An Edinburgh charity has launched an ambitious project to transform a property into a residential centre for people struggling with addiction.
Steps To Hope was launched a few years ago, with a mission to tackle homelessness and substance abuse.
Its new accommodation, Hope House in West Lothian, will be open to anyone across the UK who wants to recover from addiction and achieve complete sobriety.
Work is well underway to convert the ten-bedroom property into an HMO-compliant recovery centre, and a crowdfunder has been launched to meet the costs.
Local businesses have also been volunteering their time and expertise to help renovate the building.
Mel Murray, 32, struggled with heroin addiction for years. She said she was “existing, not living.”
But she graduated from the Steps to Hope programme last spring, and has since started a new job with the charity as a full-time recovery support worker.
She told STV News: “I would have absolutely loved to have recovered in a place like this, so this is definitely going to benefit the people that are reaching out to us, asking for help. It’ll be lifechanging for them.
“Working with people who’ve been through similar stuff, you can’t beat that.
“I love seeing people coming to the programme in the same kind of state that I was in, and then watch them get better, pick up their 30 days, their 60 days, their 90 days [sober badges], it’s incredible.”
Steps To Hope founder Richie Roncero said: “We want to get open as quickly as possible- but we want to make sure that this place is done correctly, that it’s compliant, that it’s regulated, it’s safe – so we’re trying to get it all done, but making sure we’re getting it right.”
Steps to Hope is aiming for the new centre to be accepting guests by the end of the year.