Halfway house opens doors to public for 40th celebrationPublished 11:25am Monday, July 22, 2013
It’s a quaint green house along North Union Avenue, one that stays quiet for most of the year. But inside, lives have been changed for 40 years.
Lake Region Halfway Homes will celebrate its 40th year this Thursday with an open house from 2 to 8 p.m. The house will provide a light lunch and Curt Rotto of the board of directors will give a history of the home at 3 p.m.
For director Gary Holen, the open house is an opportunity to bring awareness to the home and its many residents who come from all walks of life.
“We’re just giving an awareness that we’re active, that we’re here and we have had clients go all over the United States,” Holen said. “Not too many people know that we even exist. Maybe this will open some doors for people and bring that awareness to this facility.”
The home has been a safe haven for clients at the same location for all of the 40 years it has been in service. It is licensed for 14 male beds for clients 16 years and older recovering from addiction. Some are given care for mental health issues as well.
The standard of treatment provides two group sessions and a one-on-one session a week, but the staff offers each client more than is required. The home is a stable community for each client and a home free of negative influence while they recover.
“The first six months are really tough for a person just coming out of treatment,” Holen said. “This gives them the ability to get out and find a job and a place to come back home to where people aren’t using or drinking around them.”
While Holen said the community has always been supportive of the home, there is still the need to be more visible. Holen said he hopes more volunteers will come forward after the event to serve as mentors and even some job offers for those clients still looking for employment.
The event will also celebrate the active board the house has been led by for many years. Many members have come from esteemed positions in the community, including lawyers, judges and other law officials. Holen said the 10 member staff has been given much of the financial support and guidance they have needed in the past.
But most importantly, Holen said he wants people to see the type of people their clients are and what they bring to the community.
“I hope people can come to see what type of place this is,” he said. “Most of these guys really aren’t bad people. They take some real pride in this house.”