DENVER (CBS4) – Step Denver is a residential addiction recovery center for men. It’s also one of the 83 projects set up for Xcel Energy’s Day of Service. The Step Denver program is based on sobriety, employment, and accountability.
“We provide them a long term residential experience, that is safe, sober, and has the structure that allows them to rebuild their lives and transition back into the community as productive and contributing citizens,” said Paul Scudo, Executive Director of Step Denver.
The program gets its clients through a variety of referral agencies, including hospitals, treatment facilities, and shelters. Many of them have experienced homelessness.
“Our program is a 3-phase program that’s geared to go anywhere between 6 and 9-months depending on the individual, in our primary program. Then they have the opportunity to live in our sober living home for the fourth phase of the program for an additional 18-months,” Scudo explained.
Each client is assigned a Recovery Support Manager, who is a graduate of the program and has gotten a certification in peer and family specialist coaching. Together, they work on setting and achieving milestones in career development and employment, counseling and opportunities, and a broad variety of life skills.
Mike Holzer is a Recovery Support Manager.
“My job entails kind of guiding guys through their first 6 to 9-months of sobriety,” Holzer told CBS4.
He helps his clients create a sober community, find a fellowship, and plan for the future, including putting aside some savings, and getting a next-level job that will sustain them when they transition back into the community.
“At the end of the day, it’s just absolutely rewarding,” Holzer added.
Holzer knows about which he speaks. He graduated from Step Denver in 2018.
“When I came in here, I had pretty much burned all of the bridges in my life: family, friends, everything,” Holzer explained.
He credits Step Denver with giving him the opportunity to earn his life back.
“It gave me the structure I needed to be able to rebuild those relationships, and rebuild my work ethic, and just get my head on straight while I was here,” he said.
“As a small nonprofit often times we’re unable to get to some of the project that we feel are important for the benefit of our men. And to have outside folks come in and want to contribute in a meaningful way, and get some of those things done is extremely beneficial to us,” said Scudo.