25 Years of Miracles
Henry Tews, Founder/Board Consultant
Serenity House Counseling Services, Inc.
Henry Tews is an exceptional individual, a man whose passion and vision has helped thousands of men and women in DuPage County recovering from substance abuse and chemical dependence rebuild their lives and return as productive members of their communities.
A recovering alcoholic’s last request in 1965 so moved Mr. Tews that he spent the next twenty years working to open the first comprehensive treatment center in DuPage County. Today, Serenity House serves a population that is often overlooked – indigent men and women who are struggling with addiction. 85% of the individuals entering into the programs of Serenity House are homeless, unemployed, and without health insurance.
Serenity House was founded to assist those individuals struggling with recovery from alcohol and drugs who were indigent, and without resources. It is our belief that while chemically dependent individuals are not been responsible for their disease, they are responsible for their own recovery. Serenity House is a voluntary program with goals of self-sufficiency and independence.
Serenity House has grown from a four-bed cottage for men to our current capacity of 107 beds in our men and women’s residential programs, and over 250 individuals participating in outpatient programs. On average, we receive over 1,800 requests for services each year, yet we currently can only accommodate a fraction of these appeals for help.
Serenity House began on what had been former farmland – a remote site located in unincorporated Addison. An old two-story farmhouse, a horse barn, several sheds, and a two-bedroom cottage were all in varying degrees of dilapidation and needed to be either refurbished or torn down. Utility lines had to be installed, the land graded, and an entrance road paved. In the homes, floors were rotted and ceilings collapsed. After just two months, the smaller four-bed cottage was ready to be occupied by its first clients. Volunteers had donated over 600 hours of labor and countless donations of materials resulting in thousands of dollars worth of renovations for approximately $3,000.
Since that time in 1985, Serenity House has consistently expanded capacity and services to meet the ever increasing demand.
- 1985: Four beds serving men.
- 1986: Increased to 12 beds serving men.
- 1990: New wing was added to accommodate the first women’s extended residential care facility in DuPage County.
- 1993: Construction begins on second addition, creating ten additional beds and expanded outpatient and administrative facilities.
- 1997: Implementation of HIV program; construction begins on new 12-bed Women’s Extended Residential Care; opening of 8-bed Men’s Independent Living Treatment Facility (recovery home) in Addison., expansion of outpatient services grows from 40 to 100 clients.
- 1998: Purchase of 9-bed Women’s Independent Living Treatment Facility (recovery home) in Naperville .
- 1999: Introduction of the Mentally Ill Substance Abuser (MISA) program, introduction of co-location program with the Illinois Department of Human Services in Villa Park ; purchase of new men’s recovery home adds an additional 8-beds.
- 2000: Addition of the Male Family Reunification Initiative (MFRI) program.
- 2002: Opening of the new 32-bed Men’s Extended Residential Care program; outpatient services reaches 150 clients.
- 2004: Expanded HIV/HEP C education, testing, and counseling services; opening of new 10-bed main campus women’s recovery home.
- 2005: Domestic Violence and Addiction Intervention partnership with Family Shelter Services is formed.
- 2007: Opening of newest men’s recovery home in Addison expands total residential beds to 100; outpatient programs provide services to over 200 men and women; Family Education services offered weekly.
- 2008: Added weekly Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) 12 Step AA Support Group.
- 2009: Introduced the Residential Alternative Program (RAP), a highly intensive outpatient program supported by an evidence-based curriculum designed to help individuals make important lifestyle changes.
- 2009: Purchase of new Women’s Recovery Home in Villa Park adds six new beds.
- 2009: Added weekly “Search for Serenity” Alanon Group meeting as a component to our existing Family Education program.