PLAN partners with small businesses to employ individuals with mental illness

PLAN (People Living Active Now), a program of Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas, has developed an employment partnership with The Popcorn Shack on Coit and Campbell in Richardson. Members of the program, which serves individuals with severe and persistent mental illness, now work part-time three days a week in the store under the supervision of PLAN staff.

PLAN @ 1121 Rock is an accredited Clubhouse, a restorative environment for people whose lives have been severely disrupted because of their mental illness and who need the support of others in recovery. One of the requirements for Clubhouse accreditation is the implementation of organized, effective strategies for members to move into and maintain gainful employment.

“Often our members come to us not having substantively worked in years. Anxiety about being in a work situation is overwhelming. The Popcorn Shack has turned out to be such a wonderful place for members to gain confidence and to be productive, not to mention make some money for the holidays,” said PLAN Director Ruth Josenhans.

Other employment partners of PLAN include Golden Chick, Home Goods, and Marshalls. The Popcorn Shack is the newest company to make a concerted effort to hire PLAN members and accommodate their needs. According to Darla Predtechenskis, owner of The Popcorn Shack, the partnership is mutually beneficial.

“I was buried under an impossible task heading into Thanksgiving. I had no idea, no resources left for how to address the orders that we had received. Then PLAN and its members came to the rescue… I can’t imagine running this business without them,” said Predtechenskis.

PLAN members are involved in all aspects of The Popcorn Shack operation from cooking the popcorn, assembling and shipping out orders, creating displays, to sanitizing the facility.

“It’s like working at Willy Wonka’s,” said Teri Hitchcock, one of PLAN’s members.

The PLAN team hopes this is one of many partnerships to come with local businesses searching for hard-working employees. Interested businesses can call Jillian Hiris, PLAN Community Liaison, at 972-703-2152.


PLAN, People Living Active Now, is a program of Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas geared to supporting individuals with a severe and persistent mental illness and their families. Includes PLAN @ 1121 Rock, the first accredited Clubhouse in North Texas, operating according to the 37 Clubhouse International standards.

Scroll to Top