| Dec 16, 2013 |
L.A. designers transform "Freehab" treatment center
By Staff

Los Angeles-based interior designers have joined forces with Freehab and The Teen Project in their efforts to resurrect the former People in Progress treatment center, which after 40 years of servicing the most vulnerable homeless alcoholics and addicts living on the streets of Los Angeles, closed due to loss of state funding.

Russell Brand, actor and comedian, and Bill Johnson, partner of Demarest Films, are set to reopen People in Progress as “Freehab,” and designers are taking the reigns to get the approximately 40 bedrooms, 15 facility rooms, 11 restrooms and one kitchen ready for its December 22 opening day.

City of Los Angeles grants funds to Freehab

“Freehab—as the name suggests—will be a free, residential, 12-step drug and alcohol rehabilitation center for those who need it most: the homeless, socially ignored and addicted," said Brand, who with Lauri Burns, founder of The Teen Project charity, launched Freehab.

Each space in the facility will be decorated and furnished with products, materials and design services provided through private and corporate donations. Participating designers include Kristi Nelson, Patrick Dragonette, Peggy Platner, Lori Dennis, Tim Corrigan, Mary McDonald and Bonesteel Trout Hall.

To date, Apt2B, Land of Nod, Allen Dallatorre, Typhanie Peterson fabrics, Design Public, A Good Night's Sleep, Grace Home, Ferm Living and Given Campbell Wallpaper have all donated products to the cause.

Vanessa Da Vargas and Vanessa Kogevinas

The renovation and redesign of the rehab center is being produced and managed by Burns along with Vanessa De Vargas and Vanessa Kogevinas of Vanessa Squared Productions—who have worked on numerous design charity projects including the PATH Charity and the Good Shepherd Charity Design Project.

"By enlisting the generous support from designers, manufacturers and service providers, the design community hopes to make a tangible and transformative difference for addicts in need,” said De Vargas. “We are very honored for this opportunity and are grateful to be able to work together to significantly change countless lives,” added Kogevinas.

The project will be unveiled at the Freehab inaugural opening fundraising event and walk-through on December 22, and will then take approximately 110 needing and deserving people off the streets in time for the holidays.

To open on time, Freehab is in need of donations including dressers, art, sofas, coffee tables, desks and office equipment, desk chairs, living room furniture, rugs, bunk beds, lamps, frames, mirrors and twin size sheets. To donate, contact Vanessa Kogevinas, or click here to make a monetary donation, or here to purchase items from the Target gift registry.

Freehab will be funded by private donations, corporate sponsorship and funds raised from Hollywood celebrities.

Photo Credit: Gregory Cannon

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