The Single Purpose Story

The idea of creating Single Purpose sprang from an informal discussion among a few AA members during a meeting that had been brought into the home of a fellow housebound AAer. It was the early summer of 2018 and six of us were sitting around sharing our experience, strength and hope with each other [the topic of our discussion was fellowship] and two of the six related their experiences of attending sober clubs in their early sobriety and the impact that those experiences had in helping these members to develop a strong foundation in recovery.

We shared with each other how important we felt a strong foundation and sober a fellowship was to all of us in recovery, and we wondered why there was no local sober club in our area. We questioned if we could start one in our own backyard and, after some further discussions among the original six and others, we felt that starting a sober club would be a worthy pursuit.

We started to proceed, with the original six donating $5,000.00 in seed money, which was used to incorporate and apply to the IRS for a 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, which we received in late December.

Realizing that our seed money was diminishing rapidly, we thought of other ways to raise the funds needed to start Single Purpose. The six designed a T-shirt and had it silk screened. We sold the shirts and deposited the funds into an account, which had been established for the club. We then had a large garage/yard sale with items donated by the six and many members of the recovery community, along with others who simply thought this was “a good idea”. Despite happening on an unseasonably rainy and cold day, our sale date came and the event went off without too many hitches; more money for Single Purpose.

Members of the 12-Step community started coming forward and began donating money for Single Purpose after hearing of our mission. We began earnestly searching for space that we thought would meet the club’s needs and would be affordable for this fledgling entity. Discouragement was our constant fellow, but word reached Christa Hines, executive director of non-profit Hudson River Housing (HRH) and she referred us to a few spaces, which did not meet our needs. Finally, she realized that she could provide us with an affordable space in one of HRH’s own buildings by moving one of its entities into another facility and Single Purpose found its home. Our community of supporters rapidly came forward with funding, furniture and other donations to help us open our doors and host a holiday welcoming party a week after we received the keys to our new space.

Our beautiful clubhouse is now located in a handsome restored Victorian building at 291 Mill Street, at the corner of Mill Street (the westbound arterial) and Garden Street in Poughkeepsie, adjacent to a municipal parking lot and close to both bus and rail lines.

Our idea had borne fruit and we were able to realize the dream we had of providing fellowship, friendship and support as we dreamt of in our original meeting.

Today, Single Purpose is the only sober clubhouse in the Hudson Valley, hosting numerous 12-Step meetings and social gatherings for people in recovery and those who love them, seven days a week. Like all clubs, Single Purpose lives one day at a time, with the vital support of its members, volunteers and low-flying angels.