The women of St. Martin de Porres House of Hope meet every morning for meditation. On Wednesdays they gather in a circle for Harmony, Hope & Healing. Crystal Boone says the structure and long-term approach at St. Martin’s is helping her to finally address long-time addiction issues.
No matter how she feels at the start of a class, she says, the music, the humming, and the breathing exercises allow her to “learn in a different manner…. I’ve come in feeling different ways at different times, and I’ve always walked out inspired.”
Crystal Boone, 51, says she has been fighting to get and stay recovered for 25 years. She’s had long periods of sobriety working as an administrator at Northwestern University in her native Evanston, and other roles. She raised 3 children and is a grandmother of 3.
In June she decided to come to St. Martin de Porres, one of the few shelters that offers a one-year program, to get the structure and consistency that she hopes will help her build a strong foundation to sustain her sobriety.
"Harmony, Hope & Healing is very inspiring. she says. “They allow you to learn how to heal in a different manner: the music, the humming, the breathing exercises…. depending on where you and how you are feeling when you walk into the circle, the class affects you different ways, but it’s always positive energy. i’ve come in feeling different ways at different times, and I’ve always walked out inspired."
The St. Martin de Porres shelter is known for its structure, its holistic approach, and its support for women with families, according to Tiffany Perkins, development & communications associate.
Staff limit residents’ cell phone usage, their ability to work and even time spent away from the shelter. Also, kids are allowed at the shelter and childcare is provided, allowing the women to attend the morning sessions without children, for example.
The morning meditation sessions that Harmony, Hope & Healing leads each week stand out for the residents and the staff. "Most times it’s about dealing with the issues, but I think Harmony, Hope & Healing brings out that inspirational aspect and brings them hope,” Perkins says.