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Step Up envisions that all individuals, families, and communities affected by serious mental health issues, and persons who are experiencing chronic homelessness, will have the opportunity to experience recovery and a sense of belonging, and that permanent supportive housing will be available to everyone.
Step Up delivers compassionate support to people experiencing serious mental health issues, and persons who are experiencing chronic homelessness, to help them recover, stabilize, and integrate into the community. Through dynamic partnerships, we provide positive social and learning environments, vocational training, permanent supportive housing opportunities, and recovery services to empower individuals to cultivate lives of hope and dignity. We exercise innovative leadership and advocacy to increase public understanding, support, and acceptance of all people living with serious mental health issues.
Step Up’s vision and mission are delivered to individuals, including adults, Transitional Age Youth (TAY) between the ages of 16-28 years, and Veterans, through the design of its three pillars of service:
Step Up, a 501(c)(3) organization, began providing psychosocial rehabilitation and support in 1984 when a woman sought urgently needed mental health services for her loved one. Finding none, and dissatisfied with the status quo, Susan Dempsay took action and started a center offering services that could not be found anywhere else.
Her vision included a supportive environment with productive activities, including art therapies, supported employment training, coping skills, service coordination, and social connectedness. Family members accessed help through support groups that met every month. Initially, Step Up served approximately 10 individuals a day and offered a limited number of services.
Staff began observing that many Step Up members were experiencing homelessness, complicating and exacerbating their already complex needs. In 1994, Step Up’s first permanent supportive housing community with 36 units was built. Some of the original tenants are still living in their units today.
What started humbly in a warehouse shell in Santa Monica is now a thriving community agency with a staff of over 260 serving thousands of individuals annually–all free of charge.
Donations can be sent c/o Step Up Development
11693 San Vicente Blvd. #902, Los Angeles, CA 90049 • Phone (310) 696-4510 x2200
or online at www.stepuponsecond.org/donate
Click the key above to learn ways you can take action!
Dear Supporters, Volunteers and Trusted Community Partners,
We wanted to take a moment to let you know Step Up is actively monitoring the COVID-19 status in the communities we work. We are relieved to report that as of this writing, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in the Step Up Community. Step Up is taking measures to both protect employees' health and welfare, and to advance its critical mission to serve its most at-risk members. During this time, members will continue to need our support and we expect to continue to provide the exemplary level of support and services we have become known for in our community.
In an abundance of caution, Step Up is taking the following immediate steps to curtail the spread of the virus and to keep its staff, members and volunteers as safe and as healthy as possible during this period of unknown impact:
While many public and private spaces have curtailed operations for the time being, Step Up will remain operational and will continue serving its clients. Again, it is important to note that NO ONE IN THE STEP UP COMMUNITY HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. Our goal is to keep it that way for as long as possible.
Please contact us by email or phone before coming to one of our locations. Support from our community is especially vital now as operations are re-aligned to adhere to our mission while keeping staff, members and volunteers safe. Please consider making a donation as we work through this difficult time. Your contributions in any amount ensure that Step Up will continue serving our most vulnerable neighbors, who are especially vulnerable during this community health crisis. Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have.
Stay safe and healthy,Tod LipkaPresident & CEO
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