Last night, the Lighthouse Recovery Home hosted a fundraiser to raise money for the sober living home for women in Hammond, IN. It was an exciting evening full of laughter, hope, great food, enjoyable music, and opportunities to generate funds for this new facility. Like I said, it’s a sober living home for women and the first of it’s kind in Lake County, Indiana. The ladies, Beth and Leslie match one another in passion and commitment to combating addiction in this region. Beth is the co founder of Lighthouse and manages the homes in Lafayette, Indiana. Beth and Leslie opened Lighthouse Home with Leslie as the house director. The two together are a powerhouse for any woman afflicted with addiction seeking a sober living environment!
My sobriety date is June 19, 2000. I spent 18 days in rehab with nowhere sober to live. At the time, Northwest Indiana offered women like myself one home-the Women’s Recovery Home. In 2003, a second home opened for women seeking recovery-Alice’s House. Northwest Indiana had three homes for men seeking recovery-Moraine House, Dunes House, and Serenity Home-and have since opened another-Respite house-with a fifth on the way. The Women’s Recovery Home was a ranch house with seven bedrooms, four bathrooms, two refrigerators and one house phone (no cell phone rule). My roommate was someone who suffered with untreated schizophrenia and she had two years sober. She described her illness as hearing fifty voices screaming at her on a regular basis. In the home, fifty women moved in and out throughout my residency. Women who arrived from jail, rehab, and prison, ages ranged from 18 to 70 years old. Women from every socioeconomic background. Addiction definitely does not discriminate.
Initially, the shame I felt for living in this type of home was overwhelming. What the hell did I do to end up in this place? My life was completely torn apart by 23 years old. Father disowned me. Family was appalled by my actions. I looked around once things settled in with a thought that crossed my mind, “my life is so f…”. My alcoholism took me places I did not want to go-literally sold my soul for a drop of alcohol. I found myself visiting churches, seeking help with rent money, food and clothing banks to help with my basic needs. Fortunately, I found solace in having a sober place to sleep. Opportunities began to present themselves by doing putting sobriety first in my life. Employment covered rent and grants paid for my education. A woman contacted me with a scholarship opportunity for addicted women, paying my rent while in school. My father returned and finally found trust in me after five years of sobriety. The Women’s Recovery Home provided me the opportunity to create a new life to replace the old one.
The recovery community often says that “one is too many and a thousand is never enough.” So true. Looking back, the choice to move into this home was the best decision of my life. Truthfully, having a sober place to sleep is an opportunity many addicts cannot experience due to the high volume of suffering people. An article in the Chicago Times covered a story about a new halfway house for men in Valparaiso is needed as the Respite House has a waiting list of 70 men. Five halfway houses for men in Northwest Indiana with a need for more housing. Imagine what this could look like for the women in the region.
I am passionate about the Lighthouse Recovery Home for women. Passionate for women who seek a way out of their addiction would meet someone like Leslie McCormick in Hammond, Indiana. If you live in the region, please contact me to brainstorm to raise funding for the sober living home in Hammond, Indiana.