History of the Grand Avenue Club
Grand Avenue Club was founded in Milwaukee in 1991 by a coalition of 23 community organizations that included psychiatric patients, family members, advocates, service providers, and concerned citizens. With start-up funding from the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division, GAC established a Pre-Vocational Day Program and an Evening, Weekend, and Holiday Program. An Employment Program began in 1993. This was followed by a Supported Education Program in 1998. Members are also helped with finding and maintaining their own housing, acquiring services and resources in the community that will enhance their lives, and having a place to spend leisure time and to make friends on Evenings, Weekends, and Holidays.
To accommodate its growing membership, in 2001 GAC purchased a stately building in Milwaukee's downtown area. Located on the city's only block of extant nineteenth century architecture, 210 East Michigan provides 24,000 square feet of space. Our Clubhouse home draws members to it from every neighborhood because it is accessible by bus to every neighborhood, town, and village in Milwaukee County and also conveys workplace respect and dignity.
GAC is a non-profit organization with an independent board of directors that includes community volunteers, people working in the corporate sector, mental health professionals, philanthropists, and GAC members. Board members work toward assuring that this precious community resource remains a lifeline for its members. Through our board's efforts we have diversified our funding base and become a successful public/private partnership with an ever expanding base of support throughout southeastern Wisconsin.