The Cause for Hope addiction recovery program held at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception began in the spring of 2010 at a storefront church on Trinity Avenue in downtown Atlanta. What began as a single meeting each week attended by 10 to 15 people quickly grew to five meetings (Monday through Friday) with approximately 400 people coming through the doors each week to share "experience, strength, and hope". When the church lost its space on Trinity due to lack of funding, the nearby Shrine opened its doors to give a new home to the well-established and well-attended meetings which had become so important to the unhoused people in the neighborhood. The group decided to retain its original name, "Common Ground of Hope", which was coined by one of our first members.The daily recovery meetings at the Shrine are a critical part of our outreach to the surrounding community, as addiction affects one in three families in the United States and is a major contributing factor to homelessness. Common Ground of Hope recovery meetings have become the "home group" for many in the neighborhood, and a large number of the participants of nearby recovery programs (Hope House, Gateway, Salvation Army, Essence of Hope, Atlanta Union Mission) attend our daily meetings.The Thursday Double Trouble in Recovery (DTR) meetings are led by a DTR-trained member of Georgia's Double Trouble in Recovery, a 12-step fellowship organized by the Georgia Mental Heath Consumer Network. As many as 65% of all people struggling with addiction have a co-occurring mental health disorder, and DTR specifically addresses, educates and supports individuals who are dually diagnosed.The Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings and the Friday Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings are led by people in the home group who are from the neighborhood and in recovery. To hear members speak of the impact of addiction and now recovery on their lives is powerful and inspiring, and the encouragement, support, love and guidance given to newcomers is wonderful to behold.All of the recovery meetings at the Shrine are inspired by the "recovery-oriented systems of care" (ROSC) approach which emphasizes supporting recovery from addiction in the immediate neighborhood through peer support. We were fortunate to have input from the very beginning from Georgia Substance Abuse Council staff, who strongly espouse the ROSC approach. All of the meetings are 12-step based and are able to accommodate those in NA, AA, and DTR. They are open to the public and we welcome guest speakers and visitors from other groups to share their own stories of strength and hope.Recovery meetings are held in the Parish Hall of the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 48 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW, Atlanta, GA 30303, from 12:45 to 2 PM Monday-Friday. We open at noon every day for fellowship and to set up chairs and prepare coffee and snacks for the meeting. For further information about the recovery program please contact Jane Elliott.
This green basket, which we pass after every 12-step meeting, has been with us from day one. In 2019 we collected nearly $7,000 from a population that is largely unhoused or in transition. The money is used to buy recovery books, provide coffee, punch and snacks, and to pay rent for our space.
Cause for Hope is a registered 501(c)(3) organization