NEW YORK - Ari Kadosh has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and has had difficulty landing a job over the years.
"I do have a hard time finding conventional means of work, I don't really do that well on interviews," she adds.
But now Kadosh has a job she is really into - working at Fountain House + Body, a social enterprise, small business developed by Fountain House, the more than 70-year-old organization that empowers people with serious mental illnesses like schitzophrenia and bipolar disorder to live and thrive in society, with programs focusing on education, wellness, housing and in the case of this store, employment.
"We believe that we provide meaningfull supports to people, people with mental illness can get back to work and can actually thrive and can help their recovery," says Ian Campbell, Employment Director at Fountain House.
Fountain House has developed other social enterprises over the years like messenger and landscaping services, but this is their first brick and mortar store. Not only are members selling items like soaps and cleaning solutions, but making them here as well.
"People love it, the neighbors love it. The neighbors keep coming back," says Carmichael Monaco, Manager at Fountain House + Body.
There are also other eco-friendly products on sale too, made by other social enterprises around the world. The store has a triple bottom line: selling environmentally sustainable, low waste products, generating a profit to enhance Fountain House's Employment Program, and providing meaningful paid work opportunites to folks like Ari Kadosh, who is enjoying being a part of this venture.
"It has helped my self-esteem immensly. You might laugh, but when I get off at Broadway-Lafayette and suddently I feel this huge joy, I'm like kind of doing the Mary Tyler Moore down the street to a job I love, you can practically hear 'You're Going to Make it After All' in the background," says Kadosh.
Fountain House + Body is located at 105 Thompson Street between Prince and Spring Street. They're open seven days a week.
To find out more, head to fountain.nyc.