SUBMITTED BY STEP DENVER
Step Denver, formally Step 13, is a residential recovery community helping low-income men overcome the consequences of addiction. The organization helps men re-build their lives and re-engage with the community through sobriety, work and accountability.
The origin of the name “Step 13” is unknown beyond myths and legends. It has been said the 13th step was merely the “step after the 12th step.” We have also heard that Step 13 is a reference to Jesus Christ and the twelve apostles, along with the thirteen stripes on the American flag – inferring that with God and Country no man is beyond redemption. Despite the name’s unknown origins, Step 13 has continued to represent the pillars visionary founder Bob Coté set forth – ‘Sobriety, Work, and Accountability.”
Step 13 began in 1983 in downtown Denver’s then “skid-row” LoDo District by a group who wanted to help the homeless people suffering from the disease of addiction. One of the leaders, Bob Coté, was in the early stages of recovery himself and was motivated to help other men find recovery just as he had. Coté thus assisted with the conversion of an old warehouse into Step Denver’s present-day facility, which became a refuge to men living on the street due to their addiction. Well-ahead of his time in methodology, Bob Coté created and implemented a transformational program based upon sobriety, work, and accountability.
Today, Step 13 has remained true to Bob’s vision while further developing programs around sobriety support, career development, and life skills training. The change from Step 13 to Step Denver also aligns with the organization’s intention of expending geographically.
“In our efforts to integrate more thoroughly with the recovery community and with the goal of growing the Step program throughout Colorado and the United States, we have chosen a name that further engages our community and allows for other communities to add the Step brand to their city name. Our goal is to help as many men, in as many communities as possible. While our name may be changing our program and its core principles of sobriety, work and accountability will not,” said Executive Director Paul Scudo
The goal of Step Denver is the same as Step 13’s goal in 1983: to provide a sober, safe living environment where residents can rebuild their lives. The overall goal is for participants to graduate from the program and become productive, contributing members of society. The organization has received national attention for a dynamic recovery program, its sustainable funding model geared toward self-sufficiency (the organization will accept no government funding), its “Work Works” program in which 95% of the men receive full-time, tax-paying jobs within the first two weeks of entering the program, and its accountability model helping men toward personal responsibility and self-respect. For more information visit StepDenver.org.
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