Haymarket Center Expands Employment Support

Recognizing that stable employment facilitates sustained recovery, Haymarket Center has been offering job training and placement through the Ann F. Baum Family Enrichment Center for decades. Starting this month, an ambitious and innovative expansion will allow even more people in need to access resources.

The Supported Employment Program, funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), will ensure that patients who face barriers to employment due to substance use disorders and mental health issues have the skills and support they need to successfully obtain long term employment.

This program will help hundreds of people with substance use disorders find and maintain steady employment by crafting employment plans and goals based on patient skills and interests and monitoring patient progress to the point of hire. In addition to career assistance, the program will also connect patients to mental health counseling and immediate access to primary care.

“Prejudice towards people with substance use disorder and mental illness has kept countless qualified people from steady employment,” explained Haymarket Center President and CEO Dr. Dan Lustig. “By expanding our employment services, Haymarket is helping people find success.”

Meet Dr. Amber Morris, Manager of the West Loop Pharmacy

To better serve our patients and increase access to medications, Haymarket Center will be opening its West Loop Pharmacy in January 2024. The pharmacy will allow Haymarket Center patients to have medical treatment, counseling services, and key medications all under one roof. Managing the pharmacy will be Pharmacist Dr. Amber Morris, who comes to Haymarket with years of experience in managing pharmacies and working in the field of substance use treatment. Dr. Morris sat down for an interview to discuss her experience and her plans for the new pharmacy.

Q: What made you decide to join Haymarket Center?

AM: Before I joined Haymarket Center, I was managing a Walgreen’s pharmacy, and I wanted a position with more rigor and a faster pace to it. I have previous experience managing specialty pharmacies, specifically the pharmacy of Insight (formerly Mercy) Hospital and Medical Center, so when I saw that Haymarket was looking for someone to manage its new pharmacy, it felt like the perfect combination of where I wanted to go and what I’ve already done.

Q: What are the advantages of having an onsite pharmacy.

The major advantage of having an onsite pharmacy is direct access for patients.  Most of our patient population are prescribed multiple medications which are currently filled at outside pharmacies.  We’re now able to route those prescriptions to our onsite location, which will be a major convenience for our patients. We are a 340b pharmacy which means we are eligible to receive medications at a discounted rate, which will provide much lower cost or no cost at all for our patients. We are also able to assist with the medication intake process and help facilitate medication reconciliations.

Q: How will the West loop Pharmacy improve patient care.

West Loop Pharmacy will have a direct impact on patient care by providing medication consultations for our patients. This will be a detailed overview on what the medication is used for, how to use it properly, and counseling points. We will also be conducting drug utilization reviews on every medication that is prescribed. This is when the pharmacist thoroughly analyzes the indication, effectiveness, safety, and review any drug-to-drug interactions.  Upon review the pharmacist will intervene and make recommendations to ensure the best patient outcomes.

Q: What are your goals for the West Loop Pharmacy?

AM: Right now the focus is on the basics: staffing, supplies, patient services, things like that. Once we get our footing, the goal for me and the rest of the pharmacy staff will be finding ways to support clinical staff through revising current programs and practices or coming up with entirely new ones. After that, we’re going to try and get the pharmacy open on a 24/7 basis from its current hours of 9-5 during the workweek. It will be a lot, but it’s all very attainable.

Q: Finally, what excites you the most about working at Haymarket Center?

AM: Oh, there are so many things! If I had to pick one, I would probably say that I’m very impressed by the sense of collaboration and dedication that I see in the staff here. It’s so clear to me that everybody who works at Haymarket is committed to the health and wellness of every patient that walks through its doors, so I feel very comforted in seeing people who share my same commitment to care.

Finding Peace: Ashley’s Story

Like many people who came to Haymarket, alcohol had gained a foothold in Ashley’s life that she couldn’t shake off. Initially turning to alcohol to cope with stress, Ashley had become dependent on it, to the point of drinking heavily every day.

“I knew I had a problem, but I had gotten into such a habit that I almost didn’t care,” Ashley said. Ultimately, it was Ashley’s children who prompted her decision to seek treatment. She wanted to repair the damage that alcohol use had done to their relationship, and Haymarket Center was there to help. The first few days at Haymarket were challenging, but in time, Ashley found her footing.

“I think what made the biggest difference in my recovery was the staff here at Haymarket,” Ashley explained. “When I first got to Haymarket, I was very anxious, but hearing my peers in group therapy and even staff members tell me their own recovery stories made me feel comfortable here.”

