“Jump-Start is the blood that pumps and motivates the heart. The experiences taught here are those of the soul. Every hour we spend strengthens the possibilities of our own life, to create an imagination and change it so it may live and breathe as we do. Jump-Start is the ER team, which resurrects our hearts and shows our minds.”
- Gabriel, participant, Fairweather Lodge Program
Fairweather Lodge is a collaboration between Jump-Start and the Urban Ministries utilizing the arts to assist adults with chronic mental illness. Participants are Lodge residents who are in a long-term program that includes housing, job training, work opportunities, life-skill training, illness monitoring and other assistance. Through arts techniques, participants can discover and explore their own self-worth, hone their higher-level thinking skills, explore group process, and learn to problem-solve.
In 2005, Jump-Start expanded its services to include the Fairweather Family Lodge, a transitional facility for Mothers with chronic mental illness and their children. Jump-Start’s instructors work with the mothers and their children to explore the arts, build self-esteem, and participate in collaborative projects.
Jump-Start artists and Fairweather staff co-teach life-skill training and arts curriculum. These sessions deal with themes such as weight management, dietary needs, medication, coping skills, the stigma of mental illness, exercise, and financial services. The arts are incorporated into the curriculum to reinforce the trainings. Projects have included sculptural “Dreamboxes,” a community quilt, a radio-show written and recorded by program participants, individual “zines,” textile projects, self-portrait puppets, digital photography, and a video documentary about the program.