50 years of Hope

50 years of Hope

Guida Brown headshot

Guida Brown

On March 11, 1969, the Hope Council on Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse was incorporated.

The agency, as the Kenosha County Council on Alcoholism, began operations about seven months earlier, under the direction of Robert White Sr., to provide direct service through outpatient counseling for those with the disease of alcoholism at a time that, despite the American Medical Association declaring in 1956 that addiction is a disease, people still saw it as a choice and weakness of character. Seems some things may never change.

But, some things have changed markedly, and for the better.

Throughout its 50 years, the Hope Council, also formerly known as the Alcohol & Other Drugs Council of Kenosha County, has been at the cutting edge of service. We no longer provide treatment, but we continue to provide education, prevention, intervention, and referral services to reduce the impact of substance use disorders in our community.

The Intoxicated Driver Program started in the early 1980s and is still run at the agency, thanks to a partnership with the Kenosha County Division of Aging and Disability Services and the State of Wisconsin. And, since 2011 we’ve used state of the art direct biomarker testing to help clients understand how far their disease has progressed.

For nearly 20 years, a cornerstone program of the agency was the Children’s Safe House. Funding dried up in 2009, but we’re proud of the work we did in this arena. We still occasionally receive communication from families we served who continue to be grateful for the care provided to them.

We provide niche programming for those who’ve been issued a citation for underage drinking and for young people cited for possession of marijuana in Kenosha County. Additionally, we partner with the Kenosha County District Attorney’s office for a Misdemeanor Diversion Program, providing assessment, case management and testing during the duration of programming. These services are also available to the courts and schools.

The Hope Council was the first agency in Kenosha to have recovery coaches. Our coaches are still available — at no cost — to provide extra support for individuals and family members finding their way during the early days of recovery.

We also provide outstanding I Am Special programming, begun in the early 1980s, for all ages of children who are growing up in an environment where substance use is a problem.

Nonprofits matter in a way that many people don’t understand, and the Hope Council is the premier organization in Kenosha County solely devoted to offering hope and healing by addressing the problems caused by alcohol and other drugs.

We’d love to hear how the Hope Council on Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse has positively affected your life. Please contact Yazlyn Torres, office manager, at yazlyn@hopecouncil.org or via phone at 262-658-8166 ext. 104 for your spotlight opportunity! We’ll be developing a video that will be presented at our annual meeting, so mark your calendar to attend at the Kenosha Country Club at noon on Tuesday, June 4.

Guida Brown is the executive director of the Hope Council on Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse.

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