REHABILITATION centre Shalom House is planning to hold a Ride for a Rehab fundraiser finishing at Two Rocks marina next month.
Promotional material for the fundraiser to be held on Saturday, October 12 says Shalom House founder and chief executive officer Peter Lyndon-James will speak about the drug epidemic and incarceration.
Police Commissioner Chris Dawson is billed as the guest speaker who will give insight and his perspective on the issues the WA Police face on the front-line.
Mr Lyndon-James, who says he runs Australia’s strictest and most effective rehabilitation centre, was the 2018 WA Local Hero in the Australian of the Year awards.
In April 2017 Mr Lyndon-James first came to national attention in the Australian Story episode Breaking Good and later in the same year Shalom House won the charity section in the WA Telstra Business awards.
Shalom House operates facilities in the City of Swan and as an unregulated centre it is not subject to any government oversight but as that means it is not able to access government funding, donations and fundraising are two of the ways the charity funds its operations.
West Australian Shalom Group (Shalom House) is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and the Australian Taxation Office has given it DGR (deductible gift recipient) status.
But the men who take part in the program also pay for their rehabilitation.
According to the Shalom House website it costs $300 a week (plus $50 a week to cover spending expenses and social activities) to take part in the rehab program with an advance payment required as well as a 100-point identification payment.
If someone is receiving Centrelink payments a $700 advance payment is required.
A $1400 advance is required if someone wanting to attend has 100 points of identification or $2800 if they do not have 100 points of identification.
Some years ago Mr Lyndon-James also started a business called Shalom Works which does all types of building maintenance and construction.
On Facebook he has said 100 per cent of the income earned by Shalom Works went into running the Shalom House program.
Mr Lyndon-James has a lot of Facebook followers and supporters of his tough love and cold turkey approach.
“Our standard procedure is no medications at all, as drug addiction is often the main cause of most mental, emotional and physical issues,’’ he said.
“Stop the drug, deal with the issues.’’
But drug expert Director at 360Edge Professor Nicole Lee has concerns about his approach.
Dr Lee said if the reference to cold turkey was talking about unmedicated withdrawal, withdrawal without medical management was uncomfortable at best and could be fatal at worst.
“Withdrawal on its own, without further follow up, is not an effective long term solution to drug dependence,’’ she said.
“Without further treatment, the majority of people relapse soon after withdrawal.
“We know from research over the last 50 years that medication-assisted opioid treatment, including methadone and buprenorphine, is the most effective way to reduce use, harms and criminal activity, and improve health.’’
For some years Shalom House has also been fighting the City of Swan to gain retrospective approvals for its Swan Valley operations with a State Administrative Tribunal decision expected later this month.
In August last year, according to Landgate property sales reports and certificate of title records Shalom House bought a $1.35 million property at 1973 Great Northern Hwy, Bullsbrook and then in October Mr Lyndon-James and his wife paid $1m for a property only a few lots away.
Shalom House then put in a development application for a community purpose facility for 1973 Great Northern Hwy, including incidental operational and administrative functions, religious, social and recreational activities, café, part demolition works, buildings and works to construct new buildings-structures, car parking areas landscaping works and associated civil works.
On Monday, September 2 the City of Swan chief executive officer Mike Foley said that Shalom House had withdrawn its application.
“The city understands the applicant will submit another development application for the property,’’ he said.
The fundraiser is due to start at Sandalford Wines in Caversham at 7.15am.
Mr Lyndon-James and the Ride for a Rehab organisers were contacted for comment.
- Disclosure – As a former Swan Valley/Midland journalist Anita McInnes went to Shalom House in August 2015 to interview Mr Lyndon-James about the rehab centre’s program.
But when Mr Lyndon-James was asked why Shalom House left a house near Bandyup prison to set up in West Swan Mr Lyndon-James ended the interview.