Lodge of the Year (2021)
A post by John K. Trepp
Independence Lodge receiving THE 2021 DOROTHY BERGER* LODGE of the YEAR award from CCL's R.E.A.L. John Trepp.
* In 1968, Dorothy Berger, then a Social Worker at Anoka State Hospital, learned of the Fairweather Lodge Model, and immediately began recruiting and training patients. Dorothy created Tasks Unlimited in 1970, and continued to serve on the Board of Directors of Tasks Unlimited into her 90s, by which time Tasks had established two dozen Fairweather Lodges, providing a better life for hundreds of individuals.
The Independence Lodge has long been known for their strong peer support, making Independence an especially desirable Lodge, among many desirable Lodges. Present at the worksite where many Independence Lodge Members are employed, was a co-worker (in the center of the above photo) who lived outside the Lodge System, in her own apartment. Although many in the broader mental health system consider living alone in one's own apartment a mark of success, Independence Members recognized that said co-worker was struggling, both financially and socially, and multiple Lodge Members began to speak with her regarding the advantages of Lodge Living.
They invited their co-worker to visit the Lodge, and though she had no prior experience with or training for the Lodge, she quickly sought permission to join. With a little paperwork-assistance from staff, and a lot of assistance from Lodge Members with the physical moving, their co-worker moved in. And almost a year later, this person has become a valued Member of The Independence Lodge.