Comprehensive, effective support services & programs leading to relapse prevention, self-sufficiency, and recovery for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.
Member-driven Supportive Services
Member-driven support programs and services reduce harm, prevent relapse, and foster recovery. The professional staff including peer advocates of Step Up and Daniel’s Place provide support and empowerment for members to achieve their self-determined goals through services coordination, life skills coaching, psychiatrists for medication support, and transportation. New members are connected to a Peer Advocate for a “buddy-system” and receive one-on-one peer attention. Many opportunities for a sense of belonging and the embrace of community include: Sixty weekly peer support groups with topics as diverse as learning how to tell one’s story, computer basics, managing medications, yoga, money management, and a variety of art opportunities; “Brainstorm”, a creative writing group, gives expression to the experience of mental health issues; the Art Heals Gallery, a permanent space to exhibit member artists’ work; and a Computer Learning Center. Over 40,000 individual meals are provided annually, and over 1200 members are assisted. Step Up and Daniel’s Place members meet weekly in Member Advisory Groups providing feedback and problem-solving. Two members serve on Step Up’s Board of Directors, and participate in establishing and supporting the agency’s vision for the future and advocacy to end stigma and discrimination. Additionally, a Step Up and Daniel’s Place Parent Support Group provides experience, strength, and hope for family members.
Members of Step Up and Daniel’s Place have the opportunity to experience the embrace of community, the healing power of art and productivity, and progress towards their self-determined goals. The involvement of our members in creative writing, performance and visual arts, and Fresh start Catering facilitates personal growth, problem solving skills, and self-sufficiency.
The Learning Center of Step Up aims to provide members a nurturing educational environment with easy room access, convenient scheduling hours, excellent educational materials, effective teachers, and a variety of classes tailored to the needs and abilities of students. The Learning Center shares space with the Art Heals Gallery, and is located just left of the Step Up on Fifth residential entrance behind the glass door. We welcome students who wish to supplement their home, school, library, and Step Up computer access if they are taking online college and university courses.
Client Run Center (CRC)
Through Step Up’s Client run Center (CRC), peers seeks to engage members who are withdrawn and/or struggling with symptoms preventing them from actively seeking support. With peer-support, these members are more likely to be encouraged to access treatment. Members also meet weekly in the Member Advisory Council (MAC). The MAC provides a forum for feedback and problem-solving. Volunteering is also an essential component of Step Up member participation.
Peer groups cover a broad range of social, education, creative, and informational topics. An active monthly member class schedule offers over sixty peer support groups with topics including: learning how to tell your story; computer basics; managing medications; yoga; techniques for job interviews; and money management.
The CRC allows for the hiring of Step Up members to provide services such as coordinating “Julie’s Room”, a program for artists, and developing a Learning Lab where hands-on computer training and learning opportunities are provided by members, for members. The Learning Lab includes a partnership with University of Phoenix which provides access to online GED courses.
A creative writing group meets weekly to give written expression to what it’s like to be affected by mental health issues. This group has published numerous issues of its original magazine, “Brainstorm”.
Daniel’s Place – Transitional Aged Youth (18-28)
Daniel’s Place is a place to be comfortable, to make new friends, access computers and DVD players, games, and art supplies. This year 223 young adults attended 1,988 different
support groups at Daniel’s Place.
Programs include: becoming active and assertive on the way to wellness and recovery; peer coaching and independent living skills; support for family members; involvement in meaningful activities; social connectedness; making sense of the often confusing mental health system; finding treatment that fits individual’s needs; and identifying personal goals and building strategies to achieve them.
The supported employment training and placement program of Daniel’s Place employed 27 participants in paid positions in Step Up’s kitchen and café.
Since its opening in July 1998, Daniel’s Place has consistently promoted early intervention and education to reduce the likelihood of the effects of mental health issues becoming a persistent and disabling condition.
The facility is named after Daniel Greenberg (1959-1997). Daniel was a scholar, athlete, actor, humanitarian, and outreach worker at Step Up and member of the Step Up Board Of Directors. Daniel’s Place members are also members of Step Up with full access to all of its services. Read a letter from a grateful Daniel’s Place parent…
For more information, visit
Daniel’s Place 1619 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405 Telephone: (310) 392-5855 I Fax: (310) 392-5854
Step Up and Daniel’s Place provide comprehensive psycho-social rehabilitation programs, services, and assistance including:
- service coordination
- life skills coaching
- supported employment training and placement
- psychiatrists for medication support
- computer training
- art studio
- money management assistance
- two nutritional meals every day
- educational programs
Step Up is open 365 days a year to provide support to our members.
How to Become a Member of Step Up
Potential members may come into Step Up during open hours to meet with a staff person and request an intake appointment.
It is helpful to bring any and all pertinent identification and medical history upon first visit to Step Up, including: Identification Card, Social Security Card, medical/insurance cards, and any information of mental illness history and diagnosis.
An intake appointment will be scheduled for the earliest available time (approximately a week).
The intake appointment entails a thorough history of potential member’s symptomology, member’s reasons for wanting services at Step Up, and member’s plan for treatment and participation in the agency.
After completion of intake appointment, the potential member becomes a provisional member, with access to all general services: meals, groups, showers, laundry, referrals, and support. Step Up requests the new member participates in at least three groups per week, as well as offers to volunteer if member eats meals at Step Up.
After a 30 day provisional membership period, member’s participation will be reviewed and he or she may become a full member. The member may then request service coordination and additional services, if so desired.
Step Up is open daily 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday-Friday and 8:30am to 5:00pm Saturday & Sunday, 365 days a year.