The Friendship House offers people with mental illness an opportunity to socialize in a setting that is not treatment oriented, while offering the opportunity for learning and problem- solving to occur with the assistance of staff or members. The program was created in 1981 in response to the needs of the people of Woodbury County. Since that time, the Friendship House has authorized membership to more than 1000 people. Approximately 140 different members use the Friendship House each month, with an average of 40 members visiting each day.
Friendship House was created in 1981 by The Parents Group (now NAMI Siouxland) along with individuals who belonged to a socialization group conducted by Siouxland Mental Health Center. Together these groups built the idea of Friendship House as a safe and enjoyable place for individuals to socialize and interact with peers. Friendship House was created to be a place where people could socialize in a non treatment oriented setting, while offering the opportunity for learning and problem solving to occur with the assistance of other members or staff.
In August 1981 Friendship House first opened in a basement on 5th Street, under The AID Center. The club moved to 508 1/2 5th Street in 1983, then to its current location at 1101 Court Street in 1995.
Friendship House has authorized membership to over 1400 people since it opened. Over 130 members visit the club each month.