We know adults with mental illness can and want to work – they prove it over and over.

A Path to Meaningful Employment

We believe in the dignity of work. Work is more than a paycheck – it’s an affirmation of self-worth. It provides financial independence, purpose, and connects us to our community. Adults with mental illness often face enormous challenges in finding and keeping jobs. Even with skills and the ability to manage symptoms, the stigma of mental illness is a barrier to hiring them.

Many of our members didn’t have the confidence to apply for a job, until they came to our program. Others had a good job, even a successful career, before their mental illness emerged and caused them to lose their employment.

Independence Center is here to help members who are able, to get on a path to meaningful employment, from wherever their starting point may be.

Clubhouse Volunteer Work Transitional Employment Supported Employment
Members can gain useful job skills by volunteering to perform the jobs needed to run our Clubhouse. Part-time temporary work with our partner employers in the area. Scroll down to learn more. The support needed to acquire permanent full- or part-time work. Scroll down to learn more.
Independence Center Employment Services:

  • Guidance in resume preparation

  • Interview training

  • Assist with job searches

  • Employment workshops

  • Job placement service

  • On-the-job training and supports

  • Ongoing follow-up for employer and employee

  • Lifetime job retention and upgrading services


65% of members who expressed interest in finding employment were employed within six months or less

Transitional Employment (TE)

An important first step into real world employment

“Work is essential… it is the glue that binds us to society.”– Bob Harvey, Founding Director

When our members are ready and able, they can enter our Transitional Employment program to get real world job experience. They get jobs with our contracted area businesses, and work under our staff’s supervision. They earn a real paycheck and learn to manage their money. This program builds confidence and provides valuable experience to help acquire permanent work.

Member Benefits

  • Part-time, temporary placement intended to integrate or re-integrate a member into a real work situation
  • Acclimates the member to a workplace to experience the discipline and resources necessary to have a job
  • Work is 10 – 20 hours per week
  • Usually lasts six months

Employer Benefits

  • Independence Center staff will train for the job, and then help train our members for the job.
  • Staff ensures the job is appropriate for the members who will work it
  • Staff ensures the member has transportation to get to work
  • Staff serves as the point person with the employer to address any questions/situations that may arise
  • If member is sick or cannot make it to work, our staff will fill in, always ensuring the employer is never without an employee

Supported Employment (SE)

Long-term meaningful employment backed by our support

Members who have job experience and are ready to return to work have the help of our Supported Employment program. We provide guidance in the application and interview process, and will help the employer understand the member’s capabilities and limitations. Once hired, the member performs the job independently, with our support available as needed.

Member Qualifications

  • Had success with several Transitional Employment positions, or are experienced and returning to the workforce.
  • Ability to work full or part-time on a permanent basis.

Our Support

  • Assistance with the job search, securing the position, negotiating reasonable accommodations and benefits counseling.
  • Training for members when they start the job, as needed.
  • Ongoing support to members and employers, throughout their employment.

Current Employers

  • 4M
  • Alexian Brother’s Nursing Home
  • Algonquin Nurses/Home Team American Healthcare
  • Applebee’s
  • Aramark
  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital
  • Bernard Nursing Home
  • Best Buy
  • Boeing
  • Bon Appetit Food Co.
  • Bowood Farms
  • Bridges
  • Bryan Cave
  • Café Osage
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • Centaur Bldg. Services
  • CWE Community Improvement District
  • CLEAN Uniform
  • Commercial Bldg Services
  • CSL Plasma
  • Customer Direct
  • Dierbergs
  • Elite Staffing
  • Every Childs Hope
  • Favazzas
  • Fed Ex
  • Flance
  • Fox Theatre
  • Friendship Village
  • Frosty Treats
  • St. Louis Galleria
  • Gatesworth
  • H&R Block
  • Hardee’s
  • Heartland
  • Hershey Factory
  • Hilton St. Louis Ballpark
  • Home Depot
  • Home Health
  • Homegoods
  • IHOP
  • Innovative Living Solutions
  • Joey B’s
  • Joseph Clayton
  • Kennelwood Village
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken
  • Lowe’s
  • Macys
  • Maggiano’s
  • Marshalls
  • Mary Culver Home
  • Mercy
  • Maritz
  • NAMI
  • National Healthcare
  • National Real Estate Properties
  • Northview Nursing Home
  • Northwest Coffee
  • Office Depot
  • Osage Café
  • Park Warehouse
  • Pearson Group
  • Pitney Bowes
  • Pizza World
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Rib City
  • Rose Industries
  • Salvation Army
  • Schnucks
  • St. Louis Science Center
  • Sears
  • Seniors Helping Seniors
  • Serco
  • Sleeve A Message
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Southwest Food Excellence
  • St. Louis Sportservice
  • St. Louis Public Library
  • St. Patrick Center
  • Starbucks
  • Steak & Shake
  • Stifel
  • Subway
  • Telegraph Café
  • The Benfield Group
  • The City Of Maryland Heights
  • The Hallmark-Brookdale Senior Living
  • The St. Louis Arch
  • TJ Maxx
  • University City Children’s Center
  • Unique Crafters
  • US Foods
  • VA Library
  • Walmart
  • Westwood Country Club
  • Whelan Security
  • YMCA
  • Zipmail
  • St. Louis ZOO