Haymarket Center’s approach focuses on treating the whole person to create a sustainable, thorough recovery. With family-focused care that includes individual and group counseling, parent education, and on-site childcare we help parents heal from substance use disorders while also strengthening their families.

Ashley completed treatment at Haymarket Center in 2014. Since then, her road to recovery has taken her to incredible places. She learned how to successfully manage her alcohol use disorder and she has rebuilt relationships with her children. These are impressive accomplishments in their own right, but Ashley went a step further. After completing treatment at Haymarket, Ashley went on to get her master’s degree in social work, all while balancing a full-time job and being a parent.

“I had always wanted to go back to school, but addiction got in the way,” explained Ashley. “With the support of friends and family, and with everything I learned at Haymarket Center, I was able to get it done.”

Today, Ashley lives happily with her children, and takes pride in a career as a Community Support Specialist, where she helps other people manage and overcome issues that she once faced. When asked about the greatest difference Haymarket has made in her life, Ashley was quick to give an answer: Haymarket Center has helped her find peace.

 “For the first time in a while, I have peace of mind,” she said. “I learned how to make peace with myself and navigate things in a healthy way. I have my motherhood back, I have my friends back who I lost touch with, and the seed of all that was planted at Haymarket Center.”

For a time, Ashely lived her life suffering with a harmful substance use disorder. Today, she is living a life that she, not alcohol, is in firm control of.

Hear Ashley herself talk about life after treatment.

Ashley and thousands of people like her accomplish tremendous things in their journeys to recovery, and we are proud of every journey that runs through Haymarket Center.

Please consider giving to Haymarket Center in support of patients like Ashley. Your gift can help someone get a second chance and close the book on substance use disorders. Any gift you make, no matter how big or how small, makes a world of difference to the people who we serve and support.

Make a gift below:

Shop our Amazon Wishlist this Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is November 28! This day is defined by generosity and encouraging people to support their community through doing good.

Help us celebrate with our patients by making a purchase off of our Holiday Amazon WishlistIt’s as easy as adding a few items to your cart while you do your holiday shopping! This year we are seeking donations of recreational items, arts & crafts supplies, and other gifts that focus on mindfulness and healthy coping skills. We are also seeking essentials for clients who arrive without them. 

Each item purchased by our supporters will brighten the lives of our patients as they go through their recovery journey. 

Want to hold a drive with your workplace or community? Contact Maggie Burke at or (312) 965-9990.

Haymarket brings community together with the West Loop Bavarian Block Party

Last Month, Haymarket’s neighbors and supporters enjoyed a weekend of brats, pretzels, and fun courtesy of the Center’s West Loop Bavarian Block Party. Hosted by the Associate Board, the Block Party serves to introduce the community to our mission.

The event grew from an annual birthday celebration for our founder Father Mac. We continue to honor that tradition through a family-friendly atmosphere with performers and activities geared towards children during the afternoon. True to the Oktoberfest theme, attendees were able to enjoy authentic German cuisine, live music (including traditional German polka), and fun games, all while supporting Haymarket Center.

“In hosting this event, the main goals of the Associate Board were to raise awareness about Haymarket Center’s mission and to celebrate with our neighbors in the West Loop,” said Kelly McKay, President of the Associate Board of Haymarket Center. “Looking at the crowds we had each night, I certainly feel like we accomplished that.”

Thank you to our Associate Board, sponsors, vendors, volunteers and attendees for supporting the event.

Check out photos from the event.

Patients Come Together for “Stigma Spit” Open Mic Nights

Last month, members of Haymarket’s Health and Wellness Department revived the Center’s popular Stigma Spit, an open mic event for patients to express their feelings about substance use and the stigmas attached to it.

“We started Stigma Spit a few years ago, but we had to put it on pause when the pandemic came around,” explained Ronnie Hughes, a Coordinator for the Health and Wellness Department and the principal organizer of Stigma Spit. “We want to bring this back to help our clients socialize and demonstrate to them that sober-living can be fun.”

Stigma Spit has two rules: no booing, and only tasteful material is allowed. At September’s event, patients performed a variety of acts that included singing, skits, poetry, and much more. For many of the original pieces, patients incorporated messaging about their recovery.

“We consistently have had excellent performances at Stigma Spit,” said Hughes. “We had one patient a few years ago recite Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and I still remember that one because it was so powerful. That same year we also had patients in the same unit do a skit about their transition from substance to sober living, and that was very well-done.”

Youth Prevention Team Prepares for Red Ribbon Week

The last week of October marks Red Ribbon Week, where children are taught the importance of avoiding alcohol, drugs, and other harmful substances. To bring its message of substance use prevention to more children, Haymarket Center is joining together with local schools to celebrate Red Ribbon Week.

