recovery Centers in the State of Wisconsin.