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September 28, 2017 05:12 PM

Positively KELOLAND: Recovery Reunion

Clients of the Glory House have plenty of reasons to celebrate Thursday.    They gathered at the Sioux Falls halfway house to share their stories of overcoming addictions as part of National Recovery Month. 

It's not in a courtroom setting, but in a way, Joe Romero is approaching the bench, one final time.

"And if it wasn't for you sentencing me right now, I'd probably be dead right now," Romero said.

Federal Judge Karen Schreier sentenced Romero to six-months at the Glory House to treat his alcoholism.

"I want to tell you, you saved another life," Romero said.  
"And you look like you're doing really well," Schreier said.
"I am," Romero said.

The addicts ordered to the Glory House reflect a growing caseload for the court system.

"Every day, I see more and more drug defendants and we keep seeing different types of drugs coming into the community so I'm not sure there's ever going to be an end to it.  You just have to deal with the problems before you on a day-to-day basis and doing as much as you can," Schreier said.

Danielle Sickinger was in-and-out of jail because of her meth and alcohol addictions.  She says she's been clean for two years now.

"When you come into recovery, it's a brand-new world.  You're learning everything all over again.  Communication skills, people skills, it's all brand-new," Sickinger said.

People who have successfully completed treatment at the Glory House hope they can be a source of strength and encouragement to those who are just beginning their road to recovery.

"Today is a glorious day, I have the chance to share what recovery can do for somebody, if you actually truly want it and you seek after it," Sickinger said.

Romero, meanwhile, is in the ninth month of his sobriety.  A recovery marked by this unlikely reunion between the judge and her former defendant.

"I'm not a success story and I'm not cured, but it's just one day at a time," Romero said.

After leaving the Glory House, Romero landed a job as a line cook at a Sioux Falls restaurant.

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