SEASON’S GREETINGS FROM STEPPING STONE!
This is a time of the year that we are especially thankful; we enjoy spending holiday time with our loved ones, participating in giving and receiving, and begin to put together our New Year’s resolution list. I’m especially grateful that our residents at Stepping Stone have a safe loving place to spend the holidays thanks to the support of so many people who give their time, talent and treasure to make that happen.
I remember all too clearly, after years of drinking alcohol nearly every single day, at the end of each of those years I would once again resolve to stop drinking. Each time I would make it one or two days before starting to drink again.
About one year prior to my last drink, I did finally make it to a few 12-Step meetings. Unfortunately, because I was a lesbian, I didn’t feel safe to be open about that and when it came to talking about my partner of six years and referring to her as my “roommate,” I felt very uncomfortable about having to lie to hide my sexuality. My partner and I had been drinking together for the whole six-and-a-half years we were together. I wanted to stop and she didn’t. When they asked “why don’t you just move out,” I couldn’t be truthful, so I just stopped going to the meetings.
It took me one whole year before I finally got sober over 32 years ago. Some people just don’t have that year. Just to reach a place where you want to get sober is huge and if there is not a safe and welcoming door to walk through when you are ready it can be a life or death situation. That door needs to enter into a welcoming, validating, safe and loving environment where people can begin healing immediately. For the LGBT community in San Diego, Stepping Stone is that door. It has saved hundreds of lives.
As we approach Christmas, I am touched by the love and support of dedicated alumni and volunteers that continue to make sure the residents have all they need to celebrate the holiday season. The alumni remember what it was like when they were here and are committed to sharing the love, kindness and support that was so freely given to them and deeply needed here.
Stepping Stone has always provided recovery services to people in need regardless of their ability to pay and is committed to continue doing so. It is not only our mission, but it is in our heart and soul to help all those who need our program.
It has been said that “it takes a village to raise a child.” Here at Stepping Stone, “it takes a community to support the healing of our own LGBT people with alcohol and drug problems.” They are good people who have made mistakes (they are not a mistake) and they need our help, each and every day. The Stepping Stone residential program has been funded at the same level for 20 years, so you can clearly see it needs your contributions to continue to provide these precious services.
We thank each and every one of you for all your support over the years. Please think of us when you are doing your seasonal giving. Stepping Stone saves lives one day at a time!
Wishing you and your family and friends a safe, healthy, and happy Holiday Season.
Cheryl Houk Executive Director