RAP's program is to teach houses how to manage themselves. We call this "self-managed housing." There is a well defined program of operations which each house must follow. It starts when a new member is admitted to a house.
- To join a house, a member must be drug free.
- A person may apply to the house and the house meeting may accept or reject the applicant.
- Houses usually have 6-12 members.
- Members may stay as long as they are in good standing.
- New members sign a contract that stipulates that they will abide by certain basic policies. Those policies include:
- The house is democratically run,
- It is financially self-supporting, and
- Is committed to empowering its members to become survivors: through a healing plan, counseling, groups or service work.
- In addition, the contract stipulates that the new member has read the RAP Expectations and the House's "Rights & Responsibilities." These documents focus on:
- The right of everyone in the house to feel safe,
- The house must be alcohol and drug free,
- Everyone must attend weekly house meetings, and
- Once a month, the Rights and Responsibilities must be reviewed.
The basis for self-management is the weekly house meeting which is mandatory. At that meeting:
- House business is discussed,
- Problems in the house are resolved,
- Inter-personal issues are addressed,
- And the house finances are reviewed.
Each house elects at least five officers to help run the house. Officers are elected for 6 month terms so that everyone in the house has the opportunity to be an officer. The goal is to teach life management skills, provide members with the self-esteem that comes with having a responsible position, and to encourage the democratic process by giving everyone an opportunity to be in a leadership position. The house officers include:
- Chore Coordinator
The officer positions all have forms that must be maintained in three-ring binders. These binders are open to all members of the house and to RAP staff.
Training for these officer positions are provided by RAP staff.
House problems are supposed to be dealt with in the weekly meetings. If problems are not resolved, the house may call on the chapter for help or for RAP staff.
There are two areas that act as signals or problems in a house:
- Financial management problems. Each house has its own bank account and is responsible for paying its own bills. The Treasurer and Comptroller must report on the financial status of the house at each weekly meeting and at the monthly chapter meeting. A problem with a bank account alerts chapter officers and RAP staff to problems in the house.
- The physical condition of the house. Chapter officers and RAP staff make visits to the house. A dirty, messy house indicates that house members do not care enough to live in a clean, friendly environment. This is another major indicator of problems in the house.