San Diego – July 7, 2022 Stepping Stone San Diego’s Executive Director Cheryl Houk announced that she will retire on August 9, 2022. Houk, who has served in the chief executive role twice, has provided innovative and dynamic leadership of Stepping Stone for a combined total 25] years.
“Chery’s leadership at Stepping Stone helped us successfully navigate the continuously changing landscape affecting recovery agencies and LGBTQ+ communities throughout California,” noted Board Chair Michael Moore. “These included seismic shifts in funding models and community needs. Cheryl has had a unique ability to keep the focus on those we are helping throughout all of the changes.”
While it would be impossible to list all of Cheryl Houk’s many accomplishments in leading Stepping Stone, a few notable ones include:
- Worked with numerous stakeholders and agencies to secure funding and support to build our residential treatment facility at 3767 Central Avenue
- Created Stepping Out, an outpatient alcohol and drug treatment program
- Opened 2 sober living homes for people transitioning out of the residential phase of treatment
- Rapidly adapted programs and services in response to the COVID pandemic
- Developed sustainable funding sources that support LGBTQ+ people in their recovery journey
- Tripled the organization’s size and reach
“As I look back on my years leading Stepping Stone,” shared Houk, “I am most proud of rebuilding the residential facility, and giving the members of our community the environment they deserved for starting their sobriety. I am grateful for being able to see thousands come through our programs and the brave step they took to start a new way of life.”
Stepping Stone San Diego is planning several opportunities to say “thank you” to Houk for her incredible leadership, culminating with our largest celebration of her leadership at our Living Out Loud Gala on October 14 , 2022.
The Board of Directors has engaged Kevin Chase of Kevin Chase Executive Search Group to conduct the search for our next executive director, and the recruitment profile is available on the Stepping Stone website. The Board of Directors has also appointed Dolph Goldenburg of Successful Nonprofits® as interim executive director to provide staff leadership until a final executive director has been selected.
About Stepping Stone of San Diego, Inc.
Stepping Stone was founded in 1976 in response to the unique challenges LGBTQ people face suffering from addiction. All of our programs continue the tradition of putting focus on at-risk communities. Alcohol and drug dependency further weaken a population that is already deprived of basic civil rights within society at large. The agency’s mission has been to create safe places where individuals can tackle the challenges of being gay and/or transgender, of being HIV positive, and of suffering from alcohol or drug addiction. Though specializing in the LGBTQ community, the program is open to all who can benefit from the environment and services offered.
Stepping Stone of San Diego, a 501c3 non-profit organization, operates a 31-bed residential treatment facility in City Heights. This location offers a three-to-six-month residential program, ongoing clinical therapy, HIV case management. An outpatient treatment program, Stepping Out, is located in North Park and is home to the First Things First program which is the starting point for many on their recovery journey. Stepping Stone also operates three sober living facilities in San Diego dedicated to those who need a safe, sober living environment.