Client Voices in Color: How Gala Artwork Keeps Our Mission Alive

When planning a fundraising event like a Gala, there are a lot of moving parts to ensure the success of the event. No detail can be forgotten in the process, including framing the event around an organization’s mission. Every year, our event committee makes it their goal to keep our fundraising event focused on the individuals that are affected by substance use disorder the most – our patients.

For over five years, Tanya Davis, a Haymarket Center Board Member and our Event Committee Chair, has organized a patient art project that we incorporate into our fundraising event with the help of volunteer artist Kriste Sveen of Inspired Creations. “We wanted to make sure that the event is focused on the voice of our clients,” Tanya says, “Fundraisers are so much more than a night out. These art projects give humanity a face.” Kriste and Tanya agree that our event committee members have a heart for people, and the committee is honored to give back to the patients using art.

An example of Neurographic art

This year’s project will feature patient Neurographic drawings, a method of illustration that puts the creator in touch with their emotions through a physical manifestation on the page. Through channeling their emotions, the creator takes three to four seconds to move their marker whichever way comes to mind. Then, when the page is filled with various shapes and lines, the patient carefully rounds out the edges. The process is meant to help the creator let go of negative emotions as they pass through the lines.

“It’s a privilege to bring art to different communities like Haymarket Center,” Kriste said, “Patients can use the medium as a form of self-expression and tap into a place that words cannot convey.” “The stigma surrounding substance use disorders often makes people forget that patients have an actual story,” Tanya adds, “The art serves a greater purpose that allows a patient presence that would not otherwise be at the event.” Patient artwork will be featured on each table at this year’s Gala as part of the main centerpiece, along with descriptions of the pieces from each artist.

You can check out the artwork created by patients at our 2022 Haymarket Gala, virtually or in person on April 9th at the Advocate Center in Chicago. Your support through your ticket purchase increases access to substance use disorder services at Haymarket Center. Get your tickets here.

The Latest Update on Haymarket DuPage – December 3rd

Last week, Itasca Mayor Jeff Pruyn released a statement to residents announcing that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating the Village of Itasca for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) related to the zoning application for Haymarket DuPage.

U.S. Attorney John Lausch notified the Village of its probe in a letter dated Nov. 24, 2021, in which he stated, “the ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities, including individuals with substance use disorder.” The Village released the U.S. Attorney’s letter with its statement yesterday.

In the letter, the DOJ requested information specific to the Village’s handling of our zoning application, the hearing process and requirements, and communication between the Village, its experts, consultants and other taxing bodies. The DOJ also requested information about how other nonprofit or business applications for special use permits have been handled since 2005, as well as documentation for how the Fire Protection District and School District have participated in other matters.

The Village has 30 days to respond.

We welcome this investigation. You can read more about it in the Chicago Tribune and Daily Herald, or hear about it on WBBM-780.

Thank you for your ongoing support in our effort to expand access to life-saving treatment for people with substance use disorders.

FEC Kitchen Home to Haymarket Meals, New Career Opportunities

One year ago, Haymarket Center opened a fully operational kitchen where over 900 meals and snacks per day are prepared for our residential patients. Clients in our Ann F. Baum Family Enrichment Center (FEC) programming can now work in the kitchen and gain job experience while earning sanitation and food handling certifications. Aramark, the company we partner with to provide food services at our facility, launched IN2WORK Food Service Training at Haymarket this year.

The training is 22 hours a week and is set to last 6 weeks, at no cost to program participants. Participants will be training in Kitchen Basics and will have the ability to obtain their Serv Safe Manager’s Certification. Just one year into this program, we have seen the IN2WORK program give several patients the confidence, accountability, and team-building skills that they need to kickstart their career in the food industry.

“Here at Aramark, we believe that second chance employment is the right thing to do,” states Trace Ludewig, Field Support Staff for IN2WORK at Aramark, “We want to hire the best candidates for each position, no matter what background they may have. Our unspoken motto is to educate, engage, and employ.” The IN2WORK program humanizes justice-involved individuals as well as those struggling with substance use disorder while reducing the stigma around these issues, creating a path for program participants to find work at Aramark or other fair-chance employers.

