Fountain House strives to improve the lives of people living with serious mental illness. In the U.S., people living with serious mental illness face a myriad of challenges. Eighty-five percent are unemployed, forty percent are homeless, and twenty-four percent are incarcerated. The experience of mental illness can also prevent people from learning the most basic life management skills and limit their ability to build and sustain social relationships, manage their financial affairs, seek educational and employment opportunities, and focus on self-care. Fountain House attempts to solve these challenges by offering multifaceted programming to this population. For example, Fountain House members’ employment rate is double that of non-members. Through the organization’s Employment Resource Center, members are able to find job placements throughout New York City with Fountain House’s corporate partners.
The Hardest to Serve program, designed for launch in partnership with the John A. Reisenbach Foundation, aims to provide temporary beds for up to 10 people per year who are “hardest to serve”—those living with severe mental illness who have had histories of chronic homelessness and who may have a co-occurring disorder. During a 3-12 month stay, the participants work with experienced social workers to help secure them critical resources, such as: psychiatric evaluation and diagnosis, case management, public benefits support, stable housing, and employment consultation.