Stories of Success

Katelyn's Story

Katelyn began using at the age of 18 and continued to use until age 22. As she says…solemnly, “It wasn’t long, but it was long enough to lose everything.” Among the losses were her two daughters, four and two years old. In addition, she almost lost her freedom.

 “I caught a grand larceny charge when I was nine months pregnant with my second child,” she shares. “The judge “nudged me into treatment but I couldn’t stick with it.” After delivering the baby (who was placed in foster care with the same family who adopted her first daughter), Katelyn continued to use and was turned into the judge. He gave her an ultimatum…four years in prison or treatment at Hannick Hall. “I went into Hannick Hall on May 3, 2012 kicking and screaming. I was a smoker and I couldn’t smoke there, but I kept ‘fakin it’ and after about a week and a half I started to get into the structure of Hannick.” Three weeks into her treatment program, Katelyn’s boyfriend paid a visit.

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“Within just a few minutes of his being there I broke several program rules, including smoking on the property.” Katelyn, who had suffered abuse from this man for years, finally experienced an epiphany when he encouraged her to just leave Hannick Hall, go serve her prison sentence and then return to her life with him. She chose to stay. The staff, rather than dismissing her from the program which they could have done, stayed with her every step of the way to her sobriety. “I used Hannick Hall to cut off all contact with him, to break away from him and get out of a very abusive relationship.” On November 28, 2012 (her daughter’s birthday), Katelyn graduated from Hannick Hall.

“I went on to supportive living, joined AA and got a sponsor,” says Katelyn. “When I walked into Hannick Hall I had a pair of shoes in a bag and a laundry basket of clothes. Today, I manage the Salvatore’s in Newark, go to FLCC where I’m studying Psychology, have a beautiful apartment, a circle of supportive friends and a very healthy relationship with a good man who supports my recovery.” Katelyn’s dream is to work full time as a psychologist.

She also dreamed of getting her daughters back and fought hard to do so (they were adopted by the family who fostered them as babies). “Shirley (Withey, Hannick Hall House Coordinator) was with me every step of the way,” says Katelyn.

That dream did not come true, but as Katelyn says, “that’s the way it’s supposed to be.” She has recognized and accepted what is best for the girls. In the last year she has seen them three times. “Their adoptive mother is their ‘mom’ but they know I love them and to them I’m ‘Mama Katelyn’.”

Of her life now, at just 25 years old, Katelyn says “It’s very blessed and a complete turnaround.” Of what she would tell others about supporting the work of Hannick Hall, she says, “If you want to clean up your neighborhood, live without fear of being robbed, have a better community, then supporting this program is important. How much money do you want to spend on jails? And jails don’t change people, but this program does. Hannick Hall changed a crackhead to a psychologist. You should spend your tax dollars wisely.”

Katelyn’s resolve is inspiring and her willingness to share her story is courageous.

Stories of Success

Allyson Stoughton

As the single mom of a six-month-old baby, Allyson was experiencing economic hardship. She sought help from Catholic Family Center’s (CFC) Community Resource Services (CRS) where she met Margy Shavick, CRS Clinical Supervisor. “I had never been on my own with my baby and Margy taught me how to advocate for myself and Lily. She connected me to community services and helped me get back on my feet,” says Allyson.

Lily “had some words at 18 months old but then she lost them.” Her doctor recommended Early Intervention (EI) Services and Allyson chose CFC’s EI program because of the very positive experience she had at CRS. They began working with an Ongoing Service Coordinator in October of 2011. “She was wonderful and supportive and helped me learn about resources in the community.” Lily, who was diagnosed with Apraxyia of Speech, Sensory Integration Disorder, and Hyperkinesis/ADHD, was connected to a provider who specializes in Developmental Delays and to a speech therapist. At just over 2 ½ years of age, Lily said “Mommy” and “I love you” for the first time. Now at the age 4 ½, Lily is preparing to start Kindergarten.

Allyson, who graduated from SUNY Brockport with a Bachelors Degree in Communications Studies & Psychology, came “full circle” (as she proudly describes it) when she was hired by CFC as an EI Ongoing Service Coordinator in November of 2013.

Stories of Success

Colleen's Story

Colleen is a 56 year old woman whose addiction to alcohol started after she had gastric bypass surgery in 2006. Colleen, who has a history of trauma, feels that she used food to deal with her trauma. After the surgery, she could no longer use food so she discovered vodka to help her deal with her feelings.

Over the next 8 years, Colleen struggled with her addiction. She had almost one year of sobriety in July 2013 but then relapsed. Over the next six months, Colleen describes a life that included stays with family, in temporary housing, and finally in a homeless shelter. Colleen says she felt hopeless and saw no future for herself.

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Colleen came to Liberty Manor on February 26, 2014. Over the past six months, she says she has gained back so many of the things her addiction took from her. She has gained back her self respect and hope. She has gained back the support of her family. Coleen says that the counselors and staff, as well as the residents at Liberty Manor, have been essential elements of her recovery. She has learned that she is stronger than she ever thought she could be; with the right supports and the right people in her life she believes she is strong enough to achieve anything.

Colleen looks forward to a bright future that includes her family, friends, and ongoing support she will find in supportive housing as she continues in her recovery.