Questions People Ask About Rainbow Heights Club
Q: IF I'M WONDERING ABOUT JOINING THE CLUB, DO I NEED TO CALL BEFORE I VISIT, OR CAN I JUST SHOW UP?
A. While we encourage potential members to come in and visit the club, we prefer that you call and speak with a member of staff to set up a day and time that’s convenient. This helps us to be sure that you get all the information you need to see if Rainbow Heights Club is a good fit for you.
Q: DO YOU HAVE MINIMUM ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS?
A. No. Once you are registered as a member, you can participate in the club as much or as little as you like.
Q: CAN I BRING MY FRIENDS TO THE CLUB?
A: The club, its programs and services are for the exclusive use of members only. We encourage club members to refer their friends who are eligible for membership and bring them for a tour.
Q: HOW CAN I FIND OUT IF SOMEONE IS A MEMBER OF RAINBOW HEIGHTS CLUB?
A: That information is entirely confidential. We do not share membership information with anybody.
Q: WHAT KIND OF RULES AND GUIDELINES DO YOU HAVE AT THE CLUB?
A: We’re very proud of our behavior guidelines, which we developed together as a community. All members agree to abide by our guidelines when they join the club. If someone is not comfortable agreeing to these guidelines, they are not a good fit with Rainbow Heights Club. See our Code of Conduct.
Q: WHAT KIND OF COMMUNITY VALUES DO YOU PROMOTE AT RAINBOW HEIGHTS CLUB?
A: Rainbow Heights Club is a recovery oriented community. That means that your own goals for your mental and emotional wellness are what count. We believe that there is no right or wrong way of being a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person. We believe that your strengths and hopes and goals are at least as important as your diagnoses and symptoms. We believe that all of us can learn to take care of ourselves and each other. Some people at Rainbow Heights Club find that relationships are an important part of their recovery and goals, while others here are not interested in having relationships. But we all benefit from accepting one another, and ourselves, just as we are.
Q: DO PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THEIR SEXUALITY AND GENDER IDENTITY ALL THE TIME AT RAINBOW HEIGHTS CLUB?
A: No! There are so many other facets to who we are. People at Rainbow Heights Club talk about their friendships, their families, their spirituality, and their creativity. We talk about work and school; we discuss current events; we enjoy movies and music and games such as pool and bingo. We engage in outreach and advocacy in the community. Sometimes when we’re the only LGBT person in the room, or the only person who’s living with a mental illness, we think that’s all there is to us. At Rainbow Heights Club everyone is LGBT and everyone is living with a mental illness. That shared common ground helps us connect with, appreciate and develop all the other facets of our lives.
Q: ARE THE MEMBERS AND STAFF A DIVERSE GROUP OF PEOPLE?
A: Yes. Our members are over 60% people of color, from diverse backgrounds including African American, Latino/a, and Asian American. Men, women and transgender people participate actively at Rainbow Heights Club. As you can see, our staff is reflective of this broad range of backgrounds and identities. We are very proud of the diverse, inclusive and mutually supportive community we have built at Rainbow Heights Club.
Q: WHY DO LGBT PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS NEED A SPECIAL PLACE?
A: Because they are living with a double stigma. (And if they're people of color, or poor, or physically disabled, or have alcohol or substance abuse problems, make that multiple stigmas.) They don't really fit in in mainstream mental health clinics or inpatient units, and they don't really fit in in the mainstream LGBT community either. They go through much of their lives trying to be invisible. That's a very painful way to live. What they need is a safe place where they don't have to hide anything about themselves. Rainbow Heights Club is a place like that. We have 250 members, and over and over again we've seen the rapid positive impact that support and acceptance can have. People who have been isolated and unable to care for themselves consistently become members of a community; they communicate about their difficulties and learn from others; they become more self-reliant; and they reduce their use of emergency services such as inpatient hospitalizations.
Q: HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO JOIN RAINBOW HEIGHTS CLUB?
A: Nothing. All of our services are free of charge, confidential, and without obligation of any kind.
Q: DOES RAINBOW HEIGHTS CLUB OFFER TRANSPORTATION STIPENDS TO MEMBERS?
A: Yes, we offer $4.00 car fare support top everyone who participates in the days’ activities. If you’re eligible for half fare, and not enrolled, we can help you enroll. If you’re not eligible, we will still provide you with $4.00 per day to help offset the cost to getting to and from the program.
Q: WHAT CAN MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDERS DO TO PROVIDE EFFECTIVE TREATMENT TO LGBT PEOPLE LIVING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS?
A: Please see our downloadable resources for providers.
Rainbow Heights Club is funded to provided a limited series of free trainings developed for mental health providers who would like to build their skills on providing a more supportive and affirming environment for clients regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. For more information on our E/Quality Care Trainings, please click here.
RAINBOW HEIGHTS CLUB HAS MOVED!
As of March 1st, all on-site services are being provided at our new community space at 25 Elm Place, 6th Floor.