The organization faced an unprecedented number of challenges this year but never wavered in providing high-quality care to their clients.
First, I would like to thank you for your support throughout the years. Stepping Stone of San Diego and the programs and services we provide to the LGBTQ community would not be possible without you. Stepping Stone was founded in 1976, and not a week has gone by that we have not done our best to meet the challenges and the needs of our community.
Addiction does not stop during a pandemic, and neither do we. I remember back in March, when Cheryl Houk, our Executive Director, took early and decisive actions to ensure that those under the organization’s care would continue to have uninterrupted access to the best treatment options, no matter what. That meant closing our facility to visitors, cancelling outside meetings, reducing capacity, reconfiguring beds and putting safety protocols in place.
Those protections kept us free from the impact of the pandemic until just two weeks ago when a devastating outbreak spread through our clients and many staff members. Within days, our staff, working with county officials, had to rehouse all of our residential clients into county provided hotels for individual quarantine. Through this outbreak, our staff continued to work to support the clients, at great personal risk. And they adapted their efforts to assure that the isolated clients still had all the resources they needed to support their ongoing recovery. They also worked to prepare the facility for clients to start returning today.
Here are some of the other adaptations to our program:
- The Stepping Out outpatient center transitioned to virtual appointments while maintaining safe access to the North Park drop-in center. And the center was able to stay open.
- Our sober living homes had to lock down for a while; meals and other support were brought in to help residents when they could not get out. And the sober living homes have stayed open.
- Finally, we added Pemarro to our family of services, providing a detox option for those that couldn’t wait for the world to be normal again to get help.
We owe many thanks to our staff and our clients, who have adapted with grace and courage to keep everyone supported during this crisis. Together, they assured our services were uninterrupted, as they have been for the last 44 years.
The year-end campaign is a bit different this year. We know that many people are not in the position to give as have been in other years; the world has turned upside down. For those who can continue to support us, it is even more important.
Despite the pandemic - or perhaps because of it - there continues to be a long line of people who need help in our community. They are waiting for the opportunity to take part in the miracles that happen within our walls, when alcoholics and addicts, supported by staff and our community, learn a new way of life. With your support, we ensure that all that is needed to access our care is willingness to change … not ability to pay.
As the year comes to an end, I am hoping you will consider supporting us once again as part of our year end campaign. Your contribution will help us grow. Ensure we remain resilient. And make a significant and measurable impact.
Please consider the largest contribution you can make. Your tax-deductible gift will directly impact our residents and those people in our outpatient program. You can donate by texting “SteppingStone" to 44321 or clicking the button below.
Michael Moore, Board President