Upon completion of this program, participants will have the opportunity to apply for employment within the Aramark organization or one of our other employment partners. These certifications open new doors for patients searching for employment during their recovery, and our staff at FEC provide support every step of the way, including resume development and teaching computer basics to aid patients in completing online job applications.

Finding employment during recovery from a substance use disorder can be a difficult process, especially after justice system involvement. Some may finish their treatment and not know where to start when it comes to the next steps of their career. At Haymarket Center, our goal is not only to provide treatment services, but also to aid our patients throughout the many aspects of recovery as they reintegrate into the community, including the job market.

Our employment and training program through the FEC provides services to individuals with employment barriers and who also require assistance with launching a career or returning to the workforce as tax-paying citizens. While Haymarket partners with companies and other agencies in surrounding areas to find employment opportunities for patients, some of those opportunities are even closer to home.

Job training is just one of the ways Haymarket Center helps to address the social determinants of health for the people we serve. Learn more about our recovery support services here.

Haymarket Receives Re-Accreditation from CARF

As of November 2021, Haymarket Center has been renewed as a CARF-accredited treatment facility for three years, for the 8th consecutive time. This accreditation applies to our Residential and Outpatient Treatment services, as well as our Prevention programs and our governance.

CARF, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services. Through accreditation, CARF assists service providers in improving the quality of their services, demonstrating value, and meeting internationally recognized organizational and program standards.

CARF assesses each organization for this accreditation, which includes an on-site visit, and during a time of COVID-19, a series of virtual interviews as part of its survey. During our 2021 survey, CARF found that Haymarket Center had over 100 areas of strength, which is well above average for treatment facilities.

We would like to thank all the members of the staff and Board of Directors involved in this process for helping us achieve this monumental accomplishment. Our CARF Accreditation is an indication of our commitment and dedication to improving the lives of the people we serve at Haymarket.

We are so proud to serve our community with our mission to provide the most comprehensive care, with access 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, regardless of ability to pay. With this new accreditation, we will continue that mission as the provider of choice in the greater Chicago area.

Reviewing a Year of Community with Gratitude

Over this past year, Haymarket Center has been fortunate to collaborate with so many of our partners to bring joy to the lives of our patients. Whether it’s fostering creativity, mouthwatering meals, or providing self-care essentials, we are so grateful to our community for enriching our patients’ lives. Here are some highlights of our organizational partners from the past few months:

Nobu Hotel Chicago
Our neighbors at Nobu Hotel Chicago organized an art supplies drive and dropped off materials for patients who participate in our Art Therapy program. This thoughtful donation helps our patients explore their creativity during their recovery through Art Therapy.

Sisters in Sobriety Transformed Anointed & Healed (SISTAH)
SISTAHs partners with us often to provide support for our patients, including many supplies drives that benefit both our patients and their families. This year, SISTAHs collected backpacks of school supplies for children of patients to kick off the new school year. SISTAHs also held a Mother’s Day event, delivering 60 purses filled with beauty and hygiene products to our patients in Women’s Integrated Treatment. Learn more about their organization here.

FT Cares
FT Cares Foundation began in 2006 as First Trust Cares, an initiative created as a way for the employees of First Trust Portfolios and its affiliates to give back to their communities. In honor of National Recovery Month this year, FT Cares employees held a drive to collect personal care items for the patients of Haymarket Center. Learn more about FT Cares by visiting their website here.

On behalf of all of us at Haymarket Center, we would like to thank these organizations, and the many others we have worked with over the years. If you or someone you know are interested in volunteering with Haymarket Center or donating in-kind gifts, please contact Sarah English, Vice President of Development, at or call (312) 226-7984 ext. 485.

Four-Legged Friends Provide Support During Recovery

Emotional support is essential for individuals struggling with mental health issues, especially for those in recovery. Our team at Haymarket Center works to ensure that all patients feel supported through our residential and outpatient programs. In addition to the services we provide at Haymarket, our partnerships with community organizations add enrichment to the lives of patients, especially when that enrichment comes in the form of friendly, furry faces.

