Rebekah's House gives shelter from addiction

March 7, 2008 8:57:14 AM PST
Since 1999 Shari Shaver has had a special reason to celebrate every year of her life. It was then she began her recovery from the addictions that began when she was a 12-year-old taking drugs to lose weight.

"It just grew into an addiction of cocaine later and alcoholism. I was out there for 29 years. It ended 1999 at a truck stop in Russell, Illinois, trying to commit suicide," said Shari Shaver, founder of Rebekah's House.

Five years ago she founded Rebekah's House to help other women in recovery.

"I saw a real need for more houses," said Shaver. "Women that were coming into the program that didn't have anything but the clothes on their back and so we began with an out reach."

Located two blocks from downtown Woodstock, Rebekah's House is the only organization in McHenry County devoted to women in recovery from alcohol and substance abuse. Megan Terry was once a resident here. After leaving Rebekah's House she began working in a doctor's office.

"Shari taught me a different way to live," Terry said. "And, through Rebekah's House, I was able to get back to life and be the mother to my kids, so that's what I always wanted to be. Through Shari, she gave me the inspiration to go into the medical field and go back to school."

Shaver's daughter Christina Marquez is the facility's executive director.

"She raised myself and my brother on her own through her addiction. But she's really a fighter, she's gotten to the top, she's inspired so many people to want more to achieve things they never even dreamed of," said Marquez.

"I know I'm helping a lot of women to get their lives back on track and that feels good. I have that opportunity to help someone else, to pass on what was given to me," said Shaver.

To learn more about Shari Shaver log on to