Recovery community responds to ‘The Meeting House’

Beth Sergent -

POINT PLEASANT — The Meeting House is finding success expanding recovery options for people in the area in one centralized location.

The Meeting House is pretty simple to understand — it’s a house for meetings like Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous and any other self-help group which needs a safe place to call home. Open to the public for just under two weeks, its first NA meeting drew over 40 people and second over 30 people.

Located in the former St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, it is centrally located in Point Pleasant at 2434 Jackson Ave. The organization just received its official 501 (c) (3) status and is steered by individuals in the recovery community, as well as those with “day jobs” in the Mason County Ministerial Association, Mason County Day Report and Community Corrections and beyond.

At this week’s board meeting of The Meeting House, it was announced the organization has applied for a $55,000 grant from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources to finance a Drop-In Center at the former church. The grant provides $25,000 for a program manager and $10,000 for a peer support specialist, as well as $12,000 to cover rent expenses.

The BoMar Drop-In Center in Ripley, W.Va., is the facility The Meeting House is using as its template. BoMar is a place for self-help groups with a focus on addictive disorders and mental health disorders and is also a facility for social activities and special events. Drop-In Centers have managers and support specialists which, if funded, will allow The Meeting House to be open during the day as a safe space for those in recovery, not just when there are meetings.

In addition, The Meeting House will be applying for a Justice Reinvestment Initiative Grant which would also fund a community engagement specialist (a sort of social worker) to work with the Drop-In Center and help pay for group and individual therapy services through Appalachian Family Services, which could include parenting classes, depression and anxiety support, etc. This grant would also be used for transportation funds to allow The Meeting House staff to arrange transportation for those who need to get to the facility.

Also at Monday’s meeting, it was decided to officially add an AA meeting to the schedule for noon, every Monday. NA meets at 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays at The Meeting House.

The Meeting House is in need of help to clean up the old nursery in the church to allow children of those at the peer-supported meetings a safe, fun place to spend their time. Donations to the space are appreciated as well.

The Meeting House is maintaining the church’s sanctuary which is available to rent for weddings and other functions with plans on hosting community events and speakers in the future. The basement can also be rented at the church for parties as well.

Find The Meeting House Inc. on Facebook or email for more information.

Beth Sergent

Reach Beth Sergent at or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.

Reach Beth Sergent at or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.