The Order of St. Lazarus in Sweden has for several years supported the Fountain House Foundation, an organization which helps individuals suffering from mental illness.

The core concept of the Fountain House Foundation is to identify and improve the mentally sound qualities of individuals suffering from mental illness and try to heal them through work in the community. The members participate voluntarily in the activities of the foundation and contribute according to their own ability. The aim is to break their social isolation, structure their daily lives, provide them with the opportunity to work with meaningful tasks; important aspects which ultimately make the members part of the community and strengthen their self-esteem. All kinds of tasks are included in the daily operations of the Fountain House Foundation and they are carried out by the members themselves. These are chores such as cooking, cleaning and running the reception etc. Membership of the foundation is voluntary and free.

The first Fountain House was founded in 1948 in New York City by a group of former mental patients. The ambition was to create an alternative to traditional psychiatric care and focus on the healthy qualities of the members of the foundation. The initiative to open a Fountain House in Sweden came from Lis Asklund, who managed to obtain funds to open a comparable organisation in Stockholm in 1980. Today there are 13 Fountain Houses in Sweden and over 300 in the world.

One person who has paid special attention to the work of the Fountain House is our brother Andreas Eraybar, who in recent years has succeeded in collecting more than 800,000 Swedish krona (approximately 80,000 Euros) on behalf of the Fountain House in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The organisation has approximately 1,000 members in Gothenburg. The collected donations support some of the most vulnerable in the city, namely the homeless and those who are risking homelessness. The foundation runs a project called “Keep your home” whose purpose is to prevent evictions and find accommodation for this specific group. This project prevents no less than seven evictions every month. In 2019 the project helped 48 families to keep their homes.

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