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A Light of Hope in the SCV

Support group founded by fire fighter father offers hope, healing and freedom to youth and families

Posted: January 13, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 13, 2013 2:00 a.m.

From left, co-founders of A Light of Hope Susan and Tim Traurig with counselor Steve Marckley.

 

Tim Traurig has faced many frightening situations as a fire fighter for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Traurig, now a captain in the department, once fell through the roof of a burning structure.

However, nothing prepared Traurig for the emotional turmoil when he faced his own personal family experience related to substance abuse.

Because of his experience, Traurig realized that most families have no idea where to reach out for help.

He found inside himself a passion to help struggling families and A Light of Hope was born.

Traurig’s wife, Susan, laid the groundwork for A Light of Hope when she became a counselor for individuals with eating disorders.

“It morphed into something else,” he said. “We realized there were more people we could touch.”

Together the couple founded A Light of Hope five years ago.

“We built what we wished we could have when we were going through our issues,” he said. “We wanted a place where people felt safe, money wasn’t an issue and they could get their families back in order and bring healing. We focus on bringing healing to the whole family.”

The support group is a nonprofit, 12-step based alternative peer group program for youth, young adults and their families struggling with substance abuse or other self-destructive behaviors.

The Traurigs have joined with Steve Marckley, a certified addiction counselor.

“He has a unique way of connecting with young people and getting to the root of why they want to use or hurt themselves,” Traurig said.

Located in a small space off Soledad Canyon Road in Saugus, A Light of Hope will move to a bigger facility in March. It will join Single Mothers Outreach and the Domestic Violence Center of SCV in Newhall.

“It’s going to be an amazing partnership,” he said. “There’s a crossover in many ways.”

Traurig said his most important message to parents with children struggling with addiction is to not be embarrassed.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from or how much money you make,” he said. “The disease of addiction can happen to anyone, at any time and in any place.”

Traurig has reached out to the faith community to get the message out that addiction is a disease, not something of which to be embarrassed.

“You wouldn’t be embarrassed to say you have diabetes,” he said. “Addiction is just another disease.”

One of the most successful programs at A Light of Hope is the alternative peer group program.

“Our young people connect here and outside of here with sober activities,” Traurig said. “We’ll go mountain biking, broomball at the Ice Station or a barbecue at a parent’s home — places where kids can connect in a safe, sober environment. We’ve seen miracles happen.”

The Traurigs, Valencia residents, are the parents of three children and grandparents of three. They have been residents of the SCV since 1986.

mbuttelman@signalscv.com

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