‘My message is deal with the pain, that will help deal with the problem. All my angels have buckled wings, they bump into walls but generally end up flying a good path.’ After overcoming 30 years of addiction, Rob Lytzki now helps others. I had the honour of having lunch with Rob and the guys he’s helping.
‘11 years ago a team of about five of us started Foundation 61. We’d been a Men’s group sitting around talking about Jesus when it dawned on me we could be doing that forever or we could get out there and make it happen. Now we are the only affordable, long term option for addicts in Geelong. Guys come to us for 6 months minimum, but some have stayed for two years.
‘Little Freddie’ comes from all walks of life. Addiction can take down anyone including the rich and famous- I’ve dealt with people from Headmasters to ordained Ministers. What they get addicted to is a tranquilizer for the pain on the inside.
We have 15 beds here but can only use 12 because we don’t have the funding for the staff needed. We could always do with more help and more funding. Our paid staff also generously volunteer many extra hours. Before the election Sarah Henderson made a Federal Government pledge of 1.5 million to build a women’s rehab unit. It is just what Geelong needs.
The guys here have a daily fitness routine. Our gym is better equipped than most. We’ve had bikes donated. They also participate in education, life skills training, metalwork, mentoring, art therapy, woodwork and horticultural therapy. Speaking of which, we also need volunteers for those last two.
I talk regularly visit schools and talk to Year 9s. The message I want to get out to the young ones is don’t try to outrun emotional and mental health problems. Get help! If you see a friend in need. Help them!’
Read the heart wrenching story behind why Rob became an addict at a very young age, in tomorrow’s post.