2019 has started busy for the Recovery Café Network (RCN). In January, RCN welcomed three Recovery Cafés to Full Membership: Everett Recovery Café, Recovery Café San Jose, and Recovery Café Spokane. Since joining the first cohort in June 2016, these Recovery Cafés journeyed with us as we started RCN and began to realize our dream of spreading the Recovery Café model across the United States. They gifted us with their motivation, curiosity, and graciousness as we learned together what it meant to be a movement.
Throughout their time as Emerging Members, they demonstrated leadership both in implementing the Recovery Café model and in changing the narrative of what long-term recovery support looks likes in their cities. As Full Members, RCN will call upon them to share with new groups their wisdom earned through challenges and successes. Each can offer multiple examples of transformation and healing made possible through their work. We are proud of what all these Recovery Cafés have accomplished over the past two years and celebrate them becoming Full Members.
In April, the Network launched its fifth cohort of member organizations opening Recovery Cafés in Indianapolis, IN; Lexington, KY; and Bremerton, WA to respond to the addiction epidemic and mental health crisis facing their cities. Over a two-day session, taking place from April 15-16 in Seattle, the new Café leaders learned about the Recovery Café model’s approach to provide individuals the support and stability we each need to thrive. The training focused especially on RCN’s Core Commitments and various Café components that make it unique among recovery centers. Each Café returned home excited to start communities of recovery support.
During the two-day training, the new Recovery Café Network groups learned the basics of the Recovery Café’s longer-term recovery community model including:
- How to create a welcoming and healing setting for all people to thrive
- Raising up individuals to become leaders in the Café using their gifts and talents
- Peer facilitated support groups called Recovery Circles
- Providing activities as pathways to deepen recovery including classes, physical fitness opportunities, and community events
- Monitoring and evaluation of programming to demonstrate impact
This two-day training begins a two year journey where each group is an Emerging Member of the Network. The Recovery Café Network team supports each Café as they open their doors and welcome individuals to become Members. At the end of two years, they will be evaluated and graduate from Emerging Members to Full Members.