Canine Therapy Corps regularly visits Haymarket and works with patients from our Men’s and Women’s Integrated Treatment programs to provide dog therapy services. Through a six-week curriculum, patients work with the dogs on progressively advanced obedience and agility, culminating in a graduation where each participant demonstrates proficiency in dog handling.

Through this training, clients develop their communication skills, anger management, self-esteem, and self-awareness with the help of their four-legged counterparts. While these build on the skills of our patients, time with these therapy dogs adds a sense of comfort to those in treatment.

Canine Therapy Corps volunteers and our patients celebrate the conclusion of the training period with a graduation ceremony, where patients can take a photo with the volunteer dog they have worked with over the six-week period.

We are so grateful to Canine Therapy Corps volunteers for the joy they bring to both patients and staff at Haymarket Center with each visit. You can learn more about Canine Therapy Corps by visiting their website here.

Ways to Support Haymarket this Giving Tuesday

Since 2012, Giving Tuesday has evolved into an international awareness day, encouraging people to give to their favorite nonprofit organizations during the holiday season. 

Here are some ways you can support Haymarket Center this year:

This year, you can help us celebrate with our patients by making a gift to Haymarket, or by making a purchase off of our Amazon WishlistIt’s as easy as adding a few items to your cart while you do your holiday shopping! Each item purchased by our supporters will brighten the lives of our patients as they go through their recovery journey.

With you, we can save lives. Your donation will help the more than 12,000 men and women who come to change their lives, reunite with their families, and make our communities stronger and safer. Visit our donation form to make your gift today.

Looking for more ways you can support Haymarket in addition to making a gift? Be sure to check out our Fundraising Toolkit where you can find the different opportunities for sharing your support of Haymarket Center.

Haymarket prides itself on supporting the vulnerable and the marginalized. 

• 68% of Haymarket clients have a history of mental illness
• 74% have a history of homelessness
• 95% have incomes below the poverty line

Learn more about the impact of your gift here.

At Haymarket Center, we are so grateful to our supporters for helping us aid people with substance use disorders in their recovery by providing comprehensive behavioral health solutions.

Dominick’s Amazing Journey to Recovery

Ten years.

That’s how long it had been since Dominick had used drugs. But this summer, he resumed use after a decade of sobriety.

Upon release from an eight-year prison sentence, Dominick returned to his Rockford, Illinois, home in early 2020, just as COVID-19 hit. For Dominick, as for all of us, navigating through a pandemic brought unprecedented challenges.

But Dominick also faced the complexities of adjusting to life post-incarceration, all while maintaining his recovery. He found himself at home around the clock, helping his two young daughters manage remote learning. He lost several relatives to the coronavirus. More than a year into the pandemic, and with depression taking hold, he experienced a relapse of his substance use disorder for six days while visiting Chicago.

He knew he would not make it out on the streets.

Dominick asked his father to rush him to Haymarket Center—the only place he knew might be able to help. And from the moment he walked in the door on July 1, Dominick realized that Haymarket Center would provide all he needed and more.

“You’d never know this much life-saving was going on,” he said of the comprehensive treatment available at Haymarket’s 6-story building in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood.

Because of the generosity of our donors, Dominick received—and continues to receive—the otherwise inaccessible services he needed to reclaim his life. For many of the 12,000 clients we serve annually, like Dominick, Haymarket Center is their only option.

Haymarket is one of a few organizations in Chicago that is providing substance use disorder and mental health treatment to our most vulnerable and underserved individuals and their families. We are open 24/7/365 and deliver a continuum of services that focus on the whole person – from detox through job readiness training.

Dominick completed Family-Centered Treatment for Fathers (FTF), one of Haymarket’s residential treatment programs, which provides care for fathers with substance use disorder, including medication-assisted treatment and an evidence-based fatherhood curriculum specifically designed to foster parenting skills.

“When you have an addiction,” Dominick now knows, “the entire family suffers.”

He is now making strides in the Community Integration Program (CIP), where he is learning to adopt skills and regaining his health prior to transitioning to an independent community setting. He credits the staff members, especially Timothy Hairston from CIP, with teaching him to identify his history of co-dependency, become self-sufficient, and mature as a father. “They saved my life. They saved my children’s lives,” he said.

