The primary purpose of each Chapter is to assure that each oxford House operates in a way that is consistent with the Oxford House Traditions and system of operations as described in the Oxford House Manual. Chapters have become the front-line building blocks of quality control and mutual assistance for the continued success of all Oxford Houses. Experience has shown that both the individual houses and Oxford House, Inc. as a whole are more likely to succeed and last if every house belongs to a chapter.
When there were just a few Oxford Houses, there was no need for Chapters because each Oxford House President was a member of the Board of Directors of Oxford House, Inc. and met once a month in order to share the experience, strength and hope of each house. By 1988, the number of individual Oxford Houses had become so great that it became difficult to have a meeting at which everyone would get a chance to speak. Some longed for the "old days" when there were fewer houses and the combined group of houses were smaller. Others recognized that the success of Oxford House made it clear that there would be more and more houses and there was no turning back the clock.
Oxford House, Inc., a non-profit corporation, belongs to the residents of Oxford Houses nationwide. Residents democratically make their voices heard through the individual houses, the Chapters, the World Council and the Oxford House, Inc. Board of Directors. The legacy of Oxford House is forever secure as long as the concept, Traditions and system of operations is assured by control of its members through participation in an effective democratic system of organization.
Chapters are important links in the effective democratic system of operation guiding Oxford House as a whole. They are one way to solve the problem of keeping combined groups of houses small enough to permit each house to share its experiences, strengths and hopes with other houses. This manual describes how chapters work and are organized to strengthen the world network of Oxford Houses.