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Recovery Starts With Community: 3 Stories From the Fairweather Lodges

COMMUNITY SERVICES

Our clients at the Fairweather Lodges are nothing short of amazing, and their stories prove it.

Our heartstrings are easily tugged by stories of families recovering from homelessness. However, we have also found that some of the most inspiring stories from our supportive housing programs are the individuals who come to us for help. 

Recovery Starts With Community: 3 Stories From the Fairweather Lodges 

We’ve seen such great courage in their stories—those fighting loneliness, those with no one to turn to, those trapped in addiction or struggling with mental health conditions. When these folks show up at our door, we are ready to help at our Fairweather Lodges, Endeavors’ longest-running program. 

What are the Fairweather Lodges? 

The Fairweather Lodges is a rehabilitation model that was developed by psychologist George Fairweather in 1963. 

Within the Fairweather model, residents not only live together but also work together. 

At first, this is done with the help and support of professional, licensed staff. However, as residents gain autonomy and experience recovery, the staff is able to slowly decrease their control over the daily operations of the Lodges. 

The goal for this program is to provide individuals with stability, success, and self-sufficiency. Here are a few of our favorite stories from Endeavors’ Fairweather Lodges. 

1. Vinny’s Story: Learning How To Be a Friend 

Life was never simple for Vinny. His father died mere weeks before he was born, and he was diagnosed with schizophrenia early in childhood. He was unable to finish high school and fumbled around with jobs for years. He was entirely on his own with his mental illness. 

At 20 years old, Vinny enlisted in the army. However, things were not easy there. He turned to drinking to cope with increasingly severe psychological symptoms. 

One day, Vinny was hanging around a bus station when someone called the police on him for loitering. The police sat him down and discussed his case, then took him to the state hospital. It was through the hospital that Vinny was introduced to the Fairweather Lodges. He was accepted into the program and started living there. What happened there would transform his life. 

“When I came into the Fairweather Lodges, I used to be so selfish,” said Vinny. “The people here taught me how to be a better person.” 

At the Lodges, Vinny was able to learn about his mental illness and how to get along with people in a positive, sustainable way. He began to make friends and create meaningful connections.   

2. Successful, Employed, and Living With Schizophrenia: Will’s Story

“I remember when I first realized I had [schizophrenia],” said Will. “I was laying in my bed, and I started hearing voices.” Right away, he knew something was very wrong. 

After dropping out of high school, Will bounced from home to boarding home to state hospital. This is where Endeavors first met Will. He showed up at Fairweather Lodges as a young man eager to help, to work, to build relationships, and to gain a life he felt was worth living. 

Just a few months of entering the program, Will began to perform exceptional work in the janitorial and landscaping crew. After twenty-four years, he was one of our oldest residents at our Fairweather Lodges, a beloved employee at Endeavors Unlimited, and an active sitting board member of Endeavors.

Will passed away in 2020, but he remains in our hearts as a part of the Endeavors family and a huge inspiration to the Fairweather Lodges. 

3. Glen’s Story: Home Doesn’t Have to Be a Scary Place

When we met Glen and introduced him to the Fairweather Lodges, he was self-admittedly “in very bad shape.” 

“I was very afraid of people,” he said. This level of anxiety was debilitating for Glen. Riding the bus was a particularly scary task. 

 “For me, having to ride the bus was a crisis, because not only was I paranoid, but I thought everyone on the bus was either talking about me or simply looking at me. It got so bad for me, I had to get off the bus and go back home.” 

When Glen was finally accepted into the Fairweather Lodges program, he was beyond excited. Now, Glen is enjoying a stable community, receiving proper mental health care, and even thriving in his job as a janitorial crew-leader. 

To learn more about our housing programs and donate to the Fairweather Lodges, click here


About Endeavors 

Endeavors is a longstanding national non-profit that provides an array of programs and services in support of children, families, Veterans, and those struggling with mental illness and other disabilities. Endeavors serves vulnerable people in crisis through innovative personalized services. For more information, please visit www.endeavors.org

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