There’s no peace but there is plenty of progress

November 01, 2017

SHALOM House and Lyndon-James only deal with men.

Who when they first arrive are treated as little boys – at the door they check in their phone and their freedom and their attitude.

There are no frills, no TV, no reading, no writing.

And no drugs, no substitutes, no placebos, no alcohol.

All who enter here have come to be changed, not mollycoddled.

The ‘inmates’ work 9-5 on Lyndon-James’ 5ha Henley Brook property and pay $300 a week for the privilege.

As their rehab – and reliability – progresses they start getting a 21st century ticket-of-leave.

To do things such as voluntary work for local charities and eventually part time and fulltime employment.

But only in approved locations.

Many have not worked for years and Lyndon-James believes it means their bodies both detoxify and get used to full-time activity.

“This has got to be the strictest rehab in Australia, that’s how it succeeds,” Lyndon-James declared.

He works intensively with new residents, identifying past failures and future goals with the help of an individualized, colour-coded mind-map. You start at black and are close to release when you reach pink.

Lyndon-James plumbs forgotten ambitions and dreams and looks for realities to help fulfil them.

On a good day this slave driver comes across as friendly and you can never doubt his single-minded determination to deliver.

But don’t ever cross him.

Most Shalom House wannabes fail at the first phone call with him.

“Most people, I just put them off the first day. I always tell them unless their son, or husband or brother is making the call I’m not interested.

“They come to me saying their parents, wives, girlfriends, families won’t have them back unless they get clean.

“I tell them to get lost; I’m not wasting my time.”

And that’s the very essence of Shalom’s success.

Lyndon-James knows once you are an addict it’s not until you hit rock bottom that the only way is up.

“It’s not me who will change them, the only way it can really be done is if they want to change themselves.

“To do that they have to be solely accountable for every decision they make.

“To understand every decision has a consequence; causes collateral damage – that’s how you really learn, not by having someone run around in front of you, and behind you, fixing the mess.”

Neither Shalom House nor its founder have any income. It remains a self-funded, not for profit, and that’s exactly the way Lyndon-James likes it.

Because that way he makes the rules and that way he delivers the program he knows can change lives.

Not just one life, but the life of everyone connected with the lost souls who pitch up at his front door.

More in Riverine Herald
Login Sign Up

Dummy text