CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA)– Several people including First Lady MK Pritzker, neighbors, and community activists were there. The women who live there say this home is giving them the help they need.
Women driven to overcome their pasts now call this house their home. This is a safe house for ladies overcoming trauma like addiction or prison time. Up to seven women can live here and the first moved in this Summer. It’s thanks to a group called Win Recovery.
“We provide programs and peer facilitated groups on trauma, codependency and parenting, and so we give them the tools to not only to reacclimate but integrate back into the community,” said Executive Director of WIN Recovery, Bethany Britton Little. People from the community showed up to support the work being done and the women who live here, like Dana Mcmahon. She started using drugs when she was about 12 years old and spent time in prison. “People think you get out and you get a fresh start and this and that and you get out. I was hopeful. I was gung-ho and thinking I was going to do this and I was going to do that, but it wasn’t like that at all,” said Dana McMahon. “There’s not much support from the community. It’s hard to get jobs. It’s hard to get housing when you got felonies,” said Mcmahon.
Jaclyn Stucker also struggled with addiction and knows what’s it’s like to lose hope. “There was no place that was safe. You wind up back in the streets doing the same thing and wind up landing back in prison,” said Jaclyn Stucker. This program is designed to change that. The ladies who stay here get help with things like money management, networking for jobs, and furthering education, all to help get them prepared to contribute back to their community and create a better future. “An opportunity to move on and be able to get my life together and be successful,” said Stucker. “Helping lift people up, pull people up. You’ve got a greater chance of making it,” said Mcmahon. WIN recovery hopes to open another home later this year.