(Formerly Step 13) Step Denver is a men's residential recovery community that helps low-income men overcome the consequences of addiction and rebuild their lives through sobriety, work and accountability.
|Step Denver address||2029 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205|
|Step Denver phone no||(303) 295-7837|
|Facility||Shelter and peer recovery program|
Employer Match Gifts are a great way to make a donation go further. Step Denver participates in matching gift programs for several corporations. To maximize your gift to Step Denver and your impact on the lives of hundreds of men overcoming addiction and homelessness, ask your employer if you are eligible for a company matching gift.
At Step Denver we would like to acknowledge and recognize the people who have shared with us that they have made a gift that will benefit and ensure Step Denver's mission and Bob Coté's legacy in perpetuity. Planned gifts make use of legal and/or tax strategies, which often produce a result that is very worthwhile. We will work with you to find a charitable plan that lets you provide for your family and support Step Denver.
Examples of planned gifts include the following:
If you include Step Denver in your plans, please use our legal name and our federal tax ID.
Legal name: Step Denver
Address: 2029 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205
Federal Tax ID: 74-2345786
Step Denver helps highly motivated men, 21 years of age or older, that are suffering from the disease of addiction. Step is not a clinical rehabilitation facility, nor do we facilitate the detox process. Step provides recovery support services, employment assistance, life skills development, structure, and accountability to assist in the rebuilding of individuals' lives to overcome the consequences of addiction. If you or someone you know needs help, applications are accepted over the phone or in person, Monday through Thursday, from 8:00 am until 12:00 pm.
Applicants will participate in a brief screening process and then complete a full application if appropriate. All applications are taken for SAME DAY admission at 2:30 pm. An applicant should call or apply in person on the day they are prepared to enter the program.
Step Denver provides a structured environment that offers addiction recovery programming based on the Peer Recovery Support Model. Our men participate in Recovery Education Groups, 12 Step Fellowship Meetings, and are assigned a Recovery Support Manager that assists the residents in setting and reaching goals in all areas of their lives. In addition, Step Denver offers its residents life skills training that includes physical fitness, nutrition, financial budgeting, and family restoration, along with recreational and spiritual activities, to help provide self-care and life balance. Through our community partnerships, residents have access to education, counseling, opportunities and placement for employment, and career development.
Men, 21 and older, seeking to enter Step Denver may complete a telephone or walk-in interview and background check to apply for admission into the program. Due to city and county laws governing facilities of this type and to ensure a safe environment, Step Denver is not permitted to admit men convicted of violent or sexual offenses. There is no initial cost to be admitted to Step Denver. However, with the goal of the residents being accountable for their living costs, men will be required to pay $15/day, $75/week or $200/month for fees. Residents will also purchase and prepare their own food in the resident kitchen.
If an applicant is accepted into the program, he will be admitted at 2:30 pm on the SAME DAY that the application is received. ).
|Paul Scudo||Executive Director|
|Vincent Turnbull||Director of Operations|
|Meghan Shay ||Director of Fund Development & Marketing |
|Stephanie Landree ||Director of Vehicle Donations |
|Administrative||Driven to Donate|
|Jessica Yadon ||Assistant Manager of Vehicle Donations |
|Administrative||Driven to Donate|
|Patrick McNamara ||Director of Programs |
|Jacob Merrion ||Sober Home Program Manager |
|Sean Hoy ||Recovery Support Manager |
|Santiago Ceja ||Recovery Support Manager |
|Michael Holzer ||Recovery Support Manager |
|Eddie Torres ||Recovery Support Manager |
|Mark McCright ||Career Counseling Manager |
|Carter Smith ||Admissions Coordinator |
|Robert Villers ||Weekday Evening Facility Coordinator |
|Jeffrey Weiss ||Weekday Overnight Facility Coordinator |
|Michael Tiernan ||Weekday Overnight Facility Coordinator |
|Manny Rodriguez ||Weekday Overnight Facility Coordinator |
Bob Coté grew up in Detroit, MI, and was a Golden Gloves boxer. Those experiences prepared Bob for the challenges life presented him. A successful career in sales took Bob to Denver in the early 80's; however, it was during this time that addiction took hold of Bob and would chart a different course for his life — a course marked by adversity and, ultimately, triumph.
Bob's addiction consumed him to the point he wound up living on Denver's skid row. In a moment of clarity, he saw the demise and occasional death of other homeless addicts. Bob knew he might suffer the same fate so he sought the assistance to break his cycle of addiction. He then became instrumental in helping other homeless addicts to gain their sobriety through the Step 13 organization.
Bob Coté became a fixture on Larimer Street. A towering presence of tough love, American Enterprise magazine described him as "a one-man alternative to the welfare state. Take one part Florence Nightingale, add three parts John Wayne, and one part cowboy poet…running a shelter that turns homeless drunks and junkies into productive citizens…." President/Founder of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise and longtime friend, Robert Woodson declared, "Bob not only was an advocate for the homeless, he became a witness to them."
