Tracey Long has experienced more tragedy than the average person—a decades-long battle with alcohol and substance abuse, her husband’s suicide and her mother’s battle with cancer. Now she has the confidence and courage to help other women struggling to improve their lives.
As the chief executive officer and founder of True Light Recovery, Long has helped more than 50 women, each one a victim of sexual exploitation, abuse, or addiction, by providing them with a safe place to pursue sobriety and a healthy, holistic lifestyle.
Founded in 2015, True Light operates two recovery houses—one in Bucks County and another in the Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia. Both houses offer women evidence-based courses in job readiness, self-esteem, anger management, goal setting, and other life skills that are essential to healing and reclaiming their lives. While meditation, prayer, and bible study are a central part of True Light’s program of daily activities, Long says the Christian nonprofit welcomes women from all walks of life, regardless of their religious preference or the depth of their personal struggles.
“We take women off the streets, fresh out of the hospital or detox; we even take women from prison,” Long explains. “I’m a survivor of everything True Light stands for. So, I know none of them are as broken as they think they are. We all just need a little support.”
Just outside the doors of the True Light Recovery House on East Allegheny Avenue in Kensington, are endless trappings of the lives the women inside the home are desperately fighting to escape. Needles, empty drug vials, and beer cans litter the sidewalk; homeless people and drug users huddle beneath a subway overpass, a beer distributor with unlimited cans of temptation sits less than a five-minute walk away from the recovery home. But inside, a community of women dedicated to maintaining their sobriety vows to never look back.
This story is part of the Community Impact Report. Read more at Penn Medicine.