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Saturday, June 6, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington Voices

Recovering Alcoholics Open New Place To Gather, Heal

When the 12-Step Club on Wall Street closed in June, members scrambled for a new place to hold meetings, find companionship and seek support and understanding.

They pooled money and resource, and opened All-Step North in Hillyard.

The small building, sandwiched in an unlikely spot between a tattoo parlor and a tavern, is a safe harbor for recovering alcoholics, former drug users and others overcoming addictions.

“This is a place to come to stay clean and sober,” said Kathy Yenney, who helped organize the new group.

“Anyone in recovery is invited and encouraged to come,” she said.

When the Wall Street club closed because of financial problems, 30 members gathered, pooled their money and came up with $900 to rent a new place. They’ve been running on donations ever since.

“We already have enough money to pay the rent next month,” said Yenney.

The group gladly accepts donations, not just cash, but coffee, cream, toilet paper, bleach, food and all sorts of basic supplies.

“Places like this saved my life after 35 years of hard drinking,” said Yenney. “I came here and they accepted me without question.

“So many people from all walks of life come to places like this. You can find a lawyer sitting next to a guy who’s come in right off the curb.

“They have something in common,” she said.

The group follows the 12-step program designed to give members strength to avoid their addictions.

The spirituality-based program was developed in the 1930s to help addicts. The steps include admitting dependency and sharing stories, making a decision to stop drinking or drugs, making amends to friends or family where possible, and praying or meditating for continued strength.

All-Step North holds 24 meetings a week. Yenney said 50 to 100 people come through the club in a week, with “a new face coming in every day.”

“The people who succeed are the ones who want it bad enough, the ones who have reached the bottom, whatever the bottom is for them,” said Yenney.

“They can come here for comfort and understanding,” she said. “Most of us have been at that point once in our life and don’t want to go back to being that way again.”

Yenney said she lived a double life, working in medical records in a Spokane hospital by day, frequenting bars at night.

She’s been sober for three years.

“I feel like a child, like I’m starting my life over. It’s wonderful,” she said.

All-Step North isn’t a business, members said. “It’s just a group of people involved in recovery who gathered their resources and rented a building so we could have a place to hold meetings, play games, have a cup of coffee and share our experiences,” she said. “It’s completely run by volunteers.”

“We want people in the community to know we are here to help,” Yenney said.

Ironically, All-Step North members have had trouble finding help in the community to set up their new program. They are looking for an attorney or accountant to help them set up their nonprofit business.

Yenney said the group members are grateful for the help they have received since opening their doors.

“Random acts of kindness are greatly appreciated,” said one of the members.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: ALL-STEP NORTH The club is located at 4903 N. Market Street. It’s open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

This sidebar appeared with the story: ALL-STEP NORTH The club is located at 4903 N. Market Street. It’s open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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