From Executive Director, Shawn McMillen

The First Step House vision drives our mission to help build lives of meaning, purpose, and recovery. We recognize that in order for individuals to resolve their substance use disorders and develop and sustain a life of long-term recovery, they must have access to resources that enable them to achieve global health, cultivate credible, workable tools to manage stress, decrease craving, and create a meaningful and purposeful life.

To achieve this vision, we have established an integrated continuum of evidence-based programs and services that range from residential treatment to outpatient services, transitional housing, case management, and long-term continuing care. Our belief is that First Step House programs and services must compensate for gaps in recovery capital* that are present in our clients’ lives. This means that if an individual is unable to attain and maintain the desired goal of abstinence, First Step House will provide the appropriate dose (i.e., intensity) of external structure.

Alternatively, or in some instances concurrently with the residential portion of the episode of care, First Step House will provide outpatient services and transitional housing that assist in easing the individual client back into the community. In every instance, First Step House provides long-term continuing care in both individual and group settings. These serve as recovery check-ups and social support, all in a dose and frequency desired by the individual client. Again, the vision is that First Step House is there to fill gaps and create an opportunity for the individual to develop a life of meaning, purpose, and recovery.

The long-term vision of First Step House is to further develop our integrated continuum of programs and services. In February 2013, we were able to secure a piece of property at 440 South 500 East in Salt Lake City. Our plan is to develop of full-service recovery campus at that location. Our recovery campus will expand existing residential, outpatient, and transitional housing capacity. We will also be further integrating primary health care, educational resources, vocational resources, and permanent housing in to our continuum of programs and services.  We will break ground on Phase 1 of the First Step House Recovery Campus in November of 2014.  We expect to begin development of Phase 2, our full service recovery campus, in 2016.

*Recovery Capital:

  1. The sum total of one’s resources that can be brought to bear on the initiation and maintenance of substance misuse cessation, (Granfield and Cloud, 2004; White and Kurtz, 2001)   
  2. The environmental context in which that person is situated, the personal characteristics s/he processes, and a range of perceptible and imperceptible resources available to that individual (Granfield and Cloud, 2008)