Meet Ricky an Army Veteran

For four years, Ricky has been a member of the Goodwill Easterseals Miami Valley’s Miracle Clubhouse.  The Clubhouse is a vital community for growth, hope, and opportunity for people recovering from mental illness in the Dayton area. The Clubhouse is committed to ongoing improvement, positive development of strengths, and elimination of the stigma against those with mental illness. Ricky says, “When I first started coming here, I wasn’t sure I would relate to anyone.” But, shortly after becoming a member, he realized, “this place is a healthy place to come; people understand me even when I’m not having a good day.” Ricky is an Army veteran having served in the Vietnam War. He began having struggles with his mental health several years ago and joined the Building Bridges program offered at the Dayton VA Medical Center. “That is the group that introduced me to the Clubhouse,” says Ricky. “Once I graduated from the Building Bridges program, I’ve been a member of the Miracle Clubhouse ever since. “Miracle Clubhouse offers a work-ordered, structured day in which the talents and abilities of the members are recognized and utilized. The members work together to keep the Clubhouse a fun, safe, and encouraging place. “I’ve learned to cook, improve my communication skills with others, and I’m able to continue my love of gardening,” he says.  Members are encouraged to learn and grow, building on their strengths and skills while inspiring others at the same time. “Ricky is helping bridge the gap for veterans to have a place to belong. Ricky provides guidance and leadership to our business and hospitality units,” Jennifer Mullins, Miracle Clubhouse staff member says. Miracle Clubhouse offers a non-judgmental place that is not therapy-based. “It isn’t like coming to an appointment, but more of a place to belong,” says Ricky. Miracle Clubhouse can help you gain employment, and assist with other community resources like housing or enrolling in college.  Ricky proclaims, “Whatever your goals are, Miracle Clubhouse will help you get there.”

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