Several clients and staff members of CSI’s Silliman and Johnson Women’s and Children’s Program were honored to participate in the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) Recovery Walk, held on September 18th in downtown Hartford. Alice Formeister, the Program Director of Silliman and Johnson, which opened in 2014, gave a synopsis of the event.
On Friday, September 18th, the ladies of Johnson and Silliman houses set out to attend the annual CCAR Recovery walk at Bushnell Park. It was the ladies’ idea to attend this walk, as many of them attend groups at CCAR which they find very helpful in their own recovery support network. Staff, including case managers and program administrators, participated as we all walked to Bushnell Park. We all wore flowery Hawaiian leis, coupled with brightly colored clothes so we looked like a unified group, as we carried the CSI banner on our trek. The ladies enjoyed visiting the many community resource tents at the park, picking up valuable information that can help them with their re-entry.
We ran into quite a few former residents who were enjoying living independently in the community who wanted to wear a Hawaiian lei as they felt part of our group as well, one of whom remarked that she sort of missed the structure that our houses provided. She shared that it was different and somewhat challenging to fill her free time as there are so many opportunities to make poor choices, like going out to clubs with friends. Another lady was absolutely thriving, having obtained a good-paying job, and was the happiest we had ever seen her. After the walk, the ladies enjoyed having lunch at one of the delicious food trucks lining Bushnell Park before the walk back to the houses. It was a day enjoyed by all.
Alice Formeister, M.A.
Supervising Program Director
Silliman House/Johnson Women and Children’s House
The walk featured over 1,000 attendees, as well as a tent of exhibits and live music. The yearly event raises money and awareness for recovering individuals in Hartford.