LSS Aspen Center
LSSWis - Lutheran Social Services (LSS) of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan

Lutheran Social Services of
Wisconsin and Upper Michigan



Aspen Center Ribbon Cutting Update

Like business and organizations everywhere, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan has been monitoring the fluid developments regarding the COVID-19 virus. Due to the growing concern regarding the COVID 19 virus, including a diagnosed case in Waukesha County, Lutheran Social Services has made the difficult decision to postpone the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Aspen Center, a comprehensive substance use treatment center, which was scheduled for Monday, March 16.

With calls to limit large-scale events and community gatherings, we feel called to stay true to our vision of creating healthy communities.

Please know that LSS Aspen Center will open as planned. We thank you for your continued interest and support.

The struggle with addiction crosses all sectors

For over a century, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (LSS)
has offered programming that compassionately removes barriers to recovery for those
struggling with addiction. LSS has provided successful addiction treatment throughout
the state for more than 40 years, and recently, identified a gap in affordable Medically
Monitored Treatment services for the community.

LSS Genesis House, based in Waukesha, only allows for Transitional Residential
Treatment (a halfway house level of care) with a capacity to support just twelve men
at a time. Other recovery care providers in Waukesha County are privately held, with
treatment costs ranging from $20,000 to $35,000 per month—far beyond the capability
of residents with low to moderate incomes.

Currently, all of the women referred for Medically Monitored Treatment are placed
outside of Waukesha County. This creates additional hardships including lost wages,
increased travel costs for family members wishing to be involved in the treatment
process, and childcare issues.

Current News

Cancelled: Ribbon Cutting - Mar. 16, 10 a.m.



How you can help

LSS seeks to raise $1.7 million necessary to renovate, update, and upgrade the future LSS Aspen Center. Significant contributions have been secured and pledged by government, foundation, corporate, individual and religious organizations. Approximately $500,000 is needed to open treatment services in spring of 2020. 

General Challenge Grant

The LSS Foundation has committed a Challenge Grant to ignite community involvement and close the $1.7 million campaign. Gifts and pledges received now wlil count towards the Challenge. We invite you to join in this effort because addiction recovery does not happen alone! 


Amazon Wish List 

You can help support the residents of Aspen Center and furnish their beautiful new kitchens!  Visit our Wish List!




LSS is responding to the opioid crisis. In collaboration with Waukesha County, LSS will provide comprehensive substance use treatment at a newly renovated residential care facility at 2000 West Bluemound Road. LSS Aspen Center will offer a wide range of psychosocial rehabilitation and therapeutic services focused on addiction treatment for men and women.

A six-year project in the making, LSS secured zoning in 2018 for a community-based residential facility (CBRF). This 23,000 square-foot facility will provide 22 separate beds for women and men with capacity to grow to 34 beds based on need. Approximately 125 individuals will be served annually.

LSS Aspen Center programming will model LSS Fahrman Center, our organization’s first 42-bed residential treatment facility located in Eau Claire, WI. Men and women will have separate living and dining areas, as well as separate entrances.

Treatment and non-clinical Resource spaces will include:

  • Individual and small/large group counseling spaces
  • Family gathering/counseling space to address the needs of the entire family 
  • Secure storage for medications to aid in recovery
  • Fitness and quiet rooms for physical and psychological needs
  • Outdoor walking path, seating and recreation area

Expanded treatment services that reflect current research techniques and best practices will include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy
  • Trauma Informed, Trauma Responsive Treatment
  • Social Learning Theory
  • Medically Monitored Treatment

Offering affordable CBRF-level services with Medically Monitored Treatment to women is a first for Waukesha. With LSS Aspen Center, women will be served in their own community, assuring that loved ones nearby can aid in recovery services and employment can be continued without interruption. LSS Aspen Center will also add to local treatment options for women living in southeastern Wisconsin who are waiting for clinical support and resources.

