Norman agency celebrates 30 years of helping others
Transition House, of Norman, OK, has been helping adults recovering from mental illness for 30 years by providing housing, support and counseling.
NORMAN — Transition House has for 30 years provided transitional living help for adults dealing with mental illness.
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Director Bonnie Dunn attributes the agency's success to its clearly defined mission of meeting clients' needs, whether it be housing, job training, socialization or something as simple as offering an encouraging word when one is needed.
“We're there for them. We're a constant in their lives. We don't just help them out for a year or so and then cut them off. We're with them for life,” Dunn said.
Transition House also has survived when many transitional living projects failed because its supporters have worked tirelessly to find alternate funding sources rather than relying solely on state aid, she said.
Cuts in state funding for mental health programs have killed some transitional living programs, but Transition House supplements its budget with other grants, community support and a yearly June Bug Jam fundraiser that raises cash as well as the spirits of clients who may face a daily battle with a debilitating illness.
Emphasis is on recovery, quality of life and every person's need to have someone care about them, she said.
“You can recover from mental illness. You can become a productive member of society,” Dunn said.
The agency provides housing for up to a year for new clients as they gain control over their illnesses.
It also offers an outreach program that extends help beyond the first year of recovery or provides an ever-
“We've embraced social media such as Facebook as a way to reach out, to communicate with someone who may otherwise be isolated in their disease,” Dunn said.