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:

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