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Steps to Recovery: Verde Valley Champions Organization of the Year – Verde News

“Our Mission is to provide a safe environment, free from any illicit drugs or alcohol, for people with substance abuse issues. We focus on behavior modifications and are dedicated to consistency, structure, and direction in our homes. We are passionate about our own recovery and want to help others find peace.”

Damien and Anne Browning know of what they speak. The system they have created, Steps to Recovery Homes, was built upon their own experiences.

Anne first met Damien in 1983. Both were attending a narcotics anonymous meeting when she was already 20-years sober. “When Damien and I got together, opening a facility is something we talked about from the beginning,” she said.

They wanted to build an in-house recovery facility in the Verde Valley, something, they say, was previously unknown.

Damien and Anne make sure Steps to Recovery is not simply a break in the atmosphere.

The program is a holistic look at substance abuse that focuses on all aspects of life. It is not just alcohol abuse, heroin, cocaine or crystal meth addiction. It is a proven to maximize the success of individuals with a substance use disorder.

Graduates of Steps to Recovery Homes have a real chance at a long-term recovery and a successful life.

It is not just a halfway house. Steps to Recovery provides real recovery homes that are safe, structured, and clean along with an example-driven behavior modification for the life skills that people need to be able to become a productive member of family and society.

Steps to Recovery has a board of directors and sponsors who believe that the system will bring new citizens to light.

Steps to Recovery requires residents contribute hours of community service and attend several hour-long treatment sessions each week. The patients are not monitored overnight, but can be kicked out if they don’t follow the rules.

“We want them to be self-supporting, but if they don’t have that, we try to provide it for them.”

Miracles Happen is a thrift shop, listed on eBay; 100 percent of the proceeds of the operation benefit the activities of Steps to Recovery.

Damien and Anne have spacious facilities close to shopping and situated to find easy employment. Hope House accommodates men in various stages of substance abuse and Gratitude House to accommodate women is located across town.

The six-month program is a support system for people who have often been rejected by their closest relations.

Steps to Recovery Homes provides Life Coaching sessions in areas of our life that have usually been significantly affected by drug addiction or the abuse of alcohol.

Those areas are finance, relationships, personal boundaries, obtaining and securing long term employment, communication, health and hygiene, parenting and more.

Treatment and rehabilitation should include all the areas of an individual’s life that have been hindered by continued drug use.

“We provide recovery services and focus on 12-step applications,” said Browning.

Browning’s store supports Steps to Recovery cause – JournalAZ

Anne Browning is feeling pretty positive about how everything just seemed to come together.Anne Browning works at Miracles Happen, a new thrift store off of Cottonwood’s Main Street. The store’s proceeds go to help support Steps to Recovery Homes, a nonprofit Browning and her husband started two years ago.

Last Wednesday Browning was working behind the register at Miracles Happen, a new thrift store off of Cottonwood’s Main Street.

In fact, the store has only been open for a little over three weeks.

Browning said she drew inspiration from what it says on a brightly-colored mural painted on the side of the building, one that predates the thrift shop.

“When people come together, miracles happen,” Browning said.

The store keeps its shelves stocked with donations and a dedicated effort to scour the state for interesting items at events like estate sales.

The store’s proceeds go to help support Steps to Recovery Homes, a nonprofit Browning and her husband two years ago.

The organization provides facilities for men and women to live in while they struggle with overcoming addiction.

It can be a difficult thing to grapple with.

Browning knows this well. She went through the same struggle more than two decades ago but has stayed on the path ever since.

Browning said that the shop also hires people in the program to work there if they need to start getting on their own path back to becoming a productive member of society.

That help extends to a program where some of the money the members put into savings is matched, giving them a bit of a head start when they finish.

“The idea is that we focus on the people,” Browning said.

There was a lot of focus on programs like this in the Prescott area, Browning said, but she recognized a need for something like this on this side of the mountain.

The program also received a $10,000 grant from the city of Cottonwood, Browning said.

New recovery home offers live-in addiction coaching – Verde Independent

Damien Browning and Anne VickersSteps to Recovery is one of the only live-in rehabilitation facilities in Cottonwood, with the next-closest located in Rimrock and Prescott. Anne Vickers and Damien Browning opened Steps to Recovery Homes to use their combined decades of sobriety to help others overcome their addictions.

“We decided we had to do something because there’s nowhere for these people to go who want serious recovery,” Vickers said.

Vickers moved to Arizona from Kansas City, Mo., in 1983. She met Browning at a narcotics anonymous meeting when she was 20 years sober.

“When Damien and I got together a little over two years ago, opening a facility is something we talked about from the very beginning,” Vickers said.

She said while in the recovery process, it can be hard for people who have not been addicted to drugs or alcohol to understand the continued need to attend meetings.

“They start getting to the point, well why do you still need to go to those meetings,” Vickers said. “While I may seem better, if I don’t continue to work on myself, I can revert back to the person I was 20 years ago.”

Without any certifications or training, patients can relate to Vickers’ 22 years of experience with the process. She and Browning provide “recovery coaching.”
Vickers was 14 when she started smoking weed, using pills and doing speed. After her children were born, she started using crystal meth, a more deadly kind of speed.
“At that time, my children’s father and I were together and we were both on that path of destruction,” Vickers said. “We were arrested.”
Time in jail and community service didn’t immediately steer her toward recovery. She was in a court-ordered recovery program, something many patients at Steps to Recovery have in common.

“You can come in on a court card and still learn a new way to live,” she said. “It took me a few years to actually get serious. My clean date is August 28, 1991.”

The recovery home provides patients with group and individual sessions as well as career and education advice.

Browning’s path through recovery has earned him an associate’s degree last semester from Yavapai College. He’s pursuing his bachelor’s degree at Northern Arizona University.

The couple used credit cards to pay for beds and other essentials. Open since August, the house is now bringing in enough to pay its own bills.

“We’re hoping to recoup what we put into this in six months so we can buy another home,” Vickers said. “There’s a really big need for it here.”

Vickers said her experiences with addiction, watching people succumb to drugs while in recovery, and Browning losing his children and going to prison have all contributed to their level of understanding with the home’s residents.

The intake interview gives residents the opportunity to talk about what they’ve experienced, finding out what they’re willing to do to recover.

Steps to Recovery requires residents to perform two hours of community service and attend several hour-long sessions each week. They are not monitored overnight, but residents can be kicked out for using and not turning in a fellow addict who relapses.

“We don’t want to treat them like 12-year-olds,” Vickers said. “We want to present to them that we’re trusting of them and we want them to be responsible for their own recovery.”

Vickers said it was important for the couple to open the business together.

The Steps to Recovery home can accommodate 16 people, but the owners want to keep occupancy at a manageable number.

“We each have attributes that the other doesn’t have,” Vickers said. “One of us may not approach a client in a way that might hinder them, so we’re able to bounce our different opinions off of each other our.”

The facility is not insured to the level needed by the courts for patients to be referred there for probation. Still, four out of nine residents are on probation.

“If a program doesn’t work or they relapse at home, probation officers will let them know we’re here,” she said. “If they come to us and we approve them, then all their probation officer has to do is approve them to stay here.”

The facility has been cleared by the fire department to hold 16 people, but Vickers said they are trying to keep residents to a manageable number.

“We didn’t want to pack them in so tight that we didn’t have time for them or they were tripping over each other,” she said. “We already have personality issues and people who don’t get along, and we work together on those issues as well.”

Residents pay $125.45 each week and are provided with paper products, a laundry facility, detergent, soaps and shampoos as needed.
“We want them to become self supporting, but if they don’t have something, we try to provide that for them,” she said.
If a client is a good fit for the facility but can’t afford the weekly rent, nonprofit organizations like St. Vincent de Paul will sometimes step in to help. This happened with one female resident who has been at the house a little over two months.
“They helped her stay so she could have a better shot,” Vickers said.

Browning said he was not completely receptive to his own treatment after he was arrested and spent time away from his family.

“It was really hard listening to people who I thought couldn’t relate to me,” he said. “For a lot of people with substance abuse issues or other issues, they kind of are really defiant and stubborn and can’t take on any suggestions. It helps to get those suggestions from people who have been where they’ve been.”

He now goes to the jail once a month to talk to inmates about addiction, and sponsors six people who are working their way through the 12 steps. He’s been clean for almost seven years.

“It really does feel good to help people and be part of the solution,” he said.

One major component of the Steps to Recovery program is helping people become productive members of their families as well as their communities.

“I learned how to be a father, a son and a grandson and a good friend,” he said of his own recovery.

A full-time student online at NAU, Browning’s first priority is sobriety. He meets with his own sponsor once a week to work on behavior, perceptions and helping others.
“One of the things we’re trying to do here is give people hope,” he said.

View Article on the Verde Independents website

Article in Sedona Red Rock News

Damien and Anne Browning have been in recovery for a combined 31 years — a fact which inspired them to open Steps to Recovery Homes in Old Town Cottonwood in August 2013.

“We’re passionate about our own recovery and want to help people find peace,” Damien Browning said, seated in the office he and his wife share in the Hope House, which features accommodations for 13 men in varying stages of dealing with substance abuse. “We modeled it after our own lives and recovery,” he added.

The Gratitude House, a second facility for 17 women, is located across town. According to the Brownings, the costs for staying at either facility are minimal compared to other addiction recovery homes: $125 per week purchases counseling services, daily life-coaching sessions, financial planning, employment assistance and a roof over one’s head where no mood-altering substances are permitted.Furthermore, the six-month program is a support system for people who have often been rejected by their closest relations. “When the people come through here, they’re family,” Damien Browning said. He and Anne are currently taking care of the child of a former tenant who has fallen on hard times.
Damien and Anne Browning, with baby Ava Serenity, run a rehab center in Old Town Cottonwood. Steps to Recovery Homes has both men’s and women’s centers, and helps recovering addicts get back on their feet.View article on the Sedona Red Rock News website.