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Maitri Path to Wellness

"We need facilities like this.”

- Peru Mayor Ken Kolowski

Peru Mayor Ken Kolowski said countless lives could be saved with the establishment of Maitri Path to Wellness, a residential drug addiction and mental illness recovery center.

Kolowski spoke at Maitri’s groundbreaking ceremony Friday. He said the importance of having Maitri open in Peru was immeasurable.

“If not here, where?” Kolowski said at Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony. “If not us, then who?”

Maitri Path to Wellness will be a residential halfway house within the La Salle County area that will offer support services for people with drug addictions reentering the community after incarceration, as well as those who were previously at an inpatient addiction recovery facility.

Maitri Path to Wellness acquired the building located at 710 Peoria St. in Peru.

“You can’t just look the other way,” he said. “When there are problems in our society you’ve got to help, and when this project came to our attention, I got 100% behind it because we need facilities like this.”

Brian Barrett, senior project manager for Bear Construction, said the project could be completed by the end of December, with hopes of Maitri being moved in by January.

“We have been working on this project since October,” he said. “We’ve had some challenges, but we’re on track.”

Once renovated and rehabbed, the center aims to provide 24 beds for men and women recovering from addiction.

Residing at the center is intended to be temporary, and the support services will help patients find permanent housing and continue to stay sober.

Peru Mayor Ken Kolowski spoke at the Maitri Path to Wellness groundbreaking ceremony on Friday. He said “countless lives could be saved” and the importance of having an establishment of residential substance use and co-occurring disorder recovery in Peru was “unmeasurable. (Maribeth Wilson)

Bill Zens, executive director at Illinois Valley Area Chamber of Commerce and economic development director, said there has been an epidemic with drug overdoses in the area for some time, and Maitri presents a new solution.

“There was the program through the hospital, an inpatient program years ago,” Zens said. “And when that went away, there hasn’t been an inpatient offering since. So, it’s time.”

Maitri partnered with the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation as a fiscal agent, obtaining two grants through the Illinois Housing Development Authority under its Housing for Justice-Involved Individuals Program.

Owner Kelly Jones said the Peru facility will allow men and women to build their lives right where they want to live and be supported in the process.

“It was really important to me that this community gets the help that it needs,” Jones said, “instead of putting Band-Aids on.”

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