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Alcoholism Recovery Program
“If each sufferer were to carry the news of the scientific hopelessness of alcoholism to each new prospect, he might be able to lay every newcomer wide open to a transforming spiritual experience.”

AA Co-Founder, Bill W., January 1963, “The Bill W.–Carl Jung Letters”, The Language of the Heart

Hospitals & Institutions Committee

A.A. From powerless to infinitely powerful.

Helping Alcoholics in Institutions.

H&I carries the message of recovery from alcoholism to the alcoholic who is not able to get to a meeting, perhaps an older woman in a board and care facility; a teenager who needs help in a hospital;
a young man in rehabilitation; patients in a locked psychiatric ward;  the still suffering alcoholics that are incarcerated.
There are many institutions, jails, prisons, treatment facilities, and rehabs, in the S.F. Bay Area that are served by AA members of the Hospitals and Institutions Committee.

How to help alcoholics in hospitals, institutions, jails, or prisons.
AA carries the program of recovery into thousands of institutions, jails, and prisons.

Northern California Hospital and Institution Committee: Carrying the message of AA to the alcoholic who is confined.

The only purpose of this committee is to carry the message of AA to alcoholics in Corrections and Treatment facilities and facilities serving alcoholics in Northern CA. The activities of this committee are based on, and governed by, the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The Northern California H&I Committee is an independent Ninth Tradition service committee of Alcoholics Anonymous, carrying the message of recovery to the alcoholic who is confined.

Note: This committee cooperates with East Bay Intergroup and the General Service structure.

Helping institutionalized alcoholics find a solution.

Before there was a “Big Book”, Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, the “AA Grapevine” or General Service — before there were meetings, clubs, conventions or any AA literature — before there was an H&I committee, there was a visit to an Akron hospital where “one drunk talked to another.” Actually there were two drunks, Dr. Bob and Bill W., talking to Bill D. on June 26, 1935 (Big Book, pg.156 “Anonymous Number Three”, pg. 182). That was the first H&I panel some 85 years ago.
The institution that provided the catalyst for the H&I Committee was San Quintin prison in California, when the warden of that institution read an article in a national publication about AA and its success. Warden Duffy ordered a “Big Book” from New York and invited the local groups to bring AA meetings into San Quentin in 1942.
In 1946 the Hospital and Institutions Committee was formed. 

Alcoholism and hospitals

The H&I torch continues to burn on --

Since those pioneering days, the Northern California H&I Committee has evolved into a fully functional, independent service committee, with over 44 Areas represented and thousands of volunteers participating in our service work. Northern California H&I provides almost 33,000 meetings a year, serving 25 major State and Federal Institutions, hundreds of local jails, hospitals, rehabilitation/recovery centers and other community facilities in Northern California.

Alcoholic Number Three

New Volunteers Welcome!
How to get into Service;

Following are the three basic positions available for doing service to the H&I committee in your Area.
We suggest you start out with only one or two commitments, for example a Meeting Volunteer and/or an H&I Group Representative – you can always add more later.

  • Meeting Volunteers are the people who are responsible for bringing meetings into the many hospitals, recovery centers, detoxes and jails in Northern Ca. They usually go into a facility to conduct a one hour meeting once a month on a given day of the week.
  • Facility Coordinators are the people who are responsible for organizing the rosters for a particular meeting – they are essentially the glue that holds the meetings together.
  • H&I Group Representatives are the people who serve as the vital communication link between the local H&I committee and their Home Group; they make announcements and keep their groups informed about H&I activities and they attend H&I business meetings to discuss and vote on issues.

H&I Service Area

The AA groups of H&I Area 53, covers all of Alameda County, including the El Cerrito Fellowship.
To that end, we encourage your group to send a voting H&I group representative to the Area Business Meeting.

As with other service committees, the function of this representative is to bring the voice of the
individual group to the NorCal Area 53 H&I Committee and take vital information about H&I back to their group.

Sponsorship At San Quentin

Helping those alcoholics that don't have access to recovery.

Purpose: to provide a system to connect inmates who wish to avail themselves of outside sponsorship with outside volunteers willing to perform that service. Volunteers for this service CANNOT also go into the institution as regular H&I Meeting Volunteers

To learn more, click here

Next general committee meeting:

Sunday October 9, 2022
11:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Zoom Meeting Info
Meeting ID: 872 5694 4555
Password: service
Phone dial in: +1 669 900 6833

New Volunteers Welcome

Beginners Orientation meeting

1st Wednesday of the month on Zoom
6:30-7:15 pm

Meeting ID: 317 259 5765
Passcode: ACTION 

H&I business meeting is also the 1st Wednesday of the month @ 7:30 pm. 

How H&I is Funded

Funding for our committee’s activities is provided by contributions collected in the H&I Pink Cans passed at AA meetings, and by other contributions from individual members and groups. Over the years, these monies have enabled us to provide books to tens of thousands of confined alcoholics who would otherwise not have access to the life-saving message of AA’s literature. Because we are governed by the Twelve Traditions and guided by the spiritual principles embodied in the Twelve Concepts, H&I is committed to full transparency and accountability in all our financial activities.
Taken from a talk given by Bill W.

“Finally, one day, Dr. Silkworth took me back down to my right size. Said he, "Bill, why don't you quit talking so much about that bright light experience of yours, it sounds too crazy. Though I'm convinced that nothing but better morals will make alcoholics really well, I do think you have got the cart before the horse. The point is that alcoholics won't buy all this moral exhortation until they convince themselves that they must. If I were you I'd go after them on the medical basis first. While it has never done any good for me to tell them how fatal their malady is, it might be a very different story if you, a formerly hopeless alcoholic, gave them the bad news. Because of the identification you naturally have with alcoholics, you might be able to penetrate where I can't. Give them the medical business first, and give it to them hard. This might soften them up so they will accept the principles that will really get them well."

Other A.A. World Service institution outreach committees
Click illustration to go to PDF download.

By our Twelve Steps we have recovered, by our Twelve Traditions we have unified, and through our Third Legacy -- Service -- we shall carry the AA message down through the corridors of time to come.