In October of 2016, Step Denver made the decision to open two new Sober Living Homes for residents of the Larimer facility to have an opportunity to take the ‘next step’ in our Peer Recovery Community model. The homes are geared toward providing affordable, sober housing with structure and accountability, additional privileges and freedom, and the responsibility of taking care of their own living environment. Our goal is to help our men to reintegrate into their communities in a safe and successful manner that will provide them with the tools and experience to help ensure a smooth transition. We are happy to report that as of July 15th, 2017, we opened the houses and they are now home to ten Step residents!
Our men made the move together as a group and were instrumental in coordinating the house chores, accountability measures, support systems and recreational activities. They will continue to participate in peer recovery meetings, maintain full time, tax-paying employment and meet with their Recovery Support Managers to create and refine plans for their eventual transition from the sober living environment to independent living situations. The residents have expressed a genuine appreciation for the opportunity to live in these brand-new houses, the additional trust and responsibility provided them, as well as the access to the support of Step resources.
We have gotten great feedback from the residents on their experience with the homes and what the opportunity means to them. Resident Mitch S stated: “Step Denver Sober Homes are a safe place where I will be held accountable for my actions while transitioning into a place to live on my own.” “Step Denver means absolute sobriety. I think that it is a second chance at life, an opportunity, and also hope!!’ says Resident Philip D.
The houses themselves are beautiful – well laid out with new furniture and furnishings. They look and feel like homes. The men are able to continue their employment and recovery goal processes while not having their living environment feel institutional. The support the men provide each other is paramount to their personal growth process. Resident Ryan K communicated that “Step Denver Sober Living means stability, sobriety and Peer Recovery.” That sentiment was echoed by Resident Nathan E who also said that the program was “A chance at building a platform from which to move forward in life and recovery.”
Step Denver is excited about this next phase in its mission to help men to recover from the consequences of addiction and take personal responsibility for their lives and their actions. Resident Rick F shared that “Step Denver Sober Living is the next step in a well-rounded program, sustainable for life.” We couldn’t agree more. And we are proud of our men and how they have helped to make this program, and their personal growth, successful.
We would also like to acknowledge a very special member of the Step Denver family, Ralph Nagel, without whom our Sober Living Homes would not have been possible. Ralph’s vision for affordable living in our community and his generous financial assistance made it possible for Step Denver to move forward with its Sober Home program. A huge thank you to Ralph and the Nagel Foundation!