Haymarket Center’s Youth Prevention Specialists will join the staff of Woodson South Elementary School and Reavis Math and Science Academy for on-site, informational programming and fun activities. During Red Ribbon Week, Haymarket staff will help students with arts and crafts projects and door-decorating contests as well as organize games and other activities.

“Historically, Haymarket Center has been very involved in helping local schools organize their Red Ribbon Week projects,” explained Spencer Jones, Supervisor of Haymarket’s Youth Prevention Team. “As more substances find their way into communities throughout Chicago, we recognize the need to step up and make sure that we’re doing whatever we can to keep kids safe.”

Haymarket Center’s Youth Prevention Program works with middle and high school students at six Chicago Public Schools on Chicago’s South Side. This school year, they have already served more than 300 students. The program is supported by the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Chicago Department of Public Health.

To support our Youth Prevention, and Red Ribbon Week check out our Amazon Wishlist.

Newsweek Names Haymarket Center as One of America’s Top Substance Use Treatment Centers

Haymarket Center has been recognized by Newsweek and Statista as one of America’s Best Addiction Treatment Centers of 2023. Of the thousands of substance use treatment centers across the country, Haymarket Center joins a select few in earning this recognition for its outstanding record of success.

In crafting its ranking, Newsweek invited more than 4,000 medical professionals in the field of substance use treatment, including doctors, therapists, and counselors, to participate in a survey assessing Haymarket Center and its peer organizations in four key areas: quality of care, quality of follow-up care, quality of service, and accommodation & amenities. In addition to the recommendation of peers, Newsweek also factored accreditations from multiple regulatory and oversight bodies into each organization’s ranking. This methodology is designed to ensure that the rankings published by Newsweek matches professional opinion as thoroughly and precisely as possible.

“Haymarket would not have earned this recognition without the professionalism, dedication, and concern for the wellbeing of our patients that our staff displays every day,” said Haymarket Center President and CEO Dr. Dan Lustig. “I feel tremendous pride in seeing Haymarket’s core values being exemplified each day in the actions and conduct of our staff.”

This achievement is made possible by the dedication and effort of the staff, volunteers, and supporters in the Haymarket community. On behalf of the thousands of people that Haymarket Center serves each year, we thank you.

Partner Highlight: UI Health

Haymarket Center has partnered with the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Science System (UI Health) to connect individuals seeking hospital care for substance use disorders with comprehensive community-based treatment.

Through this new partnership, Care Coordinators from Haymarket Center will be onsite at the UI Health emergency department and inpatient units to engage with patients experiencing opioid-related conditions. Care Coordinators will be responsible for providing an array of support services to patients including access to medication and mental health services, transportation to medical appointments, and monitoring the overall progress of the patient’s recovery. The program aims to serve 1,000 adults experiencing opioid-related conditions over the course of four years.

While this partnership was years in the making, it has its roots in the success Haymarket has experienced with other local hospital systems.

“The leadership of UI Health was impressed by the success we’ve had in partnering with medical centers such as Stroger Hospital, Elmhurst Hospital, and several others in Chicagoland, and wanted to work with us in this new program,” explained Haymarket Center’s Chief Medical Officer Kenyatta Cathey. “We are thankful for the opportunity to work with the exceptional medical staff of UI Health and to bring our practices to those who have been hit hardest by the opioid epidemic.”

Haymarket Center Organizes Accelerated Moving Event

Last month, Haymarket Center hosted its first Accelerated Moving Event (AME) for people experiencing homelessness and seeking shelter on trains and public transit stations.

The event was held at Harold Washington Library, in partnership with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), the Chicago Department of Family and Social Services (DFSS), AllChicago, and Thresholds to connect people with housing. AMEs work by compressing many of the steps and paperwork involved in the housing process into a single day, allowing applicants in urgent need of housing to obtain it quickly. Once applicants find a home, they continue to remain in contact with case managers in order to ensure that their journey to recovery remains on track.

“We successfully enrolled 11 people from our Mobile Outreach Program in the AME, which is what we were hoping for,” explained Isabella Mancini, Manager of the Mobile Outreach Program “The next steps are to have those 11 people sign leases, move into housing within 90 days, and follow up with the Outreach team and their case managers as they progress in their recovery.”

Haymarket Center would like to thank the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and the Chicago Department of Family and Social Services (DFSS) for their support and guidance of our Center’s Outreach Program, without whom this event would not be possible.