Recovery Cafe reopens for in-person meetings, adjusting to phase 2 guidelines

SPOKANE, Wash. — Having human interaction improves many things in our lives. It’s especially important for recovering drug or alcohol addicts. They haven’t had that face-to-face connection because of the pandemic until Tuesday.

“Think about what you’re thankful, for grateful for,” Christine McMackin said out to a group at the Recovery Cafe.

It’s been three months since those in recovery at the cafe have been able to do their five minutes of silence to clear minds and hearts together.

“Adapting to the change was a little difficult, but they pointed me to the unity recovery meetings, they also pointed me to the zoom meetings every week,” said Amy Fain, a recovering addict.

In March, Fain and others had to switch to virtual meetings to continue getting better.

It wasn’t an easy feat.

“There’s just something different about calling somebody on the phone and seeing somebody in person,” said McMackin, the manager of the cafe.

This November will mark two years that Fain has been getting help for heroin and met addiction at the Recovery Cafe. She told 4 News Now it was time to get her life together after her mother died in a tragic accident, while under the influence.

“I was living in a tent and they [Recovery Cafe] helped me find the resources I needed in the community. Now I have a place to live and I go to this amazing church and I have a lot of people that support me,” Fain said.

That support wouldn’t have been possible without seeing people from the cafe on a regular basis.

Now they get to do that again, sort of.

Even though one group had it’s in person meeting on Tuesday, McMackin said there are 12 other groups who still need to meet.

So, to meet social distancing guidelines, they will be alternating between Zoom and in-person meetings. There are other measures in place, as well. Members have to wear face masks and get their temperatures taken. Meetings can be held outside when possible, to increase social distancing.

“It doesn’t feel all the way back to normal but when you go inside, you see everybody, they’re so excited to be here. We’re excited to be here. We’ve missed them as much as they’ve missed us,” McMackin said.

Change is not always easy, but Fain, and the others, made it work.

“We learned to adapt and change and be flexible. I mean, that’s not only what recovery is about, but that’s what life’s about,” Fain said.

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