Mental Health Services

We address mental health needs.





Shelter House Lodge

Don’s Story

Jerry’s Story

The Shelter House Fairweather Lodge
The Lodge is a recovery program for people with mental illness who are seeking community, peer support, long-term stable housing, supported employment, and mental health stability.

A Fairweather Lodge combines:

  • Permanent supportive, affordable housing
  • Supported employment in a janitorial business
  • Peer support and accountability
  • Recovery
  • Daily medication support
  • Access to psychiatric care and counseling support

A Nationwide Program
The Shelter House Lodge is a housing and work program modeled after Fairweather Lodges across the country. The Fairweather Lodge program is named for Dr. George Fairweather, who did extensive research on community living for adults with mental illness. He found that people with serious mental illness were less likely to return to the hospital when they lived and worked as a group instead of individually. His research, supported by nationwide outcomes, shows that Lodge members are more active in the community, have healthier lifestyles and better employment opportunities.

Successful Outcomes
Within the 2013-2014 year, the Iowa City Fairweather Lodge has served 24 clients. Of these clients:

  • An average of 4 are in training at one time
  • 40% are veterans
  • 100% graduate with adequate income to pay monthly rent
  • Graduates display 98% medication compliance

“The Lodge program has been helpful. Normally I have been told to ‘buck up.’ This is the first place I have been told I can have depression without a reason for it.” –Dennis, Former Lodge Participant

At the Lodge, members interact daily to support each other and offer accountability and friendship. This is an integral part of the Lodge culture.

Employment is a requirement for participation in the Fairweather Lodge Program. The program provides employment for all Lodge members through the Fresh Starts janitorial business. Fresh Starts is a Shelter House Service that contracts to clean local businesses and non-profit organizations. At the Fairweather Lodge, we believe that work is an essential part of recovery. We have seen that having vocational responsibility develops self esteem, accountability, and a sense of significance.

Program Costs
While earning income from Fresh Starts and staying at Shelter House, trainees are asked to save 75% of their earnings to build their personal savings. Trainees that stay at Shelter House are responsible for contributing to the cost of groceries, utilities, and a house fund. The cost of living at the Ashley Training Lodge includes rent, utilities, groceries, and contribution to a house fund. These costs are configured on an individual level and determined during consultation with staff. Staff is available to work with each individual on any income restrictions they may have.

Applicant Information

  • Must meet State of Iowa requirements for serious and persistent mental illness such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or major depressive disorder.
  • Must be committed to taking medication as prescribed by a mental health provider.
  • Must be alcohol and drug free for the past 3 months. Applicants who are in recovery from substance abuse will be considered.
  • Cannot have manifested self-abusive or suicidal acts in the past 3 months.
  • Must be physically able to work in a Shelter House business or work at least 20 hours/week for another employer.

Fairweather Lodge Admissions Process:

  1. Click here to download an application. Send the completed application to the Program Manager at
  2. Interview with the Fairweather Lodge Manager.
  3. Meet with Fairweather Lodge Staff and the Fairweather Lodge Psychiatrist.
  4. An admissions team will decide if the applicant is a good fit for the program.

To contact the Fairweather Lodge please call 319-530-4729.


Walk-In Counseling

Shelter House partners with counseling doctoral students to provide regular walk-in counseling services for Shelter House clients. Call us at 319-351-0326 to check for available counseling hours.

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