Filling lives with love, friendship, happiness and employment
Providing hope, respect and dignity
Co-Founders, Elliott and Dianne Steele became interested in creating a facility that would help people living with a serious mental illness when their daughter was diagnosed with schizophrenia. They tried to find something that would help their daughter overcome the problems related to her diagnosis but could not find anything in the state of Florida.
The Steeles formed a Board of Directors, a 501(c)(3) corporation and began to advocate for a community that would dramatically change the lives of Floridians living with a mental illness. They found just what they wanted in the Clubhouse model, a place that provided hope, respect and dignity; a place where participants, called members, could practice work and then become employed in the community when they were ready.
Careers at Vincent House
It took nearly three years and endless hours of advocacy; meeting with family members, providers, Department of Children and Families, Agency for Health Care Administration, elected officials, to name a few. The efforts finally came to fruition when the Steeles received a call from the Department of Children and Families in November 2002 that funding to start Vincent House would be available January 1, 2003.
The Steele’s wasted no time looking for a storefront to rent, hiring staff, notifying potential members, finding equipment, furniture and other donated supplies and more. With an ice chest for a refrigerator and a grill for a stove, the doors to Vincent House opened on January 20, 2003.
Less than two years later, Vincent House became the first accredited Clubhouse in Florida, paving the way for more Clubhouses to follow.
From those humble beginnings, a new way to help people living with a mental illness blossomed. Members began to realize their potential and regained their self-confidence. Many became employed with the help of Vincent House while others returned to school. All found a place where they were wanted, needed and valued.
Although the Steeles had professional careers before Vincent House, they will tell you that seeing members’ lives transform from one of hopelessness and despair to a life filled with love, friendship, happiness and employment makes their heart sing.
“At Vincent House I was made to feel cared for, needed and wanted, I developed confidence and learned to how to conduct myself. I learned how to make friends. I am no longer alone, but part of a loving community. I now have meaningful work, a social life, and a place to belong.
Best of all, at 67 I have a future not just a past.”
Our Need Here in Florida
Those living with a serious mental illness in your community
in the nation
Florida ranks 49th in the nation for access to mental health care
Adults with a serious mental illness
1 in 6
Have a mental health condition
1 in 6
Live with a serious mental illness
The Vincent House Difference
The impact that friendship, education and employment creates
Increase in long-term employment
and less reliance on public benefits
Decrease in rates of hospitalization
Double the employment rates
compared to the public mental health system
Lifetime Vincent House members
Over 70 daily Vincent House members
Saving lives and ensuring we have healthy communities
Ready to Get Your Life Back?
Discover friendship, purpose and community
1 Start with a tour
See if the Vincent House is a good fit. Start by scheduling a tour of one of our locations.
See the facility, meet members, talk to the staff, and discuss what our program can offer.
2 Become a member
If an invitation to membership is offered, a application and eligibility requirements will need to be completed and confirmed.
Membership is voluntary and for life; and there is no cost.
3 Gain skills to change your life
Find a place where you are wanted, needed and valued.
Work side-by-side with the Vincent House staff. We’re here to help members build skills to find and keep employment, return to school, locate stable housing, and much more.
Your generosity will allow us to help more adults living with mental illness
Vincent House has served over 1,225 members, but more need your help.
In Florida, over half of adults with a mental illness are going untreated.
Your donation will help us to fulfill the needs of those in your community who are facing daily challenges with mental health.
The myths that generate negative stigma around mental illness, and the lack of funding, stand in the way of the life saving help many people need.