Project Activities and Updates

Ground Breaking Ceremony

Thank you to all who attended and helped make this event great!  Enjoy some pictures of this beautiful day.






Media links:


Groundbreaking Cleanup!

A big thank you to our Unity volunteers who worked hard with our LSS maintenance staff to get the property ready for our groundbreaking ceremony! 


A Recovery Story 

The day Brian showed up at Genesis House, he had lost everything. Brian, looking much older than his 26 years, was once a star athlete and on the honor roll. He described his life growing up as “normal,” financially secure, with parents and  siblings that supported him.

Brian’s story is just one among the thousands told every year within the drug and alcohol treatment programs offered through Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (LSS). In high school, Brian and his friends began drinking alcohol and at times smoking marijuana. This seemingly innocent beginning spiraled as he experimented with prescription pain pills, eventually leading him to try heroin. Brian’s addiction progressed quickly and he soon dropped out of college, overdosed twice, and lost his job, vehicle and home.

Genesis House is a 12-bed, transitional residential treatment facility in Waukesha, Wis. operated by LSS. It was there, the supportive therapists and counselors at Genesis House helped Brian realize this disease of addiction had taken root and he had to take responsibility for his recovery. At first Brian wasn’t sure of his therapist, Isaac, but now shares his gratitude for the therapy and guidance he received. “I came to love the guy because he always had my back.”

Brian also had the steadfast support of his family. His parents were consumed with worry and were dealing with their own guilt and feelings of helplessness. While Brian worked hard in treatment, and once again came to believe in himself and his ability to maintain recovery, his parents engaged in support groups for affected family members. They have learned how to detach from Brian’s addiction with healthy boundaries and love for their son.

When Brian looks back he never anticipated this would be his path. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would end up here. I used to look at people with addictions as losers and that they got what they had coming to them for even doing drugs in the first place.”

Brian is now two years clean and sober, continues to attend recovery support groups in the community and is regularly seen at Genesis House. He frequently drops in to say hello, and is a mentor to the current residents. He knows that any consumption of alcohol or other drugs will undoubtedly lead him back to his addiction.

Brian remembers something he heard in a support group that helped him understand the power of addiction, “While you are working hard at your recovery, your addiction is out there doing pushups in the parking lot.” In other words, “You’re never out of the woods with this thing. What we all have is a daily reprieve as long as we keep our heads in recovery. I wouldn’t trade what I have now for anything. My recovery is what has given me my family, my self-respect, and my life back. I don’t ever want to forget that.”


Drug overdoses killed more than 72,000 people in our country in 2017, more than any year on record.

In Wisconsin, drug overdose deaths have
increased 600% since 2000, with more than 900 deaths occurring from opioid overdoses in 2017—more than the number killed in car crashes.

Drug overdose deaths have
more than doubled in Waukesha County since 2001. In 2001 there were 29 drug overdose deaths, in 2016 there were 62 overdose deaths.

Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.

78 percent of individuals needing substance use treatment are not seeking or receiving it, totaling over 355,000 individuals statewide.

Modalities and Services

Treatment Modalities
• Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
• Motivational Enhancement Therapy
• Trauma informed, trauma responsive Treatment
• Social Learning Theory

• Individual counseling
• Family education and counseling
• Group therapy (approximately 20 hours per week) morning, afternoon, and evening
• Didactic groups
• Gender specific groups
• Co-occurring disorders group
• Recreational activities

Group Topics
• Recognizing addictive thinking/thought challenging and replacement thoughts
• Skill building for sober living
• Mental health and wellness
• Spirituality
• Recognition of triggers & cravings
• Management strategies for triggers and cravings
• Peers and family relationships
• Leisure and recreation
• Understanding effects of trauma & building management strategies
• Alcohol and other drug education
• Recovery and Recovery Maintenance

If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out. We have substance use treatment centers accross Wisconsin. 

6737 W. Washington Street
Suite 2275
West Allis, WI 53214

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© 2019 Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan