Breathing New Life into Recovery

When Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Barrington, embarked on a capital campaign several years ago, three goals emerged: reduce debt, update the sanctuary, and commit 10% of all funds raised to support community ministries that served people outside of the Atonement family. LSSI was one of three organizations selected—specifically the outpatient wing and Healthy Start West Recovery Home of LSSI's Addiction Treatment Center – Elgin.

"Drugs and alcohol are indifferent to the quality of your upbringing," said Atonement Senior Pastor Don Wink about the clients served at the Elgin Center. "It's a great ministry. We are really happy to be part of it."

Atonement member Laurie Almeraz served as project manager for a complete rehabilitation of two spaces—the pool table/recreation room and the primary meeting room. She recruited volunteers with expertise in drywall, painting, flooring, ceilings, electricity, and other tasks—including volunteers like Dale Wittenberg and Tim Herrmann.

"People volunteered their time and skill out of heart. They didn't do it for any kind of accolades," said Almeraz. "It's our hope that being in a space like the meeting room, which is bright and calm, will help clients feel comfortable as they go through their process and try to heal themselves. In the pool table room, we hope they will have fun and relax and enjoy a very nice space for interacting with each other in a smaller-group setting."