Venture House… Who’d have thought a property once a funeral home would one day evolve into something that would walk with me after my debilitating mental diagnosis, through a community with others just like me?
This month makes approximately four years since I’ve had the pleasure of being involved in such a service to our community. Before I was referred to Venture House I was a very scrappy young man at the age of 23. Having battled my diagnosis of schizophrenia for roughly four years I felt alone and unwanted by family and society. Then Venture House came, offering to accommodate me in a realm of safety and understanding, free to explore my abilities and foster my characteristics that would empower me in my time of weakness.
From then till now Venture House has walked side by side with me in all my endeavors offering me support and guidance in everything I do. This agency is a resource and a place where troubled individuals can find haven and respite from a world where all you hear is negative portrayals of us, and a system that looks at us in a demeaning light.
Venture House has helped me to go back to school at a prestigious peer training academy in Manhattan where I worked my way to being certified as a Peer Specialist.
I now have been working for the past year in the field slowly reshaping my family’s image of me and also gifting me with the ability of forming a new family: my Venture House family.
Since becoming a member I was reminded that I have the ability to succeed and the knowledge to keep succeeding. Their employment department has aided me with the acquisition of three jobs since becoming a member. When I first arrived I was assisted with getting a job as a security officer then went on to school got a better job and then an even better one.
Venture House is a strength in our community and continues to inspire and nurture me and others to move up and expand their abilities in life, reclaiming their lives and finding a safe space where they can exist free of stigma and judgement and be treated as valued individuals.