DRA Groups hold their meetings in just about any imaginable convenient location. Quite often they find rooms in churches or treatment facilities where they pay a token per use rental feel such as a percentage of their Seventh Tradition donations. This can enhance group autonomy and may help Groups feel more self-supporting. Before they agree to hold their meetings in a particular building or facility, they make it clear to the owner, administrator, or landlord, that they must maintain clear boundaries between their DRA Group's meetings and the establishment or treatment center. Thus, they do not name their meetings after churches, treatment facilities, mental health centers, or any other outside organization.
It is wise to tell the owner or administrator of the location ahead of time the purpose and nature of your meetings. This will help avoid any possible future misunderstanding that might cause disruption to your meeting.
LOCATION: Consider a location that is well known to the recovery community if possible. Try to identify a location that is near major streets, freeways, and bus routes. Take into consideration if there is ample parking space and if the parking area and the entrance to the building have safe lighting during evening hours. In addition, consider if the meeting room that the meeting is to be held in is near the main entrance to the building.
The easiest places to try might be with a service provider or organization that you are already familiar with. These might include:
Contacting a counselor, case manager, or a church elder that you already know may be the easiest way to proceed. Having the Meeting Start-up Informational Packet or at least the "Welcome to DRA" handout to leave with them can be beneficial.
In many cities, AA members have formed Service Clubs. These are places that will often have meeting space available and may also offer other services such as a coffee shop; pool tables, community space, social events, and they may sell recovery literature. In many cases (but not all) they will allow various non AA 12 Step organizations to utilize their meeting rooms for a modest per use fee.
You can locate these clubhouses by contacting your local AA or NA Intergroup or local contact phone numbers. Look in the phone book under Alcoholism, Drug Treatment, Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, Recovery Club or Alano Club.
Obtain published meeting schedules from AA NA, OA and any other 12 Step organization and notice where those meetings are held in your area. Quite often you will notice the same addresses coming up over and over again. In many communities certain churches, schools, or public facilities have developed a long history of allowing the various 12 Step organizations to utilize their unused rooms for meetings. They have realized the benefit to the community that such 12 Step Recovery meetings have. Many times, churches will rent space for 12 Step meetings at token rates; they understand many Groups have few financial resources.
The DRA Online Resource Center at http://draonline.org maintains a listing of various institutions and service providers who choose to list their facility with us that hold some sort of DRA Educational Sessions or Mock Meetings. In some cases these organizations may be open to the idea of starting an actual DRA 12 Step meeting on their premises. They may have clients or alumni who are interested in helping to start a local DRA Group in the community. They may be aware of new local DRA meetings that are as yet unregistered with the DRA World Network Central Office.
A DRA Group may hold their meeting just about anywhere that is acceptable to its members. The Following list is not complete but may offer some additional ideas:
We know of DRA meetings that are held in private homes. Please take into account that you will be opening your home to 'anyone' who calls himself or herself a DRA member. This can cause issues with your anonymity, privacy, and may even affect your homeowner's insurance rates. Please weigh all the possible implications before deciding to hold public DRA meetings in your private home or apartment. If a private home is all you have to start out with, it is a good idea to be on the lookout for a neutral public place as soon as possible. That way you don't have to worry about a member accidentally breaking a priceless family heirloom or spilling coffee on your furniture and neither do the members who come to the meetings.
Remember that DRA Groups are autonomous. The meeting you start should be able to continue on even if you lose interest or your living situation changed abruptly. Perhaps this is the single best argument for holding meetings in neutral public facilities.
First Things First | Informing the Community