A central Arkansas organization helping women overcome addiction is in need of assistance as it prepares to relocate.
Next Step Women’s House opened in Cabot last year. The peer recovery group is in the process of moving to Sherwood – a move its leaders say will help save money and provide residents access to public transportation.
Jimmy McGill, Next Step’s assistant director, says the group must move to its new house by Friday, Feb. 1, and volunteers are working diligently to meet that deadline. They spent all day Saturday working on renovations.
“Everybody who is here working is somebody in recovery,” McGill said.
Next Step is built on a foundation of peer support.
“We're non-clinical, so we don't provide any treatment services,” McGill said.
Instead, residents receive help from volunteer peer recovery support specialists, who are other women in the later phases of recovery.
“The evidence is in the women. We watch them come in. We watch them as time goes by,” McGill said. “They get here with no money. no job – and through the help of the peer – they get employment, they start getting their kids back in their life, they start accumulating time in recovery and it's that one-on-one time, that relationship they have with a peer specialist that makes us so successful,” he said.
Kennedy Verbeck, 23, has battled addiction since her teