"The 12-24 Club is a community resource built around recovery. We strive to provide a safe, anonymous environment to groups and individuals seeking recovery, with an attitude of fellowship.”
The non-profit organization was incorporated in September of 1993 and originally housed in the old Arid Club on West Yellowstone. In 1998, the City of Casper selected the 12-24 Club as its new tenant for the former senior center located in the City Park blocks at 8th & Center Streets. Initially, the Club hosted only Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), but after moving to the larger leased facility, the Club was able to open its doors to any 12-Step group seeking to offer its members recovery from issues causing problems in their lives. The Club moved again in March 2010, to its current location at 500 S Wolcott St. The new facility is large enough for added growth and is available for other agencies geared toward helping the youth and recovery in this community. The Club now operates as a hub for recovery in the community and is open to all pathways to recovery.
ACTIVITIES AT THE CLUB
There are more than 40 scheduled recovery related meetings a week. To see a complete calendar, please visit our Meetingspage. On many of the major holidays, the Club provides a large “family” dinner for those who might not have family to visit for the holidays. In 2013, the Club was one of two in the United States to host a Sober St. Patricks Day (R) event. For more information regarding the founding event please visit www.soberstpatricksday.org.
On a day-to-day basis, our purpose is to keep our doors open so the suffering addict or alcoholic (or suffering loved one) has a safe haven of support every day of the year. Depending on the time of year, we have 2,500 to 3,000 patron visits per month. Our small restaurant feeds people’s bellies while the meetings feed their souls. The availability of delicious, reasonably-priced, home-cooked meals enables folks in recovery to come to the popular noon meetings and get a bite to eat before returning to work. There are dinner-time meetings, as well as other scheduled meetings throughout the weekend.
Project ReGain, is a life skills and job training program to help people find recovery in all aspects of their lives has launched as of 2013.Rob Johnston was hired in January to launch this porgram. This program offers trainings that include resume writing, online job searching, and other professional development opportunities. As there are many organizations that offer these programs already operating in Natrona County, we will look to create partnerships with them, rather than re-create the wheel.
The Recovery Resource Center opened in the spring of 2013. There is ample room to stock books, DVDs, CDs, tapes and other types of resource information on all types of recovery. These include Rational Recovery, SMART Recovery, 12 Steps, etc. This room will eventually house 4 computer stations, and 1 printer. The purpose of The Recovery Resource Room is to provide the community with an atmosphere of anonymity and confidentiality to do research on substance abuse and addiction. While the negative stigma of the disease has somewhat diminished, there are still those that pass undue judgment. When marketed correctly, this program could help those looking for answers and provide those just coming out of treatment a connection to the recovery community of Casper.
A future opportunity for the 12-24 Club is a Community Outreach program. This program would provide numerous occasions for us to collaborate with other Government, private and not for profit organizations. There are a couple of ways this can be done. Firstly, I propose that we partner with the Substance Abuse Treatment Providers group and the Casper Police Department to offer monthly or quarterly presentations on different topics relating to substance abuse and addiction. These presentations would be open to the public for those that are interested in gaining more knowledge on the topic. In collaboration with probation/parole, Casper Police Department, and Drug Court, first time offenders could be mandated to attend these presentations as part of their rehabilitation. It may be possible to catch those first and second time offenders early and prevent them from getting involved in substance abuse and addiction any deeper. These presentations would have to be held at a time when the Club does not have 12 Step meetings scheduled in order to maintain those attendees anonymity. Secondly, I propose the 12-24 Club serve as a Community Liaison to groups, schools, and other entities to those in Recovery. As we that have been involved in the Recovery community know, it takes one alcoholic to speak to, and reach out to, another alcoholic before anything can be changed. Through our relationship with this recovery community, we can build a base of volunteers, called the 12-24 Corp. Service In Action, that are interested in sharing their story and would be willing to go out and speak to groups of people. Examples of groups that would be interested include REACH High, DARE programs, and the Transitions learning Center.
The Board of Directors (consisting of four officer positions and 15, at most, at-large board members) meets on the third Tuesday of every month. The board represents many facets of our community.
Staff-- The Club employs four full-time positions; Executive Director, Kitchen Manager, Office Manager and Program Director. We also employ six part-time kitchen personnel and 2 part-time “caretakers” who handle cleaning and maintenance tasks. (At present, several employees work as few as 6-10 hours per week to accommodate their school schedules, family responsibilities or health limitations.)
The Club helps people rebuild their lives, including its employees and volunteers. The kitchen staff is comprised primarily of folks in early recovery who need a safe, supportive work environment where they can learn skills, build successful relationships with co-workers and develop a work history. The goal is for the employees to “graduate” to better job opportunities.
Volunteers -- The 12-24 Club is blessed with a broad slate of individuals who volunteer their time and talents to the facility. Their efforts range from various light cleaning tasks to other complex professional type tasks. Some folks work one hour or one day; others come back month after month. In a year’s time there are easily 100 people who come through the doors as volunteers. Many of the Club’s volunteers are homeless and/or unemployed. They come to meetings hungry and it is Club practice to feed anyone who wishes to do some meaningful work around the building. We don’t hand out anything for free, but we generously allow people to earn what they need.
Also, many individuals who are on probation and/or court-ordered to 12-Step meetings choose to fulfill their community service obligation at the Club. It’s an ideal opportunity for them to make connections with clean and sober folks who are in recovery and are a positive influence on them.
To continue the 12-24 Club’s important work, we need assistance from those in the community who value and benefit from the critical service we provide. For more information, or to donate please contactHeidi Foy, the Executive Director.