Brophy Family and Youth Services was born out of a need for troubled boys to stay in the Warrnambool region.
Now more than 40 years later, the organisation lending its support to another proposed local residential facility called the ‘Lookout’.
Father Tom Brophy established Brophy Boy’s Home to help troubled young men as he realised sending them to orphanages in Geelong and Ballarat wasn’t helping them.
Brophy Family and Youth Services director Francis Broekman says the same philosophy underpins the community campaign for a new residential rehabilitation centre.
“An alcohol and other drug residential rehabilitation centre would provide us with another opportunity to create a more flexible way of working with people,” he said. “It gives hope to those who need some direction and support and community understanding.”
“How Brophy started is similar to what is being proposed with The Lookout,” Mr Broekman said.
“At the moment we are taking people out of their community to Geelong or Melbourne to be treated without their local support. “What’s most important in people’s lives is the opportunity to be connected meaningfully to their families, their supports and their communities.
“That is part of the rehabilitation process and is critical to any therapeutic care.”
Mr Broekman likened the Lookout appeal to the community’s successful campaign to establish a regional cancer centre.
“Our community saw it wasn’t fair for rural people to be treated for cancer away from their homes and it’s the same for people with drug and alcohol issues,” he said.
Brophy Family and Youth Services delivers a number of programs to people with substance use problems but Mr Broekman said many of the issues are masked by other concerns in their lives that they haven’t been able to resolve.
People can donate to the Lookout campaign at the ANZ Bank or through the WRAD website www.wrad.org.au