Lutheran Services Carolinas (LSC) is pleased to announce it has expanded recovery services with the opening of WeCo Cottage, a collegiate recovery house in West Columbia, South Carolina. It is the first and only collegiate recovery house in South Carolina.
LSC invited the community to celebrate WeCo Cottage with an open house and dedication on Thursday, Aug. 11.
“I think we are going to change a lot of lives in this space,” Aimee Hourigan, director of the Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Office at the University of South Carolina, told the crowd at the open house. She added that students in recovery have always needed a space to feel like they are part of the community, and now they have one.
“In 2016 when I started, people whispered about recovery on campus, and now we are celebrating it,” Hourigan said. “I think when we look back on 2022, we are going to talk about how we finally got to this place where we realized that vision of a community that was oriented to support people in recovery across the spectrum.”
The concept of WeCo Cottage began when LSC teammates and Gamecock Recovery staff started a discussion on the need for safe, supportive recovery housing for college students. The development of WeCo Cottage continued through the collaborative efforts of LSC, Gamecock Recovery, Columbia College, and The Courage Center.
Gamecock Recovery is a safe space, a bridge to resources, and a supportive community for students in recovery at the University of South Carolina. The Courage Center works to advance and broaden access to substance use disorder recovery and community in Lexington, South Carolina.
“We are excited to partner with Lutheran Services Carolinas because this is needed. Those in recovery need to find a place where they feel like they are part of the community,” Randy Rush, executive director of The Courage Center, said at the open house. “In recovery, to move it forward, we all need to be in this together.”
WeCo Cottage and its house manager will encourage students to build a community that supports them on their recovery journey. It will also provide them with opportunities to make new friends and allies who have similar lived experiences as they pursue a life in recovery amidst the temptations of college life.
In addition to residential services, the cottage has a large indoor community room and an expansive outdoor area with ample parking. These areas will be used for intercollegiate recovery meetings, as well as substance-free gatherings and recreational events.
LSC is qualified to operate this new program due to its experience operating Kinard Manor, a certified recovery residence in Greenwood, South Carolina, and its many years of operating supportive residential services for adults with intellectual disabilities.
“LSC’s new recovery residence provides a safe space for students to balance the demands of academics and recovery,” LSC President and CEO Ted Goins said. “This is truly a one-of-a-kind project, and we can’t thank our partners enough for making the vision a reality.”
For more information about WeCo Cottage or to complete a residency application form, visit https://lscarolinas.net/weco-cottage/