LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- One year ago this week, the Coulee Council on Addictions moved into their new facility the Coulee Recovery Center.
"We spent so many years in preparation for opening day and then we look back and those years seemed like years. This year, since we opened up, seems more like about a month," said Coulee Council on Addictions Board President Tom Thompson.
Thanks to a partnership with Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare, the Coulee Recovery Center was able to build a new 13,000 square foot building right next to the campus of Mayo.
"The Coulee Recovery Center offers services for people in recovery and we know that they are changing lives and saving lives as a result. And we're proud of that relationship, we want to continue to support it as healthcare providers. But we can't do it alone," said Mayo Clinic Health System Southwest Wisconsin Vice President Dr. Paul Mueller.
The building features multiple meeting rooms, meditation rooms, craft areas, and plenty of places to hang out.
Staff at the Coulee Recovery Center say over the past year they have noticed a lot of changes, but perhaps the most significant is how many people are using the new facility.
"In our drop-in center, which is probably the busiest room in the building, it went from about 368 I think was the average number of visits in a month, to more than 600. So it almost doubled," said Coulee Council on Addictions Executive Director Cheryl Hancock.
It's a new building, but an old mission for the Coulee Council on Addictions.
To provide support and help for people struggling with substance abuse.
"Once those people have found long-term recovery they can again become productive parts of the community. They will re-enter the workforce, they will have a much better credit rating than they maybe did before because they're paying their bills," said Hancock.
With one year down, Hancock says they are looking to potentially expand programming at the Coulee Recovery Center to include veterans, youth, and families for years to come.