Women are getting the chance to get back on their feet and become a productive member of society at the YWCA in Wheeling.
Alyssa Crow openly admits she used to be on the streets looking to get high. Her lowest point came when she contemplated actually wanting to die, but now she’s a new mom with a brand new outlook on life.
“My drug addiction began when I was 12, it started with alcohol.” Then it was marijuana and cocaine. At age 14, Alyssa had two surgeries and was prescribed painkillers. She then started using heroin. At age 24, it spiraled out of control. “I would do every drug, I wouldn’t discriminate. I did everything.”
At age 26, she almost lost her life due to an abscess on her arm.”The surgeon wanted to take my arm, and I was okay with it and I didn’t care. I just really wanted him to let me die. Just give me the pain medication and let me die.”
Her surgery was successful and her arm was saved, but her drug addiction didn’t stop. After shoplifting, periods of relapse, and even going to jail, she found herself in a treatment center in 2016. Once she discovered YWCA’s Women Inspired in New Directions or WIND program, her life started to get back on track.
Laura Albertini-Weigel, the WIND Director, said, “It was a program that was established in 2013 for women who are in recovery and want assistance. They want a safe living space, and they want support and the tools necessary to maintain their recovery and sobriety. The whole idea to to get them self-sufficient and get back on their feet and move forward.” The YWCA houses women and their children who are also allowed to live there while their mothers are continuing the program.
Alyssa has graduated from the WIND program and is now 20 months clean, a college student, and a new mom to her healthy 4 month old daughter, Addison. She says she is blessed with all the love and care she received during her time there. “Words can’t even describe what they have given me. I have a life, I have a purpose, a functioning member of society, people trust me. It’s a big blessing, all the gifts that I’ve received since I’ve become clean.”
If you would like more information about the WIND program at the YWCA, you can contact them at 304-232-0511 or through their website www.ywcawheeling.org .