The purpose of the Fairweather Lodge Program is to provide a safe, clean environment to help and support individuals with mental health conditions, so they can become more independent, have a higher standard of living, and be more active in their communities.

In the 1970’s, thanks to programs like the Fairweather Lodge, a new way of thinking began to emerge regarding the treatment of persons with serious mental illness. Those in the mental health field realized that skill building and social support were essential to significantly improve the quality of life for persons with mental illness.

Community integration, recovery goals, and treatment outcome criteria became the focus of psychiatric rehabilitation. This is epitomized by the Fairweather Lodge, which embodies not only a philosophy of rehabilitation but strategies to achieve rehabilitation goals.

Fairweather Lodge is a community support program which demonstrates that people with psychiatric disabilities can live and work productively in their communities. Instead of using services in the community, those in the Fairweather Lodge contribute services, because lodge members with histories of psychiatric illness have agreed to live and work together to achieve that goal.

A lodge offers a possible long-term supported housing option for qualified adults and through a shared living arrangement makes rent, food, and transportation more affordable. Members are to share all aspects of running a household, including managing activities, chores and living a healthier life style. Members also must be stable on their medications and be willing to work at least part-time. The lodge encourages residents to take part in healthy decision making and enhances a member’s employability by developing social and work related skills.

A lodge’s success is directly related to the individual success of each lodge member. As members are supported by each other, by family, by friends, by professionals and the lodge staff, they can experience a piece of recovery that may have been missing in the past. VTDC and its Fairweather Lodge staff will provide to each member, the opportunities they need to work towards their own personal recovery, to become a productive and valuable member of the community.

Venango County Lodges are located on Grandview Road in Oil City and along Route 322 in Cranberry just 2 miles from the mall.

Clearfield and Jefferson County lodges are located on Weber and Maple Avenues in DuBois and Locust St. in Clearfield. Especially noteworthy is the establishment of a Training Lodge in the DuBois area which will help meet the needs for individuals that may require a higher level of supervision and structure as they work toward recovery.

Those who want to learn more about Venango County Lodges, please contact Gina Flebotte, Venango County Lodge Director at 814-676-5755 and for the Clearfield/Jefferson County Lodge Coordinator, Diane Sedor, call 814-375-7061.

FAIRWEATHER TRAINING LODGE

The Fairweather Training Lodge is a living arrangement designed specifically for persons with mental illness, who are active in their recovery and wish to live more independently. The Fairweather Training Lodge provides a high level of support for individuals that may have greater needs. It is appropriate for those individuals who may be trying to reintegrate into the community or attempt to live more independently with hope of succeeding as valued members of the community.

Members of the Training Lodge will be exposed to positive educational and practical methods of daily living in the hope of building the skills necessary to be able to move into a regular Fairweather Lodge, or even live in their own within the community.

The benefits to living in a Fairweather Training Lodge include: Professional onsite staff, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; Affordable group living while respecting one’s freedom; A safe, healthy, stable and caring environment; Ability to increase self-sufficiency and personal growth through education and job training. Staff will encourage residents to take part in life skills training, financial management, conflict resolution, healthy relationship building and healthy decision making through group and individual counseling.