Shalom House still on the agenda

Support for Shalom House Collie's David Gibbs with Shalom House founder Peter Lyndon-James. Photo: Shannon Wood
Support for Shalom House Collie's David Gibbs with Shalom House founder Peter Lyndon-James. Photo: Shannon Wood

The campaign to bring a branch of the faith-based drug rehabilitation centre Shalom House to Collie is still a ‘real deal’, according to the movement’s chairman David Gibbs.

The calls to bring the organisation to Collie intensified after more than 60 people attended a seminar hosted by Shalom House founder Peter Lyndon-James in Collie recently.

There is currently just one Shalom House in the Swan Valley and it hosts more than 100 men, who are trying to overcome drug addiction. 

Mr Gibbs said the Support for Shalom House Collie group was still committed to finding a suitable place to house the organisation.

“We were looking at the old St Brigid’s school as being a viable place for Shalom to reside at, but in retrospect, it was seen to be too close to town,” he said.

“There was a bit of work that needed to be done to change it from a school situation to accommodation, so we’re having to look further afield.

“We have looked at a premises a little further out of town, which would be ideal for what we need … but the cost is a bit more.”

Mr Gibbs said the group was not actively seeking grant funding to pay for the project, but relying on people who saw the value of the program to make donations.

He said while the segments of the community were concerned about bringing the facility to Collie, it would only benefit the town.

“It goes without saying that every town or city is in desperate need for a Shalom House to be placed there,” he said.

“Simply because of the issues we’re facing – it’s not just drugs, it’s alcohol, it’s dysfunctional families, it’s anger management, it’s a whole bunch of things.

He said while there was fear in the community that having the facility would increase the level of crime and drug use in the community, Shalom House would only treat those who recognise they need the help.

“In actual fact, it’s not a situation where Shalom House will harm the community – it will enhance the community.”