C3 at the Moore Institute
From the emerging data the centers around the theme for the need for social communities is consistent. All surveys showed that family and community were considered to be the very, if not the most, issue that is most important to the person in recovery.
This finding is consistent with other recent research that seemed to show social contact as a possible causal factor pf addiction. While this research is problematic and lacking in looking at physical factors, it is showing the direction of needing community for recovery for most individuals. There are individuals that are going to thrive in a one on one setting (introverts). A great number of individuals need this sense of attachment and community, the ARF team concluded that with the development of a community center for both meetings and education we could provide research, education and a space for community that would benefit all concerned. AA has long provided this sense of community but for many individuals AA was found to be unhelpful or minimally helpful and there was nowhere to turn. The ARF team rented out extra space in the building we were in and build C3, Conscious Caring Community. We refurbished the space (warehouse space) so that it would feel warm and invitng to the individuals who utilize it. We furnished it with chairs, cushions and mats so a variety of types of meetings could be held here. The principal behind C3 is community. The ARF team allows persons to utilize the space at no cost. These individuals in turn donate what would have been paid in rents to the community. Thus far donations have been made to Healthcare for the Homeless, St Anne’s and Birmingham Community Kitchen. We are pleased with this concept of “paying it forward.”
Thus far the results have been dramatic, over 100 attended the Noah Levin Grand Opening of C3. People came from North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia as well as from locally here in Alabama. They not only got to interact with the founder of Refuge Recovery but were able to brain storm with one another about how to conduct meetings, grow the movement as well as establish community with one another. The Birmingham Refuge Recovery movement is one of the largest in the country, in part due to ARF and C3. Refuge Recovery has approximately 15-25 attendees per meetings on par with larger cities such as Atlanta and New York. ARF is currently doing research in conjunction with Refuge Recovery in where we are providing professional child care at their Wednesday meeting to see if this will increase the number of females who attend a meeting. Early numbers look like it just may assist females in being able and feeling supported in attending a self-help meeting.