We have at least two recovery meetings daily on premises (to see our meeting schedule, please double click on the PDF file below) and require attendance of our residents at a number of these meetings per week. We also have an active alumni group whose members make it a point to regularly attend meetings at Charlie’s and take time to personally meet and talk with our residents both before and after meetings.
Our experiences have shown that regular attendance at AA meetings is of such importance in early recovery that it is one of the few requirements we have for one to remain living at Charlie's. It is where friends, old and new, gather to talk, laugh and share their stories from when they were still “on the streets,” and also of the new way of life that was afforded them while living at Charlie’s. These conversations always seem to include updates for their friends of how they are managing today in the “real world.”
Friendships grow easily among the residents as they find they have much in common. Our resident learns that their counterparts are also battling alcoholism and have to deal with its many consequences. The feelings of despair, desperation, and hopelessness; the realities of isolation, homelessness and depression; these are not unique to each resident, but are symptoms of a disease shared by many.
Our residents begin to learn that help is available. There are others who are uniquely qualified to serve as confidants, guides and mentors. A number of such people just happen to be their new friends who have offered them help. These new friends have endured the horrors and fear that can accompany alcoholism; these men have lived with this pain, yet found a way out, and today lead productive, useful and sober lives. These new friendships provide a key to previously locked doors. For those who truly desire recovery and to rebuild their lives, Charlie’s helps provide this key; the choice to use the key belongs to each resident.
Previous residents have shared with us that while listening to “The Winners” share their stories of recovery, one on one or in a meeting, they identified so closely with the events in the speaker’s past that it was easy to believe they were getting a “glimpse” into their future. Others have shared with us that while living at Charlie’s, they had many conversations with men who successfully moved on from Charlie’s. What they discovered from talking with these men was “living proof” of an existence these residents no longer thought was possible for them: proof that they could again live a productive life that included a measure of financial security, and do so while maintaining their sobriety. In a word, they rediscovered HOPE!