On May 17, Association House of Chicago celebrated another year of impacting our community with our annual Faces of Hope Benefit. More than 150 supporters helped to raise $210,000 to continue to transform the lives of participants. Guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner, and many opportunities to participate in new interactive fundraising games led by the lively Keith Jones, Sayre & Jones Auctioneers.

For many, the highlight of the evening was hearing a powerful testimonial from Tracy, an Association House participant who utilized our substance use services to continue her road to recovery from alcoholism.

Tracy’s struggles with alcohol began at an early age. Trauma during her childhood led Tracy to depression and alcohol. She first contemplated suicide at the age of 7.

“At that time, the only think I was worried about, was ‘would it hurt’,” Tracy recalled.

Alcoholism followed Tracy throughout her life. The turning point came a few years ago. After missing three days of work, her employer had police perform a wellness check because it was not the norm for her. Tracy was physically addicted to alcohol, critically depressed and considering suicide that day. She was figuring out a way that her son was not the person who found her. Before she was able to send him away police arrived at her home.

“At first I didn’t answer the door because I was really scared,” Tracy shared. “I’ve never had been arrested and all of a sudden there are four police officers in uniform at my door. Before I opened the door I explained to my son, this is it, we wouldn’t be together for a while.”

Tracy would soon let the officers in who comforted her and let her know they were not present to take her to jail, instead they were there to help and take her to a hospital for recovery. The journey for Tracy would take her from the emergency room to transferring to a recovery facility for mental health and alcoholism, where she lived for about a year.

Tracy was connected to Association House’s ACT program to help her transition to living independently upon discharge from the recovery facility. Through the program, she learned skills in cooking and computers to balancing a budget and create a structure for her continuing on a positive road.

“You’re scared and overwhelmed at first but the people of Association House provided positivity and encouragement,” Tracy said. “I really don’t feel like I got the help that I needed until I was assigned to Association House. That’s when I had the therapy and had the thought of this is what I want to get done with a timeline.”

Now Tracy is impacting others who come to Association House. Tracy wanted to give others the hope that it is possible to move on. She has transitioned to the CST program, which is less intensive than ACT. In addition, she visits recovery facilities to help others transition to independent living.

Tracy’s story is one of many that exemplifies efforts made possible by donors. The generosity of attendees and supporters throughout the year provides opportunities for individuals transform their lives and their communities.

Thank you to everyone who helped to make this evening a success – Cindy Ullrich, Special Events Committee Vice Chair and emcee, Helena Stangle who emceed alongside Cindy, the Special Events Committee, Board of Directors, Sponsors, and Attendees!

To see photos from the evening, click here.

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