“One hundred percent, my kids notice a change in me,” he said of their improving relationship. “Kids always still love you, but they understand even at a young age that I need to get better for them.”

He has also developed more effective communication skills, allowing him to better co-parent with his children’s mother: “Old aggressions are gone. We have a job to do for our kids, and we do it with balance and integrity,” he explained.

Dominick is so changed by the vibrant programs that donor support helps fund that he wants to stay on after treatment—as an employee. “That’s what’s so special about the place—the staff have walked in your shoes and know your struggles. I can do the same for others.”

Already serving as a motivational speaker to current patients in FTF, he is taking online classes to earn his certificate as a recovery coach, which will enable him to work directly with clients. Ultimately, he wants to become a Haymarket counselor.

It is only with the support of our generous donors that Haymarket can continue to provide critical behavioral health services to individuals like Dominick.

Please consider a meaningful gift, to ensure that any individual who is struggling with a substance use disorder has access to life-saving resources.

“I have my spiritual pulse back,” Dominick said. “Once an individual is secure and has their pulse back, they can reach out and save their family.”

With your partnership, we will continue to help individuals save themselves and their families.

Dominick is living proof of the power of your support. Please make your gift today by completing the form below:

Haymarket DuPage Update – November 4th

Dear Haymarket DuPage Friends and Supporters,

Last week, the Itasca Village Board issued its final vote, unanimously deciding, after minimal deliberation, to reject our zoning application to open a comprehensive substance use disorder and mental health treatment center. It was an outcome we expected and yet it speaks volumes about the stigma associated with this disease.

As the media coverage (Chicago TribuneDaily HeraldWGN-9NBC-5 and WBBM-780) details, Itasca Mayor Jeff Pruyn claimed our request was “unreasonable,” citing the size of the community and a worst case scenario that might result in increased demand on their EMS services. It’s a refrain we have heard for two years, often repeated by those who have ignored the evidence.

Case in point: we are a medical facility with trained doctors, nurses and staff; the majority of beds would be for recovery home patients, who are stable and do not generate 911 calls; Itasca currently has the capacity to handle additional calls; and we offered conditions of approval including contracting with not, one but two private ambulance companies.

Because Haymarket satisfied the zoning code standards, addressed the concerns of the Village and other taxing bodies and even offered a set of conditions to further alleviate those concerns, there is no legitimate reason under the Village’s zoning code to reject our application. Even more, there is no legitimate reason under the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act — all of which prohibit discrimination against those in recovery — for the Village Board to reject our application.

A decision of this magnitude may warrant a review by the courts. In the coming days, we will be considering all of our options. We will keep you informed as that plan takes shape.

Finally, we cannot thank our supporters enough for the incredible outpouring of support before and after this decision. We stand in solidarity with you as we continue this fight because we all know what is at stake.

Stay tuned, friends and supporters. Our mission to expand access to care is not over yet.


Dr. Dan Lustig, Psy.D., CODP II, CAADC
President & CEO of Haymarket Center

Karen L. Kissel
Senior Executive Vice President

Join us this Saturday for a Community Hope Walk!

This Saturday, September 25th, the Coalition for Recovery is hosting a Community Hope Walk in recognition of National Recovery Month, presented by Congressman Danny K. Davis, Outside the Walls Ministries, the Coalition for Recovery, Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities.

Haymarket Center is a part of the Coalition for Recovery, a group comprised of 75 agencies and individuals committed to community health and wellness; the Coalition supports empowering adults and families by providing a comprehensive behavioral health continuum of care through integrated services.

The September 25 walk will begin at 10:00 A.M. at the Golden Dome in Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Ave, and will proceed to Douglass Park, 1400 S. California Avenue, Grove 4. There, participants may join a celebration of hope and recovery beginning at 1 :00 P.M.

If you’d like to join Haymarket Center at this event, please contact Aesha Muhammad El-Amin at or call (312) 226-7984 ext. 489.

For more information about the coalition and Community Hope Walk, call New Age Services Corporation at 773-542-1150, the Office of Congressman Danny K. Davis at 773-533-7520, Outside the Walls Ministries at 773-454-6981, or Ashunti Residential at 773-379-6981.