Day of Service
On November 14, 2020, residents and staff of Step Denver hit the streets with gloves and trash bags in hand, cleaning up the Ballpark Neighborhood through our 4th Annual Step Giving event. This day - now a tradition - provides a unique opportunity for the Step community to put into practice one of our cornerstone values: service.
Residents and staff – many of whom once lived on the very same streets being cleaned – volunteered to brave the heavy wind, walking together and picking up trash, drug paraphernalia, and countless empty liquor bottles. As people who are in recovery from addiction, this day of service sparked recollection of personal struggles and provided a reminder of just how far they have come.
Staff member and Step Alumni Jacob Merrion observed: “I was like the wind before getting sober. I created chaos and took whatever I could take. I was destructive. Days like this give me the opportunity to give back and balance out my past.”
After the work was completed, participants gathered over pizza to reflect. Resident Marty S. correlated Step’s Day of Service with an overwhelming sense of gratitude: “Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t promised. It’s a blessing to be able to even be here and be able to do this.” Resident C.W. added, “When I lived out there (on the streets), I felt like trash. I don’t feel like trash no more.”
Currently, more than 70% of Denver’s unsheltered are men and studies indicate two-thirds struggle with addiction. Step Denver has been fortunate to operate in the Ballpark Neighborhood since 1983, and we attribute much of our longstanding impact to our location - being in the midst of those with the greatest needs. Step’s primary 60-bed facility on Larimer Street not only provides direct access to the program for men who are ready to change their lives, but also the connection to public transportation, employment opportunities, and vital community resources for our residents.
Step Denver views our Step Giving Day of Service as an important opportunity to pay it forward, help our neighbors, and encourage residents to participate in selfless acts of service, which are key for long-term recovery.
To see photos from the day: https://www.facebook.com/StepDenver/posts/1700643133418150