On October 17, 1977, six people got together in an office at the old St. Luke’s Hospital in Philadelphia. On that day an idea was born, The Starting Point. We incorporated as a non-profit agency and opened up a transition house for alcoholics. The first house had six residents and was started with $40 in our first bank account. In the early years, our transition house turned into four homes with a total of 18-20 men.
The first lectures were given at the house on 23rd Street. We developed a small aftercare program for the men at the house and gradually, our program began to grow. We started offering lectures at Fairmont in 1981 and at other various locations. In the early 80’s, we offered a small outpatient program in Camden, New Jersey at a detox office. In no time, we outgrew the office and moved to Laurel Springs where we had three offices and two counselors. In 1984-1985, we changed and began to develop an outpatient program on Haddon Avenue in Collingswood, New Jersey. We had four offices and five counselors. Those were the days when “keep it simple” and “sharing” were our mottos. In a couple of years we outgrew that office and moved to Knight Avenue in Collingswood. We then had eleven offices and we kept growing. Finally, in 1990, on our 12th anniversary, we officially closed The Starting Point of Pennsylvania and opened The Starting Point, Inc., of NJ. We are now housed at our present site located at 215 Highland Ave., Suite C., Westmont, NJ. We continue to serve people in the spirit of the Higher Power.
I truly believe that in 1977, the Higher Power led us to begin The Starting Point. Today, the real guide and director of our program is still the Higher Power. On this, our 35th anniversary, we express our gratitude to all the people who have served on our Board of Directors, our staff, and above all, the people we have served.
We are grateful for what was. We are grateful for what we are today. We are grateful for what we will be. We are blessed.
– Vince DiPasquale, Executive Director