Breaking the Stigma, Transforming Lives

Embrace the Journey to Sobriety

Understanding Addiction: The First Step to Recovery

Addiction is a complex illness that affects not only the individual but also their family and friends. It is characterized by compulsive substance use despite negative consequences, and it can have far-reaching consequences on a person's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. At the 516 Light Foundation, we believe recovery is possible. By understanding the nature of addiction and its impact, individuals and their loved ones can take the first step towards recovery and healing. Our educational resources and support programs are designed to provide valuable insights into the world of addiction, helping you navigate the complexities and challenges that come with this illness.

About Us

Our Mission: Breaking the Stigma, Empowering Recovery

We are a 501c3 non-profit organization here to break the stigma of alcohol and drug addiction. Our mission is to spread awareness, education, and resources to people affected by substance use. Helping those who struggle with this illness and their families on the road to recovery is our goal. We hope to encourage, engage, and equip others to believe in the possibilities. Together, living in great hope today!

Be the Change

Taking Action: Making a Difference in the Lives of Many

Get Help

We offer community outreach, drug addiction awareness, educational resources, motivational speaking and scholarships for sober living.

Find Support

Support Our Work

Giving online has never been more secure, convenient or hassle-free with our one-click donation. We also do accept standard cash and check donations and please contact us for more information about how to support the foundation.


Work With Us

You can get involved today by becoming a Volunteer. Sign up and you will be joining a group of change-makers, a network strong enough to impact positive change in the lives of those in recovery.

Join Our Team

Where It All Started

Our Journey: From Struggle to Hope

In 2009, Brad Gerke and Jessica Gerke came together while on their journey to recovery from crippling addiction. Both spent years struggling with addiction. After a few years in recovery the couple opened their home in DuPage County to other sober living residents, which was known as the 516 House (picture below). Unable to help all who needed resources both agreed they wanted to do more for those who were in early in recovery. That is where their dream of making resources available for their fellows in early recovery began.

The 516 Light Foundation would take time to form but with the help of the community the foundation persevered. In 2019, a group of friends came together to launch the 516 Light Foundation. The name 516 Light Foundation’s was created as a way to honor the DuPage sober home and combining the acronym LIGHT which translates to living in great hope today. As a means to continue to bring hope to the community the foundation raises funds to help those in early recovery with food, clothing, and housing. Where there is life, there is hope for recovery.

Raise Your Helping Hand

516 Light Foundation is a non-profit aimed at spreading awareness, education, and resources to people affected by addiction without discrimination in the community.

Donate Us

Meet the Board

Meet the Visionaries Behind the 516 Light Foundation

Brad Gerke


Brad Gerke, Co-founder of 516 Light Foundation, is a passionate advocate for addiction recovery. With over a decade of personal experience, he is dedicated to helping others find hope and purpose. Brad's work in local recovery communities and his commitment to education and resources make him a driving force in the fight against addiction.

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Jessica Gerke


Jessica Gerke, Co-founder of 516 Light Foundation, is a dedicated advocate for addiction recovery. With a heart for helping others, she works tirelessly to raise awareness and provide resources. Jessica's involvement with local recovery communities, collaboration with government officials, and commitment to education make her a driving force in the fight against addiction.

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Sandy Richards


Sandy, a 516 Light Foundation Board Member and Treasurer, combines her community involvement and personal experience with addiction to support the foundation's mission. She has worked with women's shelters, United Way, Girl Scouts, PTA, and her church, and understands the impact of addiction on families. Her dedication helps individuals and families on the road to recovery.

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Making a Difference Together

Our Impact: Transforming Lives Through Collaboration

The 516 Light Foundation, under the guidance of our dedicated founders, has made significant strides in raising awareness and providing resources for those affected by addiction. By collaborating with renowned individuals and organizations, we have been able to expand our reach and impact countless lives. Our events have brought together communities, fostering hope and offering support to those in need.

Our Testimonials

Real Lives, Real Stories: The Impact of 516 Light Foundation

I find Brad & Jessica Gerke two AMAZING young rising STARS who are dedicated to help others. I recently referred them to a dear friend who needed their help. They made me prouder than I already was with them and for what they do. I will certainly recommend these two with heart of GOLD. Thank you both for your help and who you are...! Best wishes for you as what you do is priceless. No less than 10 stars for the BEST⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you so much for all that you do to help my students understand + have compassion for those who struggle with addictions. My students are always riveted to your presentation and walk away with greater empathy. You both do so much to help others... I'm so glad to know & work with you!

Very dedicated people helping anyone, anytime, addicts or family members, needing assistance, especially in crisis. This is what they do. Reach out to them.

In The News

Recent Updates

Daily Herald

The opioid epidemic meets the COVID-19 pandemic

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NBC 5 Chicago

Coronavirus Pandemic Poses Challenges for Those Suffering From Drug Addiction

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FOX 32 Chicago

Combating the Opioid Epidemic Amid CVOID-19

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WGN News