Community Drop-In Center – The Clare Kiepke Community Outreach Center [ORC]
A Place to Go A Place to Grow
To provide a safe and stigma-free environment that empowers the local adult mental health community with an opportunity to:
- participate in healthy leisure activities
- connect through meaningful relationships
- work towards holistic wellness.
In cooperation with Outagamie County DHS, Valley Packaging started the Community Outreach Center in 1984 with the goal of providing long-term support for individuals diagnosed with chronic mental illness in a community social setting.
As a recipient of the 1978 Woman of the Year Award, Clare Kiepke was known for her work as a significant advocate for individuals with disabilities in the Fox Cities. She inspired and pursued the development of multiple human services programs through non-profit entities, Casa Clare, and the Community Clothes Closet. Additionally, she co-authored Community Life for the Mentally Ill. This book promoted the increase of participatory roles in society through strength-based and consumer driven services.
Clare was very active in promoting organizations serving people with mental illness, and she provided dedication and leadership to NAMI, an advocacy group serving people and families impacted by mental illness. In 1996, NAMI made a generous donation to further the cause of the Valley Packaging Community Outreach Center and requested re-naming it the Clare Kiepke Community Outreach Center, in honor of her total dedication to people with mental illness. We were very proud to honor her, and we are proud to continue the original mission of providing long-term support for those with chronic mental health illnesses today.
The ORC offers opportunities for integration, support and growth.
Help persons improve their personal, social, and occupational skills to be productive members in the community
Individual and group support reduces isolation and increases positive social interaction and meaningful activity
As consumers grow in their recovery journeys, they gain a greater sense of empowerment in their lives
We will provide services that are:
- Person centered
- Recovery focused
- Trauma informed
- Available regardless of financial, geographical, physical, social, or psychological abilities
- Community focused
- Culturally competent
- Effective in cross-cultural situations
Is required for participants and available AT NO COST for anyone impacted by mental illness. Upon joining, individuals work with a peer specialist to assess strengths, interests and goals. They are invited to join in daily activities of their choice that work to:
- Maximize their talents
- Build social engagements
- Increase healthy leisure activities
An activity calendar provides members with details on monthly social and leisure activities including:
Arts & Crafts
Board Games & Cards
Healthy Cooking Classes
Pool & Darts
The ORC works closely with Outagamie Mental Health, N.E.W. Mental Health Connection, Fox Cities Community Council, NAMI Fox Valley, and the Fox Valley Young Adult in Transition Coalition to offer additional community resources and support.
The ORC provides information and referral on community based services such as housing, education, employment, finances, food, health care, and mental health agencies across the fox cities area.
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
322 N. Appleton St., Appleton, WI 54911