Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan this week opened a new 22-bed residential substance use treatment facility in Waukesha.
The 23,000-square-foot LSS Aspen Center, located at 2000 W. Bluemound Road, provides medically-monitored substance use disorder rehabilitation and therapeutic services for men and women in two gender-specific wings.
The center anticipates serving about 125 individuals from Waukesha County and southeastern Wisconsin annually, and has capacity to grow to 34 beds based on need.
It’s designed to fill a growing need for affordable, high-quality addiction treatment services in Waukesha County, particularly for women, who have been referred outside the county due to a lack of options, LSS said.
“Many of our female clientele who we work with during their treatment for substance use are responsible for children, household obligations and work commitments,” said John Kettler, human services supervisor for the Waukesha County Department of Health and Human Services. “When you compound those challenges with women who choose to leave their own community to get help in a treatment facility far from home, it is clear why opening the LSS Aspen Center here in Waukesha will be exceptionally helpful.”
While the new center was planned before COVID-19 hit the U.S., the need for its services have only grown since the pandemic’s onset, LSS said. The disruption has heightened stressors and affected daily routines and health care services, prompting some to turn to substance use, the organization said.
“LSS believes healthy communities happen when we eliminate barriers to services and resources for those in need,” said Héctor Colón, president and chief executive officer of LSS. “As we see substance abuse increasing at dramatic rates locally and nationally, now is a critical time to be providing accessible and affordable drug and alcohol treatment offerings to our Waukesha residents.”
The Aspen Center includes individual, small and large group counseling spaces, and fitness and quiet rooms, and outdoor walking path and recreation area.
It also offers supportive services related to housing, employment, family education and counseling and continued education.
The Aspen Center replaces LSS’s former treatment facility, the 12-bed Genesis House in Waukesha. Those currently at the Genesis House will now receive services at the new facility.
The building at 2000 W. Bluemound previously housed LSS’s regional office before the organization consolidated into its Milwaukee headquarters. In 2018, LSS moved its headquarters from the Trade Center building in The Tannery complex to an office complex in West Allis.