18 years ago, a few Consumers who attended the same mental health agency in Washington County starting talking, and said they should get together with some of their peers, and a dance was organized, with donated cake, and things just snowballed from there… All these years later, the Washington County Consumer Council operates the Comfort Zone, a full-featured Drop-In Center that serves 175 to 200 meals a month, and offers real jobs, at $9 an hour, for office personnel, kitchen helpers, janitors, and a CyberCafe Technician.
The Council and the employees of Comfort Zone are themselves all Consumers of Mental Health Services – right up to and including their Executive Director, Nona Clarke, who I spoke with recently on the telephone.
Comfort Zone has their own kitchen, their own space. Their CyberCafe has 10 computers on the Internet, and a technician to help you get an E-mail address or provide whatever other assistance you require.
Some of the people who created the Consumer Council all those years ago are still with it today – which says good things about the community they helped create.
The warmth of that community has extended to an 11-year-old boy with mental illness. For Christmas this year, the Comfort Zone members chose to make this child’s life a little better by sponsoring him. They did this instead of throwing a Christmas Party.
There is a lot more that can be said about the Comfort Zone, and hopefully soon I can get there in person to get info for a more in-depth article.
If you are lucky enough to live in Washington County, come on down to this warm and comforting place…