Tax id (EIN)
AddressPO BOX 110
FAIRMONT, MN 56031
In the early 1960s, parents of children and young adults with disabilities banded together to start an organization that was to become STEP, Inc. With few community schools or services available to them, they worked to start a place where their children could find opportunities to grow, learn and find meaning in their lives. These parents knew then what we know now, that given opportunities, people with disabilities can be contributing members of the communities we live in. When these services first started, they were funded by the donations and fund raising of local community members.
Although much has changed since that time, STEP is still working to find ways for individuals with disabilities to grow, learn and contribute. We do so by providing services that offer opportunities for individuals to work and to receive training and support at our service sites and in our communities. STEP currently operates four service locations, three in Fairmont and one in Blue Earth. In addition to these service sites, STEP provides employment support services to individuals at other businesses throughout the two counties. STEP currently works with about 85 adult individuals who have cognitive and/or physical disabilities.
The goal of STEP’s services is to enable people with disabilities to live and work in our communities. STEP meets this goal by providing support, training and employment that allows each person to grow and learn, to live a more independent lifestyle, to interact with other people in our communities and to find meaning in their day.
Each person has an individualized plan, which is based upon that individual’s needs and wishes. Although the majority of support is geared toward employment skills, training is varied, as each person has varied and individual needs and wishes. Training is usually provided in such areas as employment skills, communication, social skills, and use of the community. STEP staff also assist people with their basic daily living needs.
As part of their service, STEP provides transportation for individuals to and from their homes and our services sites and to and from jobs and other places in the community. Without these transportation services, individuals would not be able to access community and work sites.
In the recent past, the majority of STEP’s funding has come from federal and state government funding, but these funds have been eroding over the last several years. STEP is now faced with the same dilemma the original parents had, of how to provide these meaningful services with limited sources of revenue. STEP is once again looking to elicit support from community members who value all people of all abilities. Everyone at STEP greatly appreciates the support from our neighbors and coworkers in our communities.