Post-therapy centre offers new hope to people battling addiction
By Sarah Pitt
Homeless people and people combatting addictions in Luxembourg have a new lifeline for getting back on track thanks to a ground-breaking new facility in Schoenfels.
The post therapy centre, which opened on July 1, was officially inaugurated on Friday by charity Stëmm vun der Strooss.
Located on the rural site of the Schoenfels castle, the centre provides support to those who have completed treatment to combat drug or alcohol addiction.
Tania Draut, head of the Schoenfels centre, said that the idea was born 14 years ago.
“The idea for the centre, now the first of its kind in Luxembourg, was met with much resistance from many angles. In October 2013, housed in containers, a small team of five people started gardening work under my supervision.
"Today, the supervising team is complete and consists of seven social workers, three registered nurses, a chef, a gardener, environmental professionals and an accounting secretary. We have come a long way.”
It is one of the many services ran by Stëmm vun der Strooss and it consists of two components: the first is for people coming out of treatment who do have a home. They participate in cooking workshops, gardening and work in the field of environment and nature conservation as well as community work.
The second component was created for people coming out of therapy, who have nowhere to live and want to follow up their treatment with medical, social and educational support.
Stëmm vun der Strooss President Marcel Detaille said: “Thanks to the many collaborators who have made this project possible, not least the commune of Mersch, the administration of public buildings, the architect, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Health and to the employees of Stëmm vun der Strooss.”
Mersch Mayor Albert Henkel said he was delighted that the centre was finally accepted in Schoenfels. “The location is ideal in that it is located out of the city where it is calm and quiet and surrounded by nature.”
Among the guests were François Bausch, Minister of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, and a representative of the Ministry of Health.
They commended the hard work that has been put into realising the centre and the invaluable support provided for those in need. Stëmm vun der Strooss was praised for its flexibility and quick response in reacting to and finding solutions for serious social problems that arise.
The centre is open 365 days a year and can accommodate up to 30 people with 15 able to live there. The only condition imposed on them is to have successfully completed, in Luxembourg or abroad, a treatment for addiction problems.
Consumption of alcohol and/or drugs is strictly prohibited, with staff required to conduct regular testing. Following the speeches, Stëmm vun der Strooss employees offered guided tours of the premises and there was a reception prepared by the centre’s kitchen workshop.
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