• Can any man with a drinking problem apply for admittance?
• Who qualifies for admittance and how is such admittance arranged?
• How then, was the House organized?
• Why was it organized?
• How does a man apply for care in the House?
• What does the Twelve Step House give the new man once he is accepted?
• Please explain the manner in which the new man is helped and what is
required while he is a resident of the House.
• How long does the man stay at theTwelve Step House?
• How much does it cost to stay at the House? Who pays this money and how?
• Can a man leave before his 3 to 5 week period is up?
• Can a man return to the House if he again finds himself in need of help?
• How many people can be housed at the House?
• Is the House self-supporting at the current time?
• What about the future? Where does theTwelve Step House go from here?
• What else should I know about the Twelve Step House?
What is the Twelve Step House?
The Twelve Step House is a non-profit organization chartered by the State of Illinois for the rehabilitation of the man who has a drinking problem, and wishes to study and apply the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Back to the Top Can any man with a drinking problem apply for admittance?
No. The Twelve Step House does not accept “off-the-street” applicants. Neither does it accept applicants from any Welfare, Charitable, Religious, or Fraternal Organization.
Back to the Top Who qualifies for admittance and how is such admittance arranged?
To answer this question clearly and completely it will first be necessary to explain in some detail how the Twelve Step House was organized and what it was chartered by the State of Illinois to accomplish. Back to the Top How then, was the House organized?
The house was organized by a group of male alcoholics who had and were successfully arresting their own drinking problem through the application of the A.A. program. Back to the Top Why was it organized?
The Twelve Step House was conceived as a means of helping these sober alcoholics practice the A.A program. In this program, each person is charged with the responsibility of “carrying the message” that is, helping someone else who has a drinking problem. Back to the Top
How does a man apply for care in the House?
The man who is seeking help with his problem does not and cannot apply directly. The proper manner of securing admittance to the Twelve Step House is this:
1. The man with a drinking problem must first call A.A. for help.
2. If the A.A. member who makles the call on him is a sponsor of the Twelve Step House, or if he is acceptable to the House Committee Member of the Twelve Step House, the sponsor will then apply for help with his Twelve Step call.
3. The sponsoring A.A. member will then make arrangements with the House Committee member covering the expenses of housing his man in the House. The Sponsor accepts obligation for the payment of this money to the House and at the same time charges his “new man” with the responsibility of repaying to him all indebtedness incurred.
4. The Sponsor accepts and understands the Rules and Regulations of the House. He agrees to abide by such rules and regulations. He then commits his “new man to abide by such rules as long as he enjoys the security and privileges of the House.
5. The Sponsor agrees to maintain daily contact with “his” man. Any breach of House rules and regulations can result in the sponsoring member of A.A. being denied the use of the House in the future. Back to the Top
What does the Twelve Step House give the new man once he is accepted?
Nothing. Everything the new man is offered, he either earns himself or he assumes responsibility for future repayment. HE MUST KNOW THAT HE EARNS HIS OWN REHABILITATION. The Twelve Step House is only a means to help him stay sober long enough to be able to earn further sobriety and responsibility. Back to the Top
Please explain the manner in which the new man is helped and what is required while he is a Resident of the House.
The new man is interviewed by a member of the House Committee in the presence of his new A.A. friend, the sponsor. The rules and regulations of the House are explained to him and his responsibility to the House and other Residents are clearly defined.
Accent is placed on the fact that this is NOT A CHARITY HOUSE. There is a price on everything in life, including one’s own rehabilitation. The new Resident is given to understand this.
His presence in the House is admission of his willingness to accept the principles of the A.A. program in action, in thought, and in deed. Therefore, he will have a ready guide of behavior to which to cling during his stay in the House.
Housekeeping chores are assigned to each man and he is expected to contribute his fair share of work.
Wholesome family-style cooking is prepared by the Custodian or some other authorized member of the House. The usual K.P. duties are expected to be shared equally by all the Residents of the House.
After work details are finished and if there are no A.A. meetings in progress, the new man is furnished copies of A.A. literature and is expected to read and apply what he has read.
This constant living with A.A. twenty-four hours a day, as opposed to the “dumping in a hotel room alone” is perhaps the prime benefit the man may expect from living in the House.
Daily communication and counseling his A.A. sponsor still remains the chief support the new man will receive while in the House. However, should additional counseling and explanations be necessary, the House Custodian and Board Members assigned as House Sponsors will make every effort to aid the new man, without conflicting in any way with the efforts of the A.A. sponsor.
Living in a sheltered atmosphere, surrounded by other men like himself who are trying to rehabilitate themselves, has proven to be a prime factor in the new man’s early struggle for sobriety.
Back to the Top
How long does the man stay at the Twelve Step House?
There is no hard and fast rule. Basically, a man stays from 3 to 5 weeks. Experience has shown, however, that on some occasions the time can be shorter or stretched as needed for each individual.
During his stay, the man should sufficiently recover from his last drinking bout and then proceed to look for work, attend A.A. meetings and strengthen his ties with A.A. and his sponsor.
The man will never be asked to do anything that he is incapable of doing. However, in all cases, the House Committee Member will determine the man’s capabilities. While this may sound harsh, we have learned from experience that such an attitude on the part of the House will in a large measure prevent “malingering” and becoming “institutionalized”.
