About Step 13
breaking the cycle
Step 13 is a non-profit, transitional living program founded in 1983 for addicted homeless who show a desire to give up their alcohol, drug, shelter and soup kitchen dependency cycle and become productive members of society. Step 13 is structured so that one size does not fit all. That is why we do not set a time limit of 30 days, 60 days or a year. Some people have skills and just need a helping hand, others have no skills or education and need time to acquire the necessary skills to compete in today's market.
People like you and companies like yours support step 13 because we consistently accomplish our mission. Click here to see some of the results-oriented individuals and organizations that support step.
Step 13 is recognized not only because of the success we have rehabilitating addicted homeless, but also because we do it without funding from federal, state, or city government. Click here to see some of the recognition we have received.
Since 1983, step 13 has taken on the monumental task of helping the addicted homeless. Click here to see our history.
board of directors
Click here to see the results-oriented people on the board.
The driving force behind step 13, Bob Coté brings his life's experience to his work. Click here to learn more about the man behind step's success.
Click here to find out what's new at step
Want to get this guy off the street? Sober him up, clean him up and put him to work. Why? Because work works! It pays for food, it pays for shelter and it does something even more important: it gives a man the kind of self-esteem he needs to be a healthy, productive, member of society.
How do we know all this? From years of experience. What most homeless people need is help breaking an addiction and a way to build their self-respect. Blind compassion does nothing to promote their self-esteem and self-respect. Handing a dollar to a drunk just helps him stay drunk and any program that takes responsibility away from a capable person dehumanizes that person.
At step 13 we nurture in each resident independence, individual responsibility, self-sufficiency and industriousness. We give a guy as long as he needs to turn his life around. As long as he follows three simple rules:
- No drinking or drugs --we give Antabuse daily as an added incentive to stay sober.
- He holds a job --if he can't find one we'll give him one at one of our in-house companies.
- And he pays us a fee. Not a lot, just enough to re-enforce the idea of paying for a place to live.
If a resident can stick with this program long enough, he becomes a self-supporting, contributing member of society just like the rest of us. About one in three do. That's not bad considering that a recent government study found that for alcoholics and addicts receiving government benefits, 99 out of 100 never kick the habit and never get a long-term job.
Right now step 13 is home to 100 men. Some work in our in-house businesses-others work for local companies. At step, we follow our own free-market philosophy. We accept no government money -- we're a private-sector solution through and through. A little more than half of our budget comes from residents' fees. The rest comes from our in-house businesses, private foundation grants and people like you. If we were to become dependent on government money it would have the same bad affects on us as it has on people who rely on the system.
We have a proven record of success. President Bush (the first one) called us a "shining example" of the kind of service that makes America great. We've won recognition from Denver, Colorado and across America. But with your help, we can do more. Maybe you have a job to offer one of our residents. Or maybe you have something we could use, like an old car or van. Or maybe you can make a donation-we can always use cash. Feel free to contact us at any time. What ever you have to offer -even if it's just moral support-we appreciate it.
how to respond panhandlers
There's no one way to deal with panhandlers. You need to assess each situation. But we can give you some pointers.
- Avoid confrontation, even if being harassed. The hostility directed at you probably comes from the panhandler's situation. Remove yourself from the situation.
- Respond to a request for money with information. Step 13 offers coupon booklets that you can hand out offering a free meal. Or, bone up on an organization you like that helps those in need and offer the panhandler information about that organization.
- Some service providers publish brochures explaining where to get help. Carry these with you and offer them when asked for change. Or again, if you're in metro Denver you can use our 'free meal' coupons.
- Even if you're not going to give, it's best to offer a smile and a polite response. But again, assess each situation. Avoid confrontation.
Mr. Cote Goes To Washington
Mr. Cote Goes To Washington Step 13 Shelter Founder Meets At White House With Walters, Bush
by Laura LieffAs far as Bob Cote is concerned, he ends up in the oddest places. On December 11, 2008, Cote found himself at the White House for a meeting with President George W. Bush, U.S. Drug Czar John Walters and 15 other treatment prevention professionals from around the country. The meeting was set up to discuss the new data that demonstrates “significant success reducing drug availability and use,” even as President Bush was wrapping up his term in office.