Dear Mary

Dear Mary,
Thank you very much for your mail. It is very interesting and important for all of us to know your opinion on the study visit.

I would like to explain that Polish approach to homeless people addicted to alcohol is quite diverse. Actually there is a lot of support options for those who refuse treatment.
I need to highlight that during communist time Poland had one of the highest rates of alcohol consumption per person in the world. In 1975 Tomasz Sadowski, who founded Barka Foundation, was among those who began the process of creating in Poland a new culture of sobriety. It was a time when there were created different kinds of therapy (funded both by public and private sources), support groups and associations, AA groups and others. As a consequence there has been a significant number of recovered people, who are able to help others towards recovery. These groups are very active and effective among those who drink and do a great job in motivating them to stop drinking. However there is still a number of people who need support and we have been assisting those through social economy projects.

It is said that besides the US, Poland is one of the countries which have a very well developed system of rehabilitation and the culture of sobriety.

It is interesting to note that AA groups have been considered one of the greatest discoveries of the XX century.

For those who have not yet decided to enter therapy, Barka creates community-based support groups (they start to realise that they have an addiction problem and receive a deep support and encouragement to enter therapy. The support continues after therapy as well). The support is operated mainly by Barka leaders (recovering alcoholics) who have been sober for at least a few years.

Barka does not run therapy as there is a lot of rehabilitation centers in Poland. We help destitutes, who have no contact with family, nor access to work places. We help them develop their potential through social economy.

Kind regards

Barka IE