Back to the Top
How much does it cost to stay at the house? Who pays this money and how?
The Resident is charged $100.00 for each week he stays at the House. Naturally, most men who wish to stay at the House have no money. Therefore, the A.A. sponsor who brings his man to the House is held responsible for the cost of helping “his man”.
Additionally, personal expenses such as cigarettes, laundry, and carfare for seeking employment are advanced when necessary but are to be repaid when the man is financially able.
Shoes, clothing, etc, which may be needed to make a resident look presentable when looking for work are available through donations. There is never any charge for items donated to the House for the Resident’s use.
The House will expect two weeks ($200.00) Room & Board in advance and weekly in advance thereafter unless an A.A. Group that has a Group Card donation with the House takes care of the man’s stay in the House. The A.A. sponsor collects his money from the man being helped in the House and/or the man being helped is expected to repay the A.A. Group paying for his stay in the House.
During the second or third week of a man’s stay he will in all probability be working on a day-to-day basis. During this time he will be expected to pay all or part of his expenses while he is in the House.
In all cases, we are only concerned with the man’s well-being. Once a man starts to work he will be permitted to hold back enough of his money so that he will have a stake when he leaves.
Back to the Top Can a man leave before his 3 to 5 week period is up?
A man can leave the House any time he wishes. However, the manner in which he leaves and the circumstances of his leaving will determine his future relationship to the House and his subsequent use of its facilities. Back to the Top Can a man return to the house if he again finds himself in need of help?
Certainly. However, his return would be clearly based on the wishes of his A.A. sponsor, the manner and circumstances of his leaving previously, his own record of cooperation with House personnel, and a variety of other factors.
Many men are permitted to return and many are not permitted to return, each case is different and is judged solely on its merits.
Back to the Top How many people can be housed at the house?
Currently we have facilities to board and lodge only eight men. We hope in the future to be able to have more and better facilities. Back to the Top
Is the house self supporting at the current time?
To answer this question simply the answer would have to be “no” and again “yes”. Or to put it more clearly:
While we make every effort to collect the room and board expensed from our Residents, we are not always able to do so. At the same time, some of the A.A. sponsors are remarkably deaf when the House asks them for the balance due. This is to be expected at times. We are not disappointed. However, the percentage of those who default their bills have been remarkably small.
It must be made very clear that the charges for lodging and feeding House Residents barely cover the cost while in the House. If all the current outstanding bills were to be immediately paid it would not materially contribute to the other House expenses.
The actual expense of operating and maintaining the House is primarily met through the free will donations of individual A.A. Groups using the facilities of the House for meetings. These groups are not in any way connected with the Twelve Step House.
There are at the present time many individual groups who hold their meetings in the House. Each group donates a sum of money (which they determine) for use of the meeting rooms and coffee privileges.
Each group contributes what it can and no questions are asked. Facilities available are exactly the same regardless of the amount contributed. These donations from completely autonomous A.A. groups form the backbone of our financial structure. In addition to group donations, such expense money as possible is collected from the Coffee and Coke “Kitty”.
In the organizational structure is a plan which allows the House to collect a minimum of $120.00 a year from a “House Sponsor”. A “House Sponsor” can be any man or woman who wishes to help support the House by contributing $10.00 on a monthly basis to help keep the doors open to alcoholics who don’t want to pick up a drink and also to the still suffering alcoholic. It was through a small group of original members that the money was initially contributed to found the House. In most of these cases the original donations amounted to substantially more than $120.00.
“House Sponsors” form the basic governing body of the House. From this group a Board of fifteen Trustees is elected. This Board originates policy, authorizes expenditures, selects the“House Committee”, hires the full-time custodian and the part-time custodian necessary to run and manage the House. Back to the Top
What about the future? Where does the Twelve Step House go from here?
That depends on you.
It depends on your reaction to what you have read here.
It depends on your willingness to contribute materially to future plans now in progress.
A special fund has been designated as the Memorial Building Fund. This fund was originally started by friends of deceased members who had founded and worked with the Twelve Step House. By contributing to the work their loved ones or friends had been so interested in, these friends felt they were in some way contributing the memory and work of that friend or relative.
From a few scattered contributions the Memorial Building Fund has grown to the point where we are currently buying our own property.
Additional money has been raised through special meetings and special contributions. A special campaign is now in progress to better acquaint people with the work of the Twelve Step House, its problems, and its future.
We are in dire need of “House Sponsors”, people who will not only contribute their money, but their time and efforts on our behalf.
HOW WELL THESE PROGRAMS SUCCEED DEPENDS ON YOU!
Back to the Top What else should i know about the Twelve Step House?
The Twelve Step House has been in existence since 1958. In that time numerous A.A. meetings have been held in its rooms. Since we have moved into our present property in 1973, our facilities have also been made available to Al=non and Alateen groups as well as non-smoking A.A. groups. A lot of men have been residents of the House. While not all of these men have successfully remained sober, the fact remains that they did have the chance to work for their own rehabilitation. Some of the men who have come to the House in crying need have remained sober and are now members of the Board of Trustees, helping to insure that other men will have the same opportunity they were once given. Back to the Top