STEP is a private, nonprofit organization that has proudly served the Central MN area since 1973. We provide programming and services for adults with developmental disabilities and those with mental and emotional challenges. STEP has grown over the years and now offers an adult day program, educational opportunities, and work experience. Our programs encourage valuable growth experiences for our clients. Clients are allowed, encouraged, trained, and supported by direct support personnel who understand their individualized needs and talents.
STEP was first organized in the early 1970's as the Todd County Day Activity Center (DAC). Todd County Public Health and Social Services staff identified a need for activities and job coaching for people with disabilities in Todd County and the adjacent area. Its first facility was in a small storefront in downtown Browerville. In 1977, DAC jumped at the chance to move into a much larger building across from the Browerville public school. In 1978, DAC formalized its nonprofit status by organizing as a 501©3. Over time, the acronym DAC was changed to represent Development Achievement Center.
In 2015, Executive Director John Johnston retired from DAC and the organization began contracting with Employment Enterprises, Inc. (EEI) of Little Falls for management. Pam Baltes, Executive Director of EEI, began serving as an executive consultant to STEP and Cory Lawrence became Executive Director. In December of 2015, the organization was renamed STEP and its mission was rewritten: “To Serve, Teach and Empower People to achieve their desired future.”
STEP continues to grow and expand its services and offerings. STEP operates four thrift stores in Central Minnesota, a senior site for those who have aged out of the regular programs, and two workshops where job coaches work alongside our clients. Our stores serve as training grounds for all facets of merchandising, building confidence as our clients prepare for future careers, and generating funds for general operating costs.