Coté's unorthodox style didn't always sit well with politicians and other homeless advocates. The Denver Post once described Bob as a "Skid Row heretic" because he scoffed at the so-called traditional ways of treatment saying they "de-humanized the homeless." Coté also rejected any government funding for Step 13 declaring taxpayer dollars enabled non-profits to become addicted to government money and were unnecessary to run an effective program.
Bob's independent spirit gained national recognition for Step 13. President George H.W. Bush designated Step 13 one of his "Thousand Points of Light." ABC's 20/20 and John Stossel featured Bob and the simple, yet effective approach to helping residents become sober and self-reliant. Bob's philosophy of "Work works" – whereby residents are required to pay rent and be employed – received accolades from the Wall Street Journal to Reader's Digest.
Bob parlayed this recognition into tackling an issue near to his heart: Reforming Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Bob witnessed firsthand the devastating effect SSI had on the homeless: Individuals receiving SSI – originally designed to help those with disabilities – were using their checks to purchase drugs and alcohol. His outspoken passion caught the attention of then-Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, who tapped Bob to lobby Congress and successfully incorporate changes to SSI under the Welfare Reform Act of 1996.
While Bob impacted public policy and gained recognition for Step 13, his legacy can ultimately be found in the thousands of men whose lives he touched at Step 13. Bob's legacy will continue for years to come in the staff that he shaped and in the men that will go through the doors of Step 13 and come out clean, sober, and self-reliant.
Bob Coté passed away on September 27, 2013. He was loved by many; he was respected by even more. He is greatly missed. While Step 13 has changed its name to Step Denver, we remain true to Bob's vision and his core principles of Sobriety, Work and Accountability.
|Christopher Vincent||Board Chair|
|Ken Bell||Vice Chair|
|Gloria Jara Price|||
|Kent Christopher Veio|||
Homelessness in Denver, Colorado, open discussion with Peter Droege, Executive Director of Step 13.
We here honored that 9News positioned Step 13 as a thought leader on homeless issues in light of a recent study by the University of Denver that rightfully concluded that more needs to be done to address the issue. However, assertions in the news story by DU students that laws regulating homelessness are too burdensome do not take into account that those laws are also there to protect the homeless, who among those most victimized by violent crime in our city.
Homelessness is a big problem in Denver and we applaud those who are seeking solutions. Mayor Michael Hancock and his team have worked hard to address the complex issues around this subject. In particular, Reggie Huerter, featured in the 9News story, is a true champion for the homeless in Denver. She has been to Step 13 and we look forward to working with her more in the future (even though we never have and never will accept any sort of government funding).
People are homeless for any number of reasons – economic, mental illness, addiction and others. The social movement toward simply providing them with housing first without clear accountability that leads to behavioral change simply changes their location without addressing the root cause of their homelessness.
It is important to have a balanced approach. Homeless who are elderly, disabled, or mentally ill may, at times, simply require food and housing and it is a credit to our city that organizations are working to achieve this goal.
Denver is a friendly city – no one goes hungry in this town – hot meals and sandwich lines are available all over the city. The city does a good job providing emergency shelter when it gets cold.
For those who are homeless because of addiction, easy access to food and shelter means they have no reason to change their behavior.
They are not just harming themselves – their families, friends, and community are also impacted. Laws should be in place to make it uncomfortable for these individuals to continue their self-destructive, lawbreaking lifestyles. It is only then that some of them may choose to enter a program like Step 13 where they are required to embrace the principles of sobriety, work, and accountability with the goal of achieving a better life for themselves.
There is a soft form of discrimination that says that homeless people are unable or unwilling to work. As Step 13 we see daily that men who are homeless or near-homeless as a result of an alcohol and/or drug addiction when entering our program will readily take steps to become self-sufficient, tax-paying citizens when given the opportunity. Within two weeks of entering our program nearly all of our men are placed in full-time, tax-paying jobs through our innovative partnership with Goodwill Industries, which we partner with to provide an in-house Goodwilll Career Center staffed fulltime at Step 13. Men in our program are given the resources and support to "get a job, get a better job, get a career."
Why are laws regulating homelessness important? For one thing, it costs up to $200 a day to feed a heroin addiction. People who are homeless come up with that money by dealing drugs or other crimes. Denver has the second highest rate in the nation of people dying from overdosing on heroin. Many neighborhoods are seeing an increase in violent crime and the Ballpark Neighborhood where Step 13 is located is no exception.
Laws are in place to protect people, especially those on the streets. While it is important for our communities to be safe for all of us, no one suffers more from crime than the homeless.
Laws regulating homelessness are not a burden to the homeless, they protect the homeless and allow people to be safe and businesses to provide jobs and allow our community to prosper.
Step 13 is deeply grateful to the Denver Police for all they do for us. They have an incredibly tough job but they do it with courage, integrity, and service.
