Orientation to The Castle

The Castle operated by, The Friends of The Castle, is a self-help, peer support social club for adults who experience different mental disorders. We are a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. We opened on October 11, 1993. The Castle is a safe place to come and make friends, to find someone who is experiencing the same problems and who understands the difficulties of being part of the mental health system.

Our annual budget is approximately $245,000; we receive less than half of our budget from the ADAMHS Board (Alcohol Drug and Mental Health Services) of Montgomery County. The rest of our budget is covered by donations, grants, and fundraising efforts.

Our members want and need the same things as every other human being and have a much harder time getting them. Because it is a social club they have officers (President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Social Director and Secretary) and pay dues. The annual dues are $12.00 renewable every July. The officers run a monthly meeting to discuss, events, monies, daily activities, fundraising and any concerns a member or staff may have. They are involved in the daily activities and upkeep of The Castle. The rules on the wall in the dining room were created by the members themselves; they are enforced not only by staff but by members as well. Some activities include field trips, parties, exercise class, camping, peer support groups, etc.

We provide transportation if they live within our boundaries. They can be picked up at their home and transported to and from The Castle. In the case of bad weather please call (937) 433-3931 before you come to The Castle. When Centerville and/or Dayton schools are closed or on a delay because of bad weather The Castle will also be closed. We offer our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

The Castle is open five days a week. Lunch is served daily. The lunch program started in 1995. Debbie and 5 members asked the board if they could start a lunch program because they were sick of frozen food and fast food. The board gave $200.00 and told the group that they would have to use that as seed money to become self-sufficient. The members do not arrive in time to help cook most of the time so they clean-up after lunch.

There are 7 chores to be done (wash dishes, dry dishes, mop the floor, sweep the floor, take out the trash, clean the tables and counters). A member helps collects the monies donated to lunch and pass out the chores and supervise them, put away the food and the members earn a Castle Buck for their efforts. The Castle Buck is a computer generated piece of paper worth a dollar that the members can use to have lunch, to pay for a party or to buy something from our canteen. The canteen is operated by a responsible officer or member. They make change and keep track of items sold and turn in the monies at the end of each day. We also have a Daily Living Skills Program on Wednesdays where the members help clean The Castle and earn a small token of money for their efforts.

Student rules to follow:

  1. Report any talk or ideation of suicide or homicide immediately to a staff member
  2. Report any inappropriate behavior (we can handle it and help to solve the issue before it becomes a problem for the courts to handle)
  3. Set boundaries just like you would anywhere else (limit the personal information you share)
  4. Do not lend anything to the members (monies, food, drinks, cigarettes, etc.)
  5. Do not ask diagnosis, some will offer that information on their illness, you will notice symptomatic behaviors, some hallucinations or maybe some delusional thinking.

How you can help The Castle

  • Volunteer: talk to members, play games with members, teach a craft class, teach a cooking class, help do a puzzle and more or send volunteers our way
  • Donations of food or monies for the lunch program, transportation cost, food for parties, small prizes and decorations for holidays, special events, and outings
  • Save aluminum cans for us we recycle them and use the money to pay members on Daily Living Skills Day Cleaning Day (Wednesday Castle cleaning day)