So much has changed since we last sent out this newsletter, and we felt it was time to share some updates on how we’ve been adapting to the new world we live in.
News from Residential
Hello friends, family and colleagues! The last release of this newsletter was at the onset of COVID-19 and here we are three months later still in the midst of this pandemic.
At Stepping Stone, we are continuing to work tirelessly to protect clients and staff, which means that the residential program looks a lot different now than it has in the past.
We are open and still helping people recover from alcohol and drug addiction, but we have new precautions in place – COVID-19 testing, social distancing, and elimination of outside meetings on property. We are not permitting any onsite visitors and clients can only attend outside recovery meetings via Zoom. Our program manager Kevin Davis is becoming known as the “sponsor matchmaker” to connect residents virtually with sponsors on the outside.
While this is certainly a challenging time, there are also some big benefits we’re observing, like strong bonds of friendship between residents. On the flip side, our staff continually works to invent fresh activities to break the days up – like park outings, making our own “beach” at on property (without the sand), and stocking up on art supplies.
We’re also continuing our work to expand and improve our services. Pemarro Recovery Center in Ramona has joined the Stepping Stone family and provides sub-acute medically managed detox services. Dr. Sarah Zucker, Pemarro’s Clinical and Program Director, is managing this program and is a welcome addition to our team.
Now our services cover the complete continuum of care, from detoxification, residential treament, outpatient treatment and sober living. We continue to have strong involvement from our Alumni and have added an aftercare group which currently happens on Zoom Thursdays nights. If you’re interested in joining either of these groups, write back and we can get you connected.
Most importantly, we’re excited about this year’s Living Out Loud – Miami Vibe. This year, we’re bringing the gala to you – every ticket and table purchase will receive a party bag, party box or dessert delivered directly to your home. We’ll all celebrate together – though apart – on October 23, 2020. See steppingstonesd.org/lol for details.
Our ability at Stepping Stone and in our community to respond to this crisis impresses me and adds to my daily gratitude. Thank you all for your ongoing support and interest in our community.
News from Outpatient
Recovery during a pandemic must go on! That has been our motto at Stepping Out and we have come through! We are still providing caring outpatient services, albeit from a bit of a distance. After months of being primarily online, we went back to a few onsite groups at the start of June.
Gratefully, being an “essential” healthcare services and following all recommendations to keep staff and clients safe have allowed us to remain open. This has been important to many of our clients who struggle with what they perceive as lack of connection to each other due to Zoom.
But not everybody struggles with Zoom; in fact, we got to see some clients more frequently due to the convenience of this format. So, we now offer both Zoom groups and on-site groups. Both formats require clients to follow certain rules, maintain structure and respect.
We had an exiting “Meet the Author” event at our Book Club group with Alan Downs, author of The Velvet Rage which was a lot of fun and introduced this book to our interested clients.
There are a few volunteer opportunities if anyone is interested. Clients have taken it upon themselves to establish connection by doing weekly walks and meeting up in various locations of San Diego for human to human visits. If there is any interest in organizing this as an ongoing basis, please let us know.
We also are looking for individuals who are in a low risk category to volunteer at our front desk. For the most part it is a quiet job. Our largest need is on Tuesday mornings when we conduct 1st Things 1st from this site, then during our staff meetings on Friday afternoon from 1:00 – 3:30. Please let us know if you’re interested and we can discuss more about this volunteer position.
Please stay safe and stable until our paths cross again!
Once again, we want to give a shout out to all of our staff who have walked through this pandemic with us. We have been so fortunate to have such a dedicated team of individuals on our staff. Each and every one of these staff members contributes greatly to the Stepping Stone organization and they are deeply appreciated.