Elevation House has seen their numbers double since March in clubhouse participation and attendance.
The nonprofit's executive director, Carrie Edge, attributes this increase to the coronavirus pandemic that continues to affect people with mental illness all across America.
In March, they had an average daily attendance of about five people for their clubhouse meetings. In June, that number more than doubled to 12. Edge said many of their members have been experiencing a lot more anxiety than usual.
Both the director and staff have since started virtual clubhouse meetings as well as their usual in-person meetings to help accommodate the additional interest.
Elevation House focuses on creating a network and support system for people who struggle with mental illness, as well as providing psychiatric and counselling services. Their clubhouse meetings are a way for people to connect to each other and talk about the problems they face.
The nonprofit also helps its members learn basic life skills, such as cooking and maintenance, and finding jobs. Some of its members are also housed by the organization.
While they've had their own struggles with the pandemic over the last few months, Edge said they've been able to adapt well. They have enough space for people to be socially distanced and have provided all kinds of face coverings for its members -- from cloth masks to face shields. Members have their temperatures checked every day while at the facility and everyone who comes in is checked and asked a series of questions about their potential exposure to the virus.
Their virtual clubhouse meetings take place in a private Facebook group, where members call using Messenger or Zoom. They also have a Groupme chat for members who don't use Facebook.
Edge said they've been able to provide meals to members who come to Elevation House in person, through Redmond's Heart of the Community grant. However, the nonprofit very much relies on donations from the surrounding community, she said.
That's why, on Aug. 27, they'll be hosting the virtual Beautiful Minds Gala and Auction fundraiser.
Tickets are $50 and will cover dinner to-go from Ideal Meals, a bouquet from Sapelo Farms, a complimentary beverage and a dessert from Desserts by Angie. Once you purchase your ticket, you'll have the option of three meals to choose from.
On the day of the gala, your dinner will either be delivered to your home or you can schedule a pick up time with Ideal Meals. The dinner and live entertainment will start at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom and the auction will begin at 7 p.m.
Auction items include gift baskets, tickets to the Georgia Aquarium, a wine tasting for four at Kaya Vineyard and Winery, a three-night stay at Covecrest Cabin and many others.
For more information visit www.elevationhouse.org/beautifulminds or call 706-413-2323.