Whatever your reason for approaching this manual, on behalf of the RECOVER Project community—past, present, and future—I welcome you. This is an exciting time to be a part of the peer recovery movement. Since beginning my work as the Director of the RECOVER Project, I have witnessed tremendous expansion in this grass-roots movement growing up around us. As you approach this manual, please know that this work of peer recovery is at once radical and revolutionary. We are all pioneers, building this movement as we go. Imagine, a resource center developed and designed by people in recovery for people in recovery, a storefront space on a main street, easily accessible and open to all. Ten years ago, when we started this work, we began to imagine the possibilities. We have come to appreciate the messiness, inefficiency, and mystery of this process. Our community has learned to live in the questions, knowing that each time we believe we’ve reached an answer, more questions are revealed. At the end of the day, we have leaned to value the process over the product, as the process itself is where we grow.
This manual is based on the experiences the RECOVER Project has collected over the past ten years. Inside, you will find some theoretical underpinnings, lots of practical applications, and the voices of those actively engaged in recovery. “From the Ground Up: How to Build your own Peer-to-Peer Recovery Center,” is designed to be an organic, living document. There are opportunities within the manual for sharing your community’s voices and experiences. Through this platform, we will learn from and support one another. We urge you to share your successes and challenges with us as you cultivate your recovery center from the ground up, and look forward to supporting and sharing with you as we grow together.