At the Granada House, a recovery home in Allston, we clients were faced with the state-imposed quarantine lockdown during the height of the Corona virus crisis. We were faced with many obstacles concerning being proactive in our own recovery. One of the former residents and now staff put forth the idea of having our own “In-House AA Meeting”. Our program schedule had an opening on Saturday evenings, which was the perfect opportunity!
The game plan was very simple – have an AA meeting in the basement of the Granada. It would provide enough seating as well as the space necessary to comply with the Corona Virus social distancing guidelines. Most of the clients are new to Alcoholics Anonymous, so we made it a simple ‘12 step’ meeting. We would read the step of the week aloud from the “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” (while wearing masks). After the weekly step had been read, residents would take turns sharing their thoughts regarding the step, or how it directly relates to their life experience, using the ‘Round Robin’ method.
The idea was formed thanks to collaboration between staff and clients. We then decided to have the meeting be as informal as possible in order to encourage a relaxed atmosphere where no one would feel intimidated or nervous. We provided house-made AA chips to celebrate different monthly lengths of sobriety, as well as the added incentive of a huge bucket of candy for showing up and participating.
The meeting was a smashing success! The CEO of the Granada House had contacted Central Services and sourced us the books needed for the meeting. Members of the Granada community (clients, staff, and those living at the 3/4 house), attend weekly. People share without any time restraint and the open discussion is intimate and has the warm embrace of AA, even in a “lock down” atmosphere. The group hopes that this message will be carried far into the Granada future, even after the current clients have graduated and moved on. All thanks to perseverance and a great idea in April which formed our version of Super AA!