The following is just one of dozens of testimonies of how the Foundation 61 Residential Rehabilitation and Training Program makes a difference in lives:
"My name is Lee, 41 years old. I grew up in Springvale South. I started experimenting with drugs at the age of 13, namely alcohol and marijuana. By the age of 15 I was experimenting with speed and heroin. By the age of 21 I had become an addict and was admitted to Dandenong psych ward on my 21st birthday.
By the time I was 25 I was living on the streets of Melbourne, in and out of rooming houses and homeless shelters. Over the years I have been committed to psych wards on a number of occasions. I have also undergone rehabilitation, but I was too young and restless to commit and went back to the streets of Melbourne, ending up with a heroin addiction. All along my parents were disappointed but stuck by me.
At the age of 32 I was doing a methadone program and was lucky enough to meet a girl. We have two children and this was the start of the turning point of my life. I completed the methadone program and only had two lapses up until the age of 39. I was smoking marijuana, sometimes heavily, which was the cause of my relationship breakup. I then started dabbling in amphetamines again and went downhill pretty quickly, again going in and out of psych wards several times.
On my last admission earlier this year I came across a brochure on Foundation 61 and felt this might be the challenge I needed to end my ‘revolving door’ situation.
I have been a participant at Foundation 61 for 6 months and have begun to have my self-worth restored. I have found a new direction and hope in life, and am able to reflect on the important things in life, namely my family and my health. As part of my recovery program I have enrolled in the Certificate III course in Transport and Logistics, including gaining my fork-lift and medium rigid truck license. I have committed to the Foundation 61 program and find it beneficial for my recovery. I feel positive about the future thanks to the support and guidance of everyone at Foundation 61."
Lee completed 6 months at Foundation 61 in early September 2012 and secured accommodation in Morwell. He continues to receive support through a case worker, and is building good relationships with his two children and finding work.