This may look like a home, but it's a respite for people suffering from mental illness & addiction

You can reach Parachute House 24/7 at (414) 877-5918
Posted at 5:17 AM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 07:31:41-05

MILWAUKEE -- Everything has been amplified through the pandemic, including our emotions.

A Milwaukee home named Parachute House is being used as a respite for those suffering from mental health or addiction issues.

What also makes this facility different is that the program is peer-run, by people who have walked in the same shoes.

Aracelis Ayala showed us around the room she made a home for the past week. It is hard to imagine just six days before, how low she felt, "Depression and anxiety. I don't have no friends, I don't really do anything."

The same for Rebecca Linemann who checked herself in the day before, "I have manic depressive disorder, PTSD and severe anxiety disorder."

The drug and alcohol-free environment is not meant to feel like a hospital but a home.

Ayala adds, "I feel like this place gave me a lift you know."

Lineman also added, "It feels like a vacation from all my stress from the outside world."

This is what Jennifer Zuelke and Charlie Hart set out to do each day at Parachute House, run by Our Space, Inc.

The house, partnered with Milwaukee County Behavioral Health to provide a respite for people experiencing emotional distress or are in a low-level crisis in need of support. They also share their own personal stories.

"I had a lot of trauma when I was a teenager," said Charlie Hart, "Which then resulted in me using substances to cope.

Zuelke said, "I'm in recovery from heroin."

These revelations often stun residents. They believe this is their secret weapon to breaking down barriers.

"And having that bond with those people that's completely judgment-free really helps," said Hart.

For 50-year-old Ayala, who was set to leave the next day, she said her life is back in order, "They helped me take care of my energy assistance and helped me with my appointments. I feel like I have a future."

You can reach Parachute House 24/7 at (414) 877-5918.

The facility can fit up to 5 people at a time and you can stay for up to one week. You must be 18+ years old and a Milwaukee County resident. Read more qualifications by clicking here.

There are also day programs that are run through Our Space. You can learn more by clicking here.

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