New Haven, CT (WTNH) –  CT Style Host Natasha Lubczenko recently met with a young author named A’Kala Chaires, who has a special place in her heart for Hallie House – a Residential Treatment Center for pregnant and parenting women struggling with substance abuse. 

A’Kala’s mother entered the program halfway through her pregnancy, many years ago, and A’Kala was born while they were still residing at Hallie House. The center is run by ‘The Connection’, a statewide human services agency that A’Kala says changed her and her mother’s life for the better.

A’Kala’s first book, titled “Diary of….”, is a collection of poems and short stories centered around her experiences and feelings while taking care of her grandparents during the pandemic. She shares intimate observations on overcoming loss, love, friendship, school, family and courage. The book was recently published and is available for purchase through Barnes & Noble.

A’Kala’s book launch was celebrated and supported by Hallie House and The Connection, and she had her first book signing event at The Connection’s 50th Anniversary celebration.

In this interview, you’ll learn about the following:

  • A’Kala’s connection to Hallie House , and how it contributed to where she is now.
  • What A’Kala’s message is for people who work in the recovery field.
  • A’Kala’s suggestions for people in need of help & support, but
    who haven’t reached out yet.
  • Although she’s an adult now A’Kala is still involved with Hallie House.

A’Kala says that she’s very glad that the staff at Hallie House have stayed in touch with her and her mother, even though they’ve moved out and onward with their lives. She says these people have had a very positive impact in their lives, and it means a lot to know that, “..there’s always somebody there that you can turn back to and ask for help, if you need it.”

To learn more about The Connection, visit To purchase A’Kala’s book, “Diary of..”, visit Barnes & Noble at