The social services cooperative Società Cooperativa Sociale Comunità di Venezia S.C.S. was founded on the Island of Lido in 1988 under the name of Villa Renata, with the remit of managing the therapy community of Lido “Villa Renata”, which had been founded in 1984 to address the emerging problem of drug addiction in Venice.
In 1994, the co-operative launched, and began managing, the “Aurora Project”, which later became the “Casa Aurora” C1-type residential therapy community for hosting and treating drug-addicted mothers with children. In 2005, the Cooperative took over the management of “Villa Emma”, a mother-children therapy community in Mestre that was accredited in 2010 as a Protected Therapeutic Community (CTRP) for mental health.
Over the past 2 decades, alongside rehabilitation and reintegration projects for former drug addicts, the Cooperative has managed (or co-managed) numerous projects at regional and European levels in collaboration with numerous research institutes and non-governmental organisations (IREFREA – Institute of European Research on the Risk Factors in Childhood and Adolescence); FESU – European Forum for Urban Safety; Euro-TC – European Treatment Centres; Pompidou Group – Council of Europe etc.).
From 1996 to 2000, Villa Renata collaborated with a research group of the European Federation of Drug Addiction Professionals, ERIT, on a research project funded by the European Commission’s Directorate for Health and Consumer Protection, aimed at assessing the quality of therapy communities in Europe.
From 1998 to 2009, with its president Dott. Paolo Stocco, Villa Renata chaired the European Federation of Therapeutic Communities “EURO-TC – European Treatment Centres for Drug Addiction”, coordinating research on quality in treatment programmes and customer satisfaction evaluation.
In 2001, the cooperative actively cooperated in a research study commissioned by the Italian Ministry of Health and coordinated by the Parsec association, Rome, to assess treatment and rehabilitation programmes for women with children to define national guidelines for treating this specific target.
From 2003 to 2007 Villa Renata coordinated the first phase of a regional project called PROVAID (Veneto project of integrated assistance for drug addicted women with children) for the drafting of Regional Guidelines for Integrated Assistance to women with substance abuse problems, published and disseminated in the region. In 2006 – 2007, the second phase of the PROVAID project was implemented, aimed at disseminating the Guidelines produced in 2005 among the Regional Dependency Services and aimed at improving the phase of the socio-occupational reintegration of women at the end of the community care pathway.
In 2005, the cooperative took part in a European network set up to implement the project for the prevention of risky road behaviour by young people, called “Peer Drive Clean!”. The project was carried out in the period 2006-2008 in 10 European countries at the same time. In Italy’s Veneto region, it was co-financed by the Region’s Mobility and Infrastructure Department, and sponsored by the state Police, the road Police section of Mestre-Venice. The project was carried out in all the provinces of Veneto and involved over 1,000 young people, and over 40 driving schools as active partners in all activities.
In spring 2013, with nearly thirty years of work in the field of addiction, the cooperative changed its name to “Comunità di Venezia Società Cooperativa Sociale” with notarial deed of 04/04/2013. This change was brought about by the need to renew its image, and marked the start of a new chapter in its communication, which aimed at more effectively presenting all its assistance services for mother-child families (the therapy communities of Casa Aurora and Villa Emma), and at young people and adults of both sexes (the therapy community of Villa Renata on Lido island). The change concerned the company name, the adoption of a new logo, and the change of email addresses, while the organisation, President, offices, professional teams, administration, VAT number and telephone numbers all remained unchanged.