In Their Own Words

How does Steps House help people?

Several of our residents—current and past—have volunteered to share their stories:

“My name is Richard. I came from a background in criminology and cutting edge chemistry (went to prison and made drugs). Nine years ago a good friend of mine referred me to the Steps House. This was a childhood friend I was sure would never get clean. He convinced me that what was different in his life was the Steps House and the Staff. He convinced me to come and try if for a while.

I showed up on September 19, 2007. I am now a father to my daughters. I am a mentor to my son and an avid trout fisherman. After a couple of years, I went to work at the Steps House as a counselor tech. When I left to explore the rest of life, I was the Administrator of the entire Residential Recovery Program. The Steps House helped me grow up at 46 years of age.

Today I have my own place and my own business. I offer a service that assists men and women who cannot find treatment for addiction. My daughter is soon to be married and I will be there for that day. Life is nothing like I expected. I am so grateful for my life and the opportunity to share it with others.”

“My Name is Rachel; I was six months pregnant when I came to the Steps House Women’s Program. I wanted to quit killing myself and my baby with drugs. My last child was taken from me before I left the hospital. My other children are being raised by others in my family. I have never been a real mother to any of my three children. My addiction has robbed me of most of my life. The Steps House referred me to a partial hospitalization program for pregnant women at the Renaissance Recovery Group.

I live in one of the women’s houses and even though I have only been clean for four months, I am proud to say that my little girl was born drug-free. There are not words to tell you how wonderful that feels. I have begun to reestablish my role as mother to my other children. I have both custody and a safe place for me and my baby to recover and start a life where she will never see me high. I will be working soon to get a place for my family. How does one person get so much when they have given so little? Thank God. Thank you Renaissance and thank you Steps House.”

“Hello, I am Mathew. I lived on the streets of Knoxville for 15 years before coming to the Steps House. I was an active heroin addict. I ate out of dumpsters and ate thrown-away food behind fast food restaurants. I spent eight years before that in prison for crimes I committed to get drug money. My addiction and I destroyed any hope of ever having anything good in life again. The paramedics found me on Christmas Eve 1999 almost frozen to death in my cardboard box I called home. The officers took me to the hospital; and while detoxing, a social worker there contacted Steps House. They accepted me immediately, even though I had no visible means of support.

It has been 17 years and I am now employed as a computer software programmer here in Knoxville. I have remarried and have two beautiful daughters who are 11 and 8. My wife only knows the clean and sober me. I now know that God used the Steps House to do for me what I could not do for myself. Thank you all for this most fantastic life.”