Stepping stones to success

By Jeff Hansel

Krystal Haack hesitantly becomes a role model as she speaks about a Salvation Army program that helped her turn around her life.

The Transitional Living and Counseling Program helps homeless people stabilize their lives by coaching them in living skills such as parenting, education and budgeting. Families pay rent based on their income.

Haack has left behind a methamphetamine addiction, and she is caring for her 9-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son in a manufactured home she owns. Her daughter lived with grandparents during Krystal’s addiction.


At 29, the Stewartville woman is not used to thinking of herself as someone who inspires other people.

But those who watched from afar when she was lost in methamphetamine addiction, those who played a role as she sought recovery so she could stay close to her children, and those who saw her become a car owner, homeowner and Rochester Community and Technical College student, recognize something she’s not yet fully comfortable acknowledging openly: Haack, a Mayo High School graduate, is a success.

"In her process of recovery, she realized that it’s everything in her life that needs to be looked at. It’s not just using or not using," said Pat Alland, a licensed social worker with the Salvation Army, who oversees the Transitional Living program.

Haack, she said, was coached over time "to get her thinking in the sober realm."

Haack is majoring in business management, focusing on advertising design.

"I’ve got my own little business I want to start up in Rochester dealing with advertising," she said.

She used several assistance programs to reach her current lifestyle. She started with treatment for addiction.

"It worked out just perfect going from that to the half-way house to the Transitional Living and Counseling Program," she said while sitting in her newly unpacked living room. Getting here was a long process. But Haack looks forward to celebrating two years clean from meth in October.

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