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Open letter from Stepping Stone Chair Tom Reise



Stepping Stone of San Diego has been proudly opening its doors to the LGBTQ communities of San Diego for thirty-nine years. Each of us on the Board of Directors and on staff considers Stepping Stone to be a jewel of the community and are committed to help the institution thrive and serve generations to come. We are taking the time to reaffirm our commitment because there have been numerous recent reports indicating that our operation was in jeopardy, and the Board of Directors and I want it to be known that our doors are not closing. While it is true that our continued operation depends on support from the community, and always has, there is no immediate threat to stop offering services nor are there currently any plans in place to shut down or to be acquired. We are committed to our mission to continue to provide services that focus on the LGBTQ communities of San Diego.

Stepping Stone began 39 years ago as members of the LGBTQ community coped with the problems of receiving therapy in a straight world that didn’t understand them. 12 years ago the current facility was built in City Heights. While most of our clients have limited or no financial means, we are fortunate to receive government funding through a number of programs that covers approximately 75% of the costs to provide treatment and housing.

That means that fundraising has always, and always will be, an essential part of our fiscal plan. We are grateful to the many individuals, couples, families, businesses and other non-profit organizations that have helped us continue to save lives. But the reality remains that we need ongoing community support.
Our long-term residential program typically takes 6 months. Our staff has extensive experience in working with clients who have experienced trauma and other difficulties early in life. Our team of therapists provides individual and group psychotherapy as well as specialized trauma treatment. Our team of alcohol and drug counsellors provides individual case management including assistance in obtaining medical and dental treatment, counselling, advocacy, education and referral to community resources.

Graduation is held twice a year to honor the many clients who have successfully completed both the residential and aftercare phases of the program. It is an inspirational to see the look of pride and joy on the faces of the graduates as they receive their diploma. Also of note is that our success rate is much higher than the national average for recovery programs.

Please help us spread the word about the work that Stepping Stone has been doing for almost four decades now. Sadly addiction crosses all geographic, economic and social borders. Everyone knows a friend, neighbor, co-worker or family member that has struggled with one or more addictions. Share the message that Stepping Stone needs help to save the lives of our sisters and brothers that need assistance in getting their lives back and becoming productive members of society. For more information and ways to donate please visit our website at http://www.steppingstonesd.org

Thank-you for your time and attention,
Tom Reise
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Stepping Stone of San Diego