Starting a new CAIR Self-help from the ground up is a very straight forward process. You can get most of the material needed for free from www.CAIRforYou.com. You can also request additional support in forming a new group. The CD's are useful tools for getting a feeling of the material and the underlying perceptions of New Program and the recovery process. They can be experienced in small bites, like the Handbook, and reflected on before taking another bite. Wisdom takes time to digest. “Who’s REALLY Driving Your Bus?” can give you a deeper understanding of how to apply what you are learning.
It is helpful to start with a core steering committee of 3 – 6 members who have a strong commitment to learn New Program and grow in recovery. It is useful to have people with a variety of problems represented in the committee, for example, chemical dependency, eating disorders, depression, etc...
The steering committee will need to meet on a regular basis to become familiar with the CAIR Handbook and discuss New Program concepts in a group setting. This is the beginning of your first C.A.I.R. group.
As the steering committee becomes more comfortable, you can begin to find the location to open general public meetings, for example, a church, conference room at a business, classrooms at a hospital, etc. The very first C.A.I.R. Group meeting was held in the bridal room of a local church. Because of lack of space, the meeting was moved to the parking lot. The first ongoing, weekly meeting was held in the conference room at a local disposal company, so be creative. There needs to be two or three "trusted servants" who are willing to take the responsibility for unlocking and locking the meeting room, and will represent the C.A.I.R. group when relating with the authorities who represent the building. Each separate group needs its own trusted servants.
It is helpful for meetings to be held weekly, at a set time and place. As the need arises, more meeting Sites can be added.
When meetings begin to consistently run over 15 - 20 members, it is helpful to begin forming an additional group. It is necessary for some of the steering committee to participate in the new group.
It is helpful for each group to be represented in a local steering committee, and for Steering Committees to be in contact with each other. It is useful to find a local bookstore to handle the distribution of C.A.I.R. Handbooks, CD’s and Bus Books, or you can get the needed material through the www.CAIRforYou.com web site.