Since 1985, the Vista Drop-In Center has serviced adults with a mental illness and/or developmental disability, and adults who may be homeless. Initially, this was a project of V.I.S.T.A (Volunteers in Service to America). As the program objectives matured into a consumer-driven center, management, planning, and all aspects of the project now involve the clients or consumers of the mental health system. A comradery and ownership feeling has evolved between staff, board members, and Center members.
Over the years, hundreds have been assisted by the project. As a drop-in center, participation is optional, and the structured and non-structured activities and events allow for individual pacing. Empowerment, self-improvement, and skill development are ongoing goals in this established daytime enrichment program. One way this is accomplished is through participation in free-flow visual art making including drawing, coloring, painting and crafts like holiday cards. Hundreds of pieces of visual art made by participants have been displayed in public spaces throughout the community including malls, business store windows, banks, and art galleries.
Vista is now a contracted provider of Genesee Health System (GHS).
We are grateful for the main supporters, which have been Community Mental Health (CMH) and NAMI (Alliance for Mentally Ill). Support has been steady form these sources, as well as from Community Development Block Grants. First Presbyterian and Shelter grants have helped. The City of Flint’s Human Services and Human Relations have been sponsors, fiscal managers, and for years administrated the project.
The Center has progressed to a level of self-management, as corporation status has been acquired. CMH will help monitor any fiscal concerns to further strengthen the Center’s capacity, and a professional bookkeeping service is utilized.
The Vista Drop-In Center is open for improvement and community wide input. Many allies have been developed since its origin on Garland Street in Flint. Because of operational costs and ongoing needs, new corporate sponsorship, Foundational support, and help from individuals is welcomed.