History of First Step

First Step Recovery was founded in Fargo, ND, in January 2000 by Susan Stenehjem-Brown and Michael Kaspari. The agency provided an intensive outpatient treatment program for people with substance use disorders.

Susan Stenehjem-Brown and Michael Kaspari
Susan Stenehjem-Brown and Michael Kaspari

As the agency expanded, additional programming and staff were added. By 2003, First Step Recovery was providing outpatient treatment, family programming, and relapse prevention treatment. In addition, a full-time staff member was providing consultation services to a local hospital.

In response to community needs, the agency implemented a Partial Hospital Program which allowed for many to receive services on an outpatient basis who otherwise would require a residential or inpatient level of care. This highly structured program provides comprehensive services to include chemical dependency programming, mental health assessment/referral, and nursing/medical screenings. Our staff works closely with other medical, mental health, and psychiatric entities to address the issues and concerns of clients to ensure a holistic approach to recovery.

In 2011, First Step Recovery, PLLP, was purchased by The Village Family Service Center. This collaborative effort has resulted in increased capacity to provide substance use and mental health services in the community.

First Step Recovery, a program of The Village Family Service Center, is proud to provide a niche service within the Fargo community. We are accredited through the Council on Accreditation (COA), which recognizes our adherence to national standards for delivery of substance abuse services. Our philosophy and our success have been based on treating the whole person with respect, dignity, and compassion. We believe substance use disorders are a family disease and strive to include the family in the treatment and recovery process. Most importantly, we believe long-lasting recovery is possible!

Contact First Step Recovery

Why is there a camel in your logo?

It's summed up in this poem:

The camel each day goes twice to his knees. He picks up his load with the greatest of ease. He walks through the day with his held head high. And for that day stays completely dry.