If Denver is to become a truly great city we must face the issues around homelessness with an approach that balances compassion with the clear expectation that healthy, capable individuals should be put on the pathway to self-sufficiency, not dependence on government programs.
Step 13 Equipping men to lead a new life in recovery
Author: Krista Kafer
Contributors: Cherri Parks and Sarah Scherling
Editor: Gabe Knipp
Graphic Designer: Bethany Bender
"Only in America and with the grace of God can a man rise from gutter to an abundant, productive life," said Bob Coté, and he knew it from experience. In 1983, Coté left a life of alcohol addiction and founded Step 13, a program that has helped thousands of men transition from the street to a life of sobriety and productivity. Coté understood that, "any system or program that takes responsibility away from a capable person dehumanizes that person." Misdirected kindness demands nothing of the recipient and enables him to remain in the bondage of dependency. Real help requires change. Although Coté passed away in 2013, Step 13 remains a place where men can begin again. Step 13's successful transitional living program for addicted homeless men emphasizes sobriety, responsibility, and work. On a given day, Step 13 has 70 - 75 residents. Some stay one day, others a year. While the median age is 38, there are men in their twenties and sixties and every age in between. To maintain a safe environment, individuals with violent criminal records, sex offenders, individuals who take psychotropic drugs, or those with outstanding warrants are not admitted into the program. When a man commits to Step 13, he must be sober. Many residents come from a detox or a treatment program. He must also be committed to staying sober. Residents are required to attend Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous-based meetings Monday through Thursday evenings and to take Antabuse (Disulfiram) three times a week. They are tested for drugs; failure to pass a Breathalyzer or urinalysis results in immediate discharge from the program. However, "failure need not be fatal," as Coté used to say. Men can come back in as few as two page 2 days having been through detox and showing a desire to recommit themselves to recovery.
Every resident must work. Between 7:30 AM and 4:00 PM residents must be working, looking for work, or attending classes. Residents who have trouble finding a job can receive a short-term job at one of Step 13's in-house companies such as DetailWorks, which provides automobile detailing, or Logoworks, which produces customized hats, t-shirts, mugs, totes, and pens. Residents also repair donated cars for resale. Three to four hundred cars are donated to Step 13 each year. In addition to work requirements, residents make their own meals in Step 13's spacious kitchen and pay rent of $10 a day or $60 a week. Residents start their stay in a common dorm room. As they progress through the program, they receive the option of renting a private room and can eventually move into an affordable apartment. After 90 days in the program, residents can earn a weekend pass to stay off-premises. The ability to progress to more private living quarters or to spend the weekend away creates a kind of "constructive envy" that motivates residents to persevere. Paying rent instills a sense of responsibility and commitment. Twenty percent of Step 13's operating expenses are covered by resident fees; the remainder comes from proceeds of the Vehicle Donation Program and private contributions. The emphasis on responsibility is not accidental; it is essential for rehabilitation. The sense of accomplishment helps residents overcome the shame of past alcohol and drug abuse. "When you're drunk you feel sorry for yourself and want a lot of pity. Unfortunately, you can get a lot of pity. But pity does not help," reflects former Step 13 resident John who committed to Step 13 after years of drinking and racking up five DUIs. "At Step 13 you don't get a lot of pity; you get a good dose of reality.
"WE KNOW THAT PERSONAL
AND SOBRIETY ARE KEY TO LIVING
A PRODUCTIVE AND MEANINGFUL
LIFE. STEP 13 HELPS MEET GUYS
WHERE THEY'RE AT AND EQUIPS
THEM FOR A NEW LIFE."
- Jason Christensen,
Director of Operations
If you want to stay there you have to stay sober, get a job and pay your own way. It was just what I needed, and it paid off." John is now working, living in an apartment and is rebuilding his relationship with his sons. "I'm so grateful to Step 13 for making me a responsible person again." In addition to providing a living space and a structured routine for sober living, Step 13 helps residents remove barriers to self-sufficiency. "We ask ourselves, 'What are the causes of poverty?' when a better question is, 'What are the causes of wealth?'" says Jason Christensen, Director of Operations. "We know that personal responsibility, perseverance, and sobriety are key to living a productive and meaningful life. Step 13 helps meet guys where they're at and equips them for a new life."
When a man commits himself to Step 13, he is evaluated in seven categories—health, transportation, employment, education, mental health, housing, and sobriety—on a scale of 1 to 5, with a score of "3" considered stable. The goal is to have each man scoring a 4 or 5 when he leaves the program. Step 13 provides residents with free dental care, eye glasses, and introductory computer classes. An on-site clinic is open several days a month. Step 13 is developing an alumni mentoring program, chapel services, and more work and educational opportunities. "In the Step 13 environment," says Gent, a resident, "I was fitted to get myself physically able to go to work. I had resources available to me there. I started working and got myself back into society."