Women in Recovery – Angelia’s Story

Angelia, Hyde Park resident, formerly addicted to crack cocaine and alcohol and former client of St. Martin de Porres House of Hope.

Angelia CroppedAngelia was 21 when she started snorting crack cocaine. She developed an addiction to the drug and alcohol and consequently experienced a series of losses. She lost her job as a legal secretary for the Illinois Attorney General in 1992 because she got high instead of going to work.  In 1995, when she was 31, she lost her freedom. She served 10.5 months of a three-year prison sentence for burglarizing her former employer. Later, she dropped out of college. She lost her car and her driver’s license. She became estranged to her family. She would eventually divorce three times.

After receiving help several times from drug treatment centers and recovery homes, Angelia eventually became a resident of St. Martin de Porres House of Hope from Oct. 2010 until January 2012. “When I came here, I was fed up. I was done. I had paid my last dues to addiction,” said Angelia, who loved singing before succumbing to drug addiction. “When they told me that this place had a choir, I was ready, willing and able to commit to an entire year.”

Angelia overcame her addiction at age 47. Today, she is a detox specialist at Haymarket Center and a program assistant and soloist for Harmony, Hope & Healing, a traveling music program for homeless shelters in Chicago. She has a 2011 Toyota Prius and large studio apartment. She’s engaged to be married again. She finished earning her associate’s degree in behavioral science in 2014 from East West University.  Now, she’s working on becoming a Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor and dreams of working with young men with identity crises. “Before, I didn’t have a vision. Now I have such a huge vision. I have a dream.”