You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Editorial columns

  • Even great powers cowed by deaths of innocents
    Modern low-intensity conflicts are won and lost on their ragged edges. Nations act as though the careful plans of their militaries and intelligence operations can harness the chaos of combat and guide it to advance their interests.
  • Merkel the model for female leadership
    Would women be better than men at running the world? There’s a case to be made on the example of Angela Merkel, currently the longest-serving – and most popular – leader of a Group of Seven country.
  • Making your marketing, socially
    When the Fort Wayne TinCaps printed the names of their then-6,000 Twitter followers on a special jersey in 2013, they got national praise. ESPN’s official Twitter account said:

Help, hope abound at Carriage House

Community asset needs continued state support

I am writing as a charter member (one of six) of the Carriage House Clubhouse with several major severe mental illnesses: depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders. Thanks to the Clubhouse program and staff, I am vastly improved today over 15 years ago, when the Carriage House began.

The issue of funding the Carriage House is not an intellectual exercise. For me, and hundreds like me, it is a life-and-death matter. Living with an illness where abhorrent thoughts constantly torment my brain has brought me close to suicide on many occasions. Mental illness is a living hell. Several of my good friends have taken their lives because of the intense pain. The Carriage House combats the pain with meaningful work activities, both within and outside the Clubhouse, and fostering strong friendships that give us true self-worth. Additionally, we now have a wonderful video ministry where our members may tell their story on tape, giving them healing relief.

Despite the striking success of Carriage House, state officials made the decision to change Medicaid regulations, which cut Carriage House funding by half, and have slashed funding dollars from the Park Center budget, which goes mainly to caring for the most severely mentally ill patients in Indiana.

The actions by previous Indiana state officials have seriously threatened the continued operation of Carriage House. However, at the outset of Gov. Mike Pence’s administration, a tour visit from first lady Karen Pence and a meeting with the Pence administration have given us true hope. It is hope that Gov. Pence and the Legislature could mandate a line-item funding source for the Carriage House, or federal Medicaid reimbursement for certified Clubhouse model rehabilitation programs, or some other vital funding support. All other states support Carriage House-type programs.

Such changes make great financial sense. They would continue and expand the number of Indiana residents in the workforce, generating income and paying taxes every year. They would greatly reduce the number of people with mental illness who wind up homeless or thrown into jails ill equipped to care for them. They would markedly increase residents enrolled in area schools and greatly decrease hospital days for Carriage House members.

In 33 years of street ministry, I have met numerous homeless people. The important word is “people.” Made in God’s image, they have been struck down and stigmatized as mentally ill. There but for the grace of God go you – or I. With help, many can improve tremendously. We do need the medicines, the treatments. Yet there is something missing – a solid, financially secure place where we can come, be loved, and learn to function successfully in our city. We deserve nothing less. We will not go away.

Please encourage the governor, the mental health agencies, and the mass of our citizenry to bring those with mental illness back to life.

A Native American proverb says “to give dignity to a man is above all things.” We simply must give that dignity, that respect, that support to all our friends and relatives with severe mental illness.

Guy A. Bayes, a Fort Wayne resident, is a graduate of Yale Law School, Duke University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He wrote this for The Journal Gazette.