Charle Street, as it is popularly known today, was founded in 1952. The original house was located on the corner of Harbor Boulevard and 19th Street, where Triangle Square now stands. A small, old house was rented from a physician for $50 a month. It had one large room and one small bathroom. After several weeks of renovations, it opened in March of 1952 as a recovery home for alcoholics.
In 1955, the operation was relocated to Newport Boulevard and Bay Street. After 3 years, it moved again to Harbor Boulevard and Hamilton Street, where it stayed for the next 6 years. In 1956 we officially became The First Step House of Orange County, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. With funds generously donated by private citizens, we moved to our present location in 1961.
In 1993, the original house was torn down and rebuilt into the fine facility that it is today. This challenging and expensive task was accomplished by the Board of Directors with the help of fund-raisers and selfless contributions from private donors. Today, Charle Street provides a new beginning for up to 21 recovering alcoholics during their 10 day stay in the house.
The McMillen Houses
In addition to Charle Street, the nearby McMillen Houses provide affordable medium term housing for up to twenty four newly recovering alcoholics. Both McMillen facilities provide a sober and structured environment that assists men in building a firm foundation for their continued long term sobriety.