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Author: Nigel Brunsdon

The Passing of Karen Bigg

It is with utmost sadness that The Chicago Recovery Alliance team confirms the passing of our colleague and friend, Karen Bigg, this last Tuesday, August 22nd . Karen was a brilliant harm reductionist, advocate for people who use drugs, adoring mother to Sophie Bigg, and spouse of the late CRA founder Dan Bigg. 

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New ED Announcement

After a long search process, Chicago Recovery Alliance’s Board of Directors and Team are pleased to announce the hiring of John Werning for our Executive Director effective 03/01/2022.

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John “Gootie” Gutenson (1960-2020)

It is with broken hearts that we announce Raymond “John” Gutenson passed peacefully this morning surrounded by his family. John started with CRA in 2000 as a volunteer, working with his best friend Dan Bigg to build out the program into what it is today. Quite literally, John helped ‘build out the program’ by building the interior of the infamous silver outreach vans, working alongside his friends Dan and Josch.

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Stephan Kamenicky (1957-2020)

Stephan (Steve) Kamenicky, born August 24, 1957, also known as “Ponytail Steve” by the many thousands of people he has helped over the years, passed away last Friday, July 31st, 2020 from presumed natural causes.

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Overdose prevention in a time of COVID

We are so pleased at how many people and organizations have come out of the woodwork to help ensure the safety and survival of people who use drugs in the context of COVID-19. We’ve seen a surge of interest in overdose prevention and naloxone. The new surge reminds us of the importance of remembering history and the basics. So we’ve put together some notes for you.

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Should Chicago open safe sites for drug users? There’s already a makeshift network — and it’s saving lives

In abandoned buildings, encampments, vacant lots and other secluded areas throughout the city, drug users have found spaces where they can be watched over while using drugs. This makeshift network — hundreds of places, recovery workers estimate — has grown as groups have distributed naloxone more widely over the last two decades.

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