The initial discussions about needing a permanent location for 12-step recovery meetings in Little Rock began around a picnic table at Murray Park in 1992. Some of the participants were members of recovery programs and some were concerned family members and friends. At that time, most 12-step meetings relied on local churches and public spaces for meetings and were prohibited from owning property as a 12-step group due to the potential distraction from their individual recovery. However, other areas in the country had proven that the value of having a long-term location is vital to the survival of those seeking recovery. The solution was to form a nonprofit foundation whose mission would be to own and operate a facility that would allow the various home groups to meet throughout the week. Fourteen individuals from that meeting decided to form the Friends of Recovery Foundation, Inc. (FOR) and to name the facility Recovery Central. Of those initial 14 founders, only a handful are still active, four have passed away in loving memory.
After that initial meeting, things moved fast. In 1993, FOR opened the first Recovery Central at a vacant church in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Six years later, Recovery Central was relocated in the downtown area of Little Rock. Through the hard work of our members and volunteers and the generosity of many benefactors, FOR was able to give up leasing and purchase a building at 7th and Jones, eventually outgrowing it to purchase the current location at 1305 W. Markham in downtown Little Rock. The FOR Board meets once a month to discuss the condition of the building, the drain pipes, whether to change dumpster providers, and any other issue that may have an impact on the the property. Also, reports are provided by each group that meets throughout the week that includes suggestions, issues that need attending, and a completed check-off sheet with "house rules" for each day. Members of the groups that meet at Recovery Central strive to be good neighbors by having "Clean up Saturdays" once a month, keeping the noise levels down, and not keeping late hours during the week. The doors are open to anyone that has a desire to be drug and alcohol free. When FOR incorporated over 20 years ago, the founders dreamed of owning a building. Recovery Central at 1305 W. Markham is that dream come true.
As with most nonprofit organizations, the challenge is to raise enough funding to keep the doors open. In addition, to pay the utilities, perform building repairs, and do renovations as needed. We are humbled by the generosity of our donors. As long as we are able to meet the operational costs of Recovery Central, we will be able to help addicts who are seeking a new way to live, and their families, into recovery.
FOR does not have any employees, paid or otherwise. Every function is performed by volunteers. Recovery Central is open to any 12-step recovery group that is seeking a permanent location for their meetings.