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Reintegration & Recovery >> First Person
From Homeless to Helping
My name is Brian Gumma. I have had schizoaffective disorder all my life. Things got really bad in 1982, and I was homeless for four years. In 1986, I was referred to a psychiatrist and finally was medicated.
In 1994, I heard about Grand Avenue Club and joined. I have been an active member since. Grand Avenue Club has restored my self-esteem and given me the confidence that I can work. I have completed three Transitional Employment (TE) Placements--at Gold's Pick 'N Save, Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro and Marsh, Inc.
Now I am a placement manager for the GAC Employment Program, assisting other members to succeed at work as I have. I am also a member of the Board of Directors at Grand Avenue Club and a member of the Faculty of the International Center for Clubhouse Development in New York.
In this capacity, I consult with and certify clubhouses all around the world that are attempting to provide the same opportunities for members that I have had. Two weeks ago I returned from consulting at a clubhouse in London, England. I honestly don't know where I'd be without Grand Avenue Club. I have an interesting life- and it's all because of the clubhouse.