[UPDATE 4/15/21]: Trey Anastasio and the Divided Sky Foundation (DSF) on Wednesday gave fans a closer look at the new substance use disorder treatment center they recently purchased in Ludlow, VT. The facility was funded largely by the charitable efforts of Anastasio and fans via his Beacon Jams virtual residency last year.
In a gallery of photos posted to social media, we see Trey and the treatment center’s future clinical director, Melanie Gulde, touring the facility. As the DSF notes in the post, “We would like to thank everyone for the continued support we’ve received as we work towards opening the facility, and especially would like to send our gratitude to all of our local supporters in Ludlow, VT.” Check out the photos below.
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[3/4/21] Trey Anastasio and the Divided Sky Foundation (DSF) have announced the recent purchase of a facility in Ludlow, VT to be developed as a non-profit substance use disorder (SUD) treatment center. The foundation, launched last year as the beneficiary for the Phish guitarist’s Beacon Jams, is dedicated to delivering “quality care and compassionate treatment to those affected by alcoholism and addiction.”
The still-unnamed treatment center will be managed by Ascension Recovery Services, which has created successful, inclusive treatment programs in 23 states. The purchase of the facility site marks a momentous first step in a plan that also includes building renovations and program development ahead of a tentative opening date at the end of this year.
As fans well know, the purchase of the facility was made possible in part by funds raised from The Beacon Jams, Anastasio’s eight-week run of livestream shows from an empty Beacon Theatre in NYC in the fall of 2020. The eight-part live performance series, streamed for free via Twitch, encouraged donations toward DSF’s treatment center plans throughout the run. By the end of the engagement, Anastasio and DSF had raised over $1.2 million for the cause.
“Substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life,” Anastasio said in a statement, “and the problem is intimately linked with isolation – whether that’s isolation due to the pandemic or for any other reason. The Beacon Jams helped us find a way to connect people and get this project off the ground. To be able to do that together during this difficult year touches my heart.”
The virtual run proved another example of Anastasio’s affirmed commitment to bringing the Phish fan community together during these extraordinary times, from his solo performances on Instagram in the early days of lockdown to Phish’s ongoing Dinner and a Movie live archival video series. That series has raised over $750,000 for Phish’s Waterwheel Foundation, which was distributed funds to more than two-dozen organizations working on issues such as hunger, health, the environment, and social justice.
Anastasio, himself 14 years sober, launched the Divided Sky Foundation to deliver help to those affected by substance use. Vermont, his adopted home state, seemed a natural place to begin this chapter of giving back.
Throughout the unprecedented virtual run, Anastasio interacted frequently with the viewers tuning in via Twitch. The topic matter often moved into serious territory as Trey offered empathy to those struggling with addiction and candidly reflected on his own personal struggles.
“Like so many people in America and so many in Vermont, I became addicted to opiates,” Anastasio said. “I was extremely lucky to have access to care, and I know how important it is to be part of a recovery community. I’m grateful that we can help provide that opportunity for others.”
Vermont currently ranks 11th in the nation for overdose rates but only has four state-certified residential treatment facilities for substance use disorder. The proposed center in Ludlow would help bridge the gap between need and existing services. Care services being planned include multiple pathways to entering and maintaining recovery, with plans and programs tailored to individual guests’ needs. In addition, the center plans to offer job training and workforce reintegration. Education opportunities are planned to prepare guests who need them with certification in skills and trades.
“None of this would be possible without the hard work and generosity of so many people,” Anastasio added. “I want to personally thank Madison Square Garden Entertainment for hosting the shows at the Beacon Theatre, and Twitch for sending The Beacon Jams out across the world. I also want to personally thank all the people who supported the Divided Sky Foundation so generously, and the fans who contributed everything from donations to well wishes. It means so much to me, and it’s going to mean so much to the families that will benefit from this treatment center.”
If you or someone you know needs help for a substance use disorder, contact SAMHSA.gov or call 800-662-HELP (4357) to find a treatment center near you.
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