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LIC’s Citiview Connections Clubhouse gets new home

Members of the clubhouse celebrate its new location with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Long Island City in April. Photo courtesy Citiview Connections Clubhouse
TimesLedger Newspapers

The Citiview Connections Clubhouse, a Long Island City center for adults with psychiatric disabilities, has a new location and the recent move has helped generate interest about its mission and professional services, the center’s director said.

Citiview is operated by Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, one of the oldest and largest providers of vocational, training and employment services in New York City. The goal is for members with chronic mental illness to learn new skills, forge friendships and access employment and educational opportunities.

Members also participate in educational, recreational, social and vocational activities, and take work-related roles to carry out daily operations at the clubhouse. A total of 105 members are currently enrolled in the clubhouse.

Russell Roten, director at Citiview, said the clubhouse opened in December 1994, at 42-15 Crescent St. in Long Island City. But after the lease for the space ended this year, the clubhouse had to change locations. It found a new home, at 33-24 Northern Blvd. in Long Island City, where it has operated since April 1.

And since the move, Roten, who started as director in February, said he has seen an increase in interest for membership and a stronger rapport among members.

“It’s a community of people who really understand each other,” he said.

The clubhouse features a business center computer lab, transitional employment unit, café and living room. It also includes a state-of-the-art kitchen, where homemade meals are prepared daily.

Cherry Griffin, a coordinator for the transitional employment unit, said staff assist members with job searches, résumé writing and practice interviewing. Members are placed in part-time positions in the community for six to nine months earning minimum wage or more, she said. Some members also work toward getting referrals to obtain GEDs.

A major aspect of Citiview, said Mitch Levine, a seven-year member, is social interaction among members. Whether through fulfilling cleaning duties, shopping for groceries or participating in open mic nights, developing social skills is crucial.

“Staff and volunteers always work together,” said Levine, who handles phone reception duties. “My time is more structured because of Citiview.”

With Citiview set to celebrate its 20th anniversary next year, Roten said his hope is to continue to provide members with a holistic experience and to help them meet their personal goals.

“People come and go, but that’s because someone gets a job or goes to school,” he said. “But we keep in touch. Once a member, always a member.”

Reach reporter Chris Engelhardt by e-mail at cengelhardt@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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Reader Feedback

Basil Shulman from Long Island City says:
This place is no good for me. I'd rather stay home.
Aug. 19, 2013, 7:16 pm
Kevin Scott Edwards from Saint Petersburg, Florida says:
I am one of the first consumers to become a member of the clubhouse. I was the first person to successfully complete the Transitional Employment program with a part time job at the WTC in 1995. I was a homeless veteran living at the Borden Avenue Veterans Residence in LIC. Citiview Connections was the best part of my recovery and resilliency 20 years ago.
Oct. 4, 2013, 10:27 pm
John Anonymous says:
I was a member of Citiview in the mid-1990's. The social workers here exploit the members by not taking responsibility when something goes wrong in the part-time jobs they place the members in. All the social workers care about is their own agenda and not what’s best for their members. Avoid Citiview and all social workers if possible. There are better ways to manage psych illness than coming here.
Oct. 15, 2013, 11:06 am
Interested Party from Queens says:
I do not know any of the three of you but promise without a doubt that this Clubhouse has grown and is growing in the right direction. Director has changed and so have staff. We embody the Standards beyond measure. I am truly sorry anyone has ever had a bad experience but know many past and current members who love and thrive on our holistic side-by-side approach. No treatment, no frills, everything voluntary, and what you get is what you put in.
Nov. 30, 2013, 8:41 pm
Andrew from Jackson Heights says:
Citiview is an amazing clubhouse with a welcoming group of members and social workers. I've been helping Citiview for over a year and we're pursuing ever creative ways to connect members with T/E jobs in the NYC community.

I see positive changes in the clubhouse and I look forward to helping and being apart of this change in the new year!
Dec. 10, 2013, 12:56 pm
John Anonymous says:
The only way I could continue to "grow" was to stop going to Citiview. Citiview became part of the problem. You can say I "outgrew" Citiview.
Jan. 10, 6:51 pm

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