June 19, 2020

Dear Hope Nation,

I bring you good news, glad tidings, music to all our ears. The voyage across the Sea of During is coming to an end. Initial landing parties have begun exploring the Land of After and discovered that it is good, not the same as the Land of Before, but still good.

And we need YOU to help us get ready to disembark completely!

Hope will reopen! We don’t have a date certain yet, we’ll likely begin at only four hours per day, and we’re working with the Manchester Health Department to make sure we’re as safe as possible. Hope is moving once again toward providing in-person recovery support, a community for those who are in or have a hankering to be in recovery, a safe harbor for our members. Along with all of you, the Hope staff, board of directors and I have been waiting for this day since we closed in March.

The in-person all-recovery meetings at noon and six pm have been well attended and greeted enthusiastically by folks who come. Human beings seem to need to gather physically to enjoy all the power and benefits of peer-to-peer recovery. When one person in recovery demonstrates identification with the feelings, thoughts and cravings of another some mystical bond is formed, a connection that seems much stronger in three dimensions than in two.

Zoom meetings have sufficed (and will continue for the foreseeable future). Zoom has saved lives and steered  back into recovery, but I (Keith the person, not Keith the director of Hope) have found Zoom meetings to be the equivalent of breathing through a straw. They provide just enough recovery to keep me going, but not enough to allow me to relax. Still, Zoom has been the only game in town for much of the past three months and many folks will continue to rely on it.

Given the success of the in-person meetings and the utility of Zoom meetings, so through the magic of technology (and the generous funding of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation) we’re combining them. As you’ve read here earlier, the Owl Meeting Pro provides 360-degree video that automatically focuses on whoever is speaking. The trial runs so far have been really well-received, and we look forward to the day we can have meetings of 30 people spread over three rooms, with another 15 people joining through Zoom.

Now, to the part you can play: we’ve got a lot of furniture to put into storage and other pieces to be rearranged. You can see what Hope will look like by helping to make it so.

For those of you who need an invitation to go anywhere, here it is:

You matter. I matter. We matter.


If you’re interested, here’s the work to be done:

Main room: all cloth furniture out and into art room.  Set up 2 more tables from art room onto wood floor – the room will have a total of 6 tables of 2 – 2 stools at the coffee bar – 1 chair at each pillar and one by the Hope art. Move piano to meditation room

Coffee Bar: Remove chairs/stools from inside area

Fishbowl: (6)  all cloth chairs removed – remove phone closest to the door leave 6 folding chairs remove 2 desks

Kitchen: (2) Nothing

Keith’s office: (4)Remove all cloth furniture? Replace with 4 vinyl chairs

Family Room: (5) remove 3 chairs/toy cabinet

Dave’s office: (3) Black copier to back spare office.

Conference Room: (6) remove all chairs and replace with 6 folding chairs

Yellow room: (4) remove table desk and chairs, replace them with large vinyl chairs

Large meeting room: (16) lock up or remove all chairs except 16. (put extra chairs in art room if there is room)

Long Hallway:  (4)set up a table at each end with 2 chairs. Chair racks in the middle

Back Lobby: (5) Set up desk in place of table (from yellow room) remove fabric chairs set up table for 2 against the large meeting room wall

Karla’s office: (2) Nothing

Back office: storage for PPE – move banquet tables to hallway and lock them up

Meditation room: Remove all yoga equipment & instruments except for pianos – add 10 chairs

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