Last updated on August 28th, 2019 at 05:42 pm
Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan unveiled plans Tuesday to convert a former office building in Waukesha into a 23,000-square-foot residential substance use treatment facility for men and women.
Héctor Colón, president and chief executive officer of LSS, said the new center at 2000 W. Bluemound Road will meet a growing need for affordable addiction treatment services in Waukesha County, particularly for women.
The 22-bed facility, called LSS Aspen Center, will include two wings, divided by gender. It will have the capacity to grow to 34 beds based on need.
“There are lots of lives being lost as a result of drug and alcohol abuse,” Colón said. “This is a great center that’s going to provide hope, healing and recovery to many people … Having a facility here (in Waukesha County) for women is very important and was really intentional with this project.”
LSS Aspen Center is expected to serve about 125 individuals annually.
“Being able to serve women inside of Waukesha County rather than sending them to surrounding areas for treatment is a win,” said Waukesha County executive Paul Farrow. “When we send the women who live here out of the county, we are not allowing them to be close to their families, children or jobs, creating long term issues. LSS Aspen Center will mitigate this issue for women in other parts of southeastern Wisconsin who are currently awaiting treatment.”
LSS has launched a $1.7 million capital campaign for the project, with $1.1 million raised to date. David Boerke and John Silseth, both LSS Foundation board members, contributed $350,000 each to the campaign. Waukesha County contributed $300,000 in funding.
The LSS Foundation has issued a $275,000 challenge grant for the public phase of the campaign. Colon said LSS hopes to raise the remaining funding by the end of the year.
It’s expected to begin accepting patients in January 2020.
LSS said the new treatment center will provide services that reflect current research techniques and best practices, including trauma-informed and responsive treatment, individual and group counseling, family education and counseling, gender-specific groups and co-occurring disorders group.
The building previously housed LSS’s regional office before the organization consolidated into its Milwaukee headquarters. In 2018, the organization moved its headquarters from the Trade Center building in The Tannery complex to an office complex in West Allis.
LSS operates two other treatment facilities in Waukesha: Genesis House, a 12-bed residential treatment facility for men, and Cephas House, a 14-bed residential treatment facility that provides primary and transitional residential services for men with substance use disorders.