Step 13

Step 13


Founded in 1983 and located in downtown Denver, Step 13, also known as Step Denver, offers long-term residential treatment for men aged 21 years or older with low or no income, and who have experienced significant loss because of their substance abuse. The average age of clients is 41, and the facility is not permitted to accept clients with a history of violent or sexual offenses.


The center does not set a time limit on its program, but the average length of stay is nine months. The program begins with an initial interview and background check to ensure compliance with the program’s guidelines. Confirmed applicants that meet specific criteria (non-violent records, low/no income, history of substance abuse, etc.) are admitted to the program for free.

The program focuses on sobriety, work, and personal accountability, with the intention of turning its residents into productive, constructive, contributing members of society. The rehab treatment process uses the 12-Steps, peer support, and the Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) model, which consists of a network of community organizations arranged around each client. This method is designed to build on the strength and resilience of individuals and families, and help them to achieve long-term sobriety.

Each client is enrolled in the residential program including substance abuse treatment and multiple therapies. Work therapy is a major component of the program. Although the initial entry to the program is free, each client must pay the $10 (daily), $60 (weekly), or $190 (monthly) fees to continue in the program.

Step 13 partners with a local organization to offer employment counseling and job placement services — all part of the organization’s belief that work therapy is an essential facet of recovery. Residents are required to leave the facility at 7:30 a.m. daily to work or seek employment, and they may not return until 4 p.m. Limited employment opportunities are available within the facility, but residents are transitioned to external opportunities when appropriate.

The center provides recreational, exercise, and spiritual programming. And each resident is assigned a recovery support manager, with whom they work to set and achieve goals in all areas of their life. This coincides with their work therapy to help recreate each resident’s entire life practice for healthier habits. To promote compliance with sobriety requirements, clients are required to participate in regular breathalyzer and urinalysis tests throughout their stay.


Step 13 relies on partnerships with outside organizations for counseling and medical support. However, several staff members are themselves graduates of Step 13. The two individuals polled by to date on the staff’s level of training and experience gave it a three- and a perfect five-star rating.


The facility is an unassuming two-story red-brick building on a commercial street. Residents purchase and cook their own meals and are required to carry out maintenance and chores around the facility. The two individuals polled by do date on the center’s accommodations and cleanliness gave it a three-star rating and a maximum five-star rating in each category.


The single alum polled by to date gave very positive feedback, awarding the center four or five out of five stars in all 15 of the evaluated treatment metrics, including its overall effectiveness, holistic treatment options, family programming, counseling options, and treatment for co-occurring disorders. “The staff is amazing and they dobn’t make you feel judged,” they wrote.

However, the alum also criticized the food, which clients prepare themselves, and wrote that more outside space would have helped.

On Google, the facility earned 2.7 out of five stars from seven reviewers to date.[1] While positive reviewers praised the effectiveness of the program, negative reviews criticized the cleanliness of the facility and the staff. In a representative negative review, alum Michael wrote: “This place is horrible! Infested with bed bugs and they tend to demean your character.” However, in a positive review, an anonymous alum wrote: “A great place to clean up and get a hand up, not a hand out. Expect to work and be active within the group and be committed to bettering yourself while you are here.”

On Facebook, the facility earned 4.8 out of five stars from 36 reviewers to date.[2] Thirty four of the 36 reviews were five out of five stars. Alumni often credited the program’s effectiveness with saving their lives. “I’m currently a resident. I’m very new to recovery but I can already feel a powerful change within me and surge of new life coursing through my veins. I am incredibly blessed to be here and I urge those out there that are suffering from addiction to join the Step Denver family. It could be a life or death desicion,” resident Anthony wrote.


The single loved one polled by to date gave positive feedback, indicating that they would recommend the center.

The loved one gave the facility five out of five stars for its connectivity and four out of five stars for its overall effectiveness, family program, and counseling options. “Good people; know what they’re doing,” they wrote anonymously, though they added that more variety in the center’s accommodations and programming would have been desirable.


There is no initial cost to start treatment. Once they’ve moved in, residents pay a daily fee of $10 (daily), $60 (weekly), or $190 (monthly) fee as well as pay for their own food.


Reviews about Step 13

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
  • good people; know what they're doing. Doesn't always fit for everybody more variation and accomodation. Every person is different.
  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
  • the staff is amazing and they dobn't make you feel judged. It is safe ans secure and they make you want to work throught it. the food was really bad I think more grounds to be outside on wold help. it is so sunny there it would be nice ot have more outside stuff to do