It was December, the end of the year, and everyone was hustling to go home or go shopping after work. Of course, I was stuck in traffic. I was on my way to City Hall where Austin Clubhouse was to be officially recognized. I had never been to City Hall and the thought of being late made me nervous. I could see myself stumbling into a room full of eyes that were asking me, without words, to sit down and be quiet. I took a few deep breaths to calm down and realized I was going to make it. I had just a few more blocks and I was there.
Inside things were chaotic. People were milling around the lobby and starting to find their places in the auditorium. That’s where I found Lisa, Carolyn, Gina, Mark and Daniel of the Austin Clubhouse. I could tell everyone was excited and a little nervous at the same time. I was definitely on the nervous side of things and decided to remain seated with my friend Daniel, while Lisa, Carolyn, Gina and Mark took center stage at Austin City Hall.
Councilwoman Randi Shade said a few words about the Austin Clubhouse, its mission, and how this was a program to help the mentally ill socially and vocationally in Austin. December 14 through December 31, 2010 were declared Austin Clubhouse days.
Lisa, the Executive Director of the Austin Clubhouse, was really excited and happy. She gave thanks to the City of Austin, took a few moments to describe the Clubhouse program, and simply wanted to let people know we are here at 45th and Red River in Hyde Park.
Personally, I was extremely moved that someone like Lisa would speak on behalf of someone like me. When she came back to her seat, I thanked her twice and shook her hand. It was a great first experience at City Hall. Thanks again Lisa and to all those who are involved and support the Austin Clubhouse.