Businesswoman Kate Stewart launches supported living venture Vitality Homes as she aims to help people affected by drug addiction.
Miss Stewart says she has witnessed drug and alcohol addiction ravage lives of those close to her and now wants to do something about it.
Liverpool businesswoman Kate Stewart, who left school as a single mother without any qualifications, is turning her back on the string of beauty salons and property portfolio that made her a millionaire to focus on helping people affected by substance misuse.
Miss Stewart, who made her first million aged 23 and who once owned Liverpool’s Heritage Market, has announced that she has appointed a team of medical professionals and social workers to help run her new company Vitality Homes which will help integrate those previously addicted to drugs and alcohol back into society.
Vitality Homes, Miss Stewart’s new company, will provide accommodation and 24 hour support for people who have overcome addiction and have been drug and alcohol-free for a minimum of 26 weeks, who are now readying themselves to reintegrate into society through supported living.
There is limited provision for individuals in Liverpool who have completed the 20 week rehabilitation programme offered by organisations like Transforming Choices, Tom Harrison House and others. The demand for such support has seen Miss Stewart identify a number of sites across the city where she is intending to roll out the service.
Kate Stewart said: “People close to me have been affected by substance misuse and I’ve seen it destroy lives, but with the right support people can turn their lives around and there are many wonderful organisations in Liverpool helping people to do that.
“The big problem is where people go after they’ve been treated for their addictions and where they turn when they want to get their lives back on track. There is a chronic shortage of supported living in Liverpool and that is why I’m launching Vitality Homes so that we can provide real care and support for people as they prepare to return to living a better life free of drugs and alcohol.
“Vitality Homes is all about giving people the tools to get their lives back on track. It’s absolutely essential that they really want to get help because there is a strict policy for those wanting to become a resident here. Candidates will sit before a panel of medical experts where they’ll be interviewed. If they’re successful, they’ll sign a licence agreement and become a resident where there will be regular alcohol and drug tests.
“We’re providing a home, educational and training workshops as well as essential counselling and medical support. If a resident breaks the licence agreement, they’ll be removed from the programme immediately.
“This is something I care passionately about. I’ve put a strong team together and we really want to make a difference.”