First Step House, Salt Lake City, Utah

Downtown Salt Lake City skyline Utah
440 500 E
Salt Lake City, UT, 84115

First Step House Overview

Situated in Salt Lake City, Utah, First Step House is a facility that provides addiction treatment to male individuals suffering from addiction and mental health issues. With two residential treatment facilities, an outpatient facility, and a transitional living program for men requiring sober living, the treatment center offers a well-rounded program to clients. Founded in 1958, the facility was established by members of the Alcoholics Anonymous group in the Salt Lake area. The facility began as began as a 12-room house but now has grown into a 32-bed facility for veterans and a 61-bed residence facility for men needing care. The facility is currently under construction as plans are being made to expand and build four additional dorm-style homes, which will be a new First Step House Recovery Campus.
The residential treatment at the facility focuses on complete healing involving mind, body, and spirit. Prior to treatment, clients must undergo an assessment which will determine the level of care such a client requires. A drug test is carried out to find out if the client is eligible for detox. Throughout the duration of the program, random drug tests will be carried out to ensure that the client is determined to live a life of long-term sobriety as well as the client’s dedication. 24-hour monitoring is conducted in residential treatment but it is not a lockdown facility.
Clients seeking a facility that provides support for dual diagnosis will find such services here as well as, treatment for veterans suffering from mood disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. All clients at the facility are also treated for dental and medical issues to encourage complete wellness.

Accommodation & Food

The treatment center currently offers two residential facilities to clients. First Step House offers dormitory-style quarters in a 61-bed facility at the Grand Street location, which can contain three to four roommates in each room but this is dependent on enrollment. The facility comes equipped with an exercise room, a TV room (common room), a fully equipped kitchen, laundry facilities, and more. All meals served are prepared by kitchen staff and all clients are entitled to three meals a day along with snacks available throughout.
The second location (South 500 East) houses veterans in a 32-bed facility. The facility will undergo a second phase renovation which will include a transitional living section, vocational training center, and medical care facility on-site. This location currently houses four persons per room in eight rooms fully equipped with bathrooms. Other communal areas include a common room, dining area, computer lab, and a kitchen. An outdoor exercise area is available as well.

Treatment & Therapy

The facility offers multiple treatment and therapy programs to individuals based on their unique needs. Some of these are:

  • Veteran’s treatment
  • Residential treatment
  • Transitional housing
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Long-Term recovery management

Residential Treatment

The residential treatment program offers treatment to men, 18 years and older, suffering from substance abuse and co-occurring disorders in a structured environment. Treatment approaches commonly used is Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), 12-Step (evidence-based) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).

Veteran’s Treatment

This program is for military personnel who are at risk for developing substance abuse issues. Experiences that lead to substance abuse in veterans can range from injury to prolonged exposure to high-stress situations. The facility focuses on dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in veterans.

Long-Term Recovery Management

This program is for clients currently in recovery and seeking effective recovery management. Services offered in this program range from recovery support groups to evidence-based management. This service is offered to clients who have completed treatment at the facility.
The following are conditions treated at the facility:

  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Mental Health Disorders
  • Co-occurring disorder

First Step House Therapy Options

First Step House offers various options of therapy which include:

  • Group therapy
  • Life skills classes
  • Individual therapy
  • Relapse prevention
  • Case management
  • Addiction education
  • Moral reconation therapy (MRT)
  • Motivational Interviewing


First Step House uses a sliding scale payment model to calculate the price of treatment for clients. The individual’s household income is used to calculate the amount needed. Funding is available through the facility’s partnership with major organizations such as The Department of Workforce Services, Salt Lake County Behavioral Health, and other major entities. Funding is available to individuals who are eligible.

First Step House Advantages

The treatment center understands the importance of family involvement in recovery as such, offers a family program to assist the loved ones of clients currently in treatment and battling with addiction. This group meets once a week and topics discussed range from the basics of addiction to recovery support. The organization also offers services such as employment for patients during and after recovery as well as facilitating education. The facility also offers GED and high school education to clients who desire to complete their studies while in treatment. This service is offered through the facility’s partnership with the Horizonte Instructional Training Center.
Clients registered in the residential program can benefit from the safe and sober environment offered as well as the supportive community it encourages. The facility believes in wholesome treatment and as such, offers physical health treatment in addition to its mental health treatment.
Individuals suffering from co-occurring disorders can benefit from the treatment programs offered here as well as the motivation to alter their life-path and choose a path to long-term recovery.


Shaun McMillen
Executive Director

Shaun holds a Master’s degree from the University of Utah majoring in Public Administration and has over 30 years of experience working in the field of behavioral health. Prior to holding the position of Executive Director in 2005, he served in different capacities at different organizations such as primary counselor of the Recovery unit at the University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI).

Austin Davis
Associate Director

Austin holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah majoring in Business Accounting and has been serving at the facility since 2008. As a person in long-term recovery, Austin has experienced first-hand the difficulties of substance abuse and as such, is dedicated to helping individuals begin the journey to long-term recovery.

Sarah Bauman
Development Director

Sarah holds a Master’s degree in Healthcare Management and has been in the non-profit sector for over 20 years. She is licensed to practice Social Work and founded the Moab Free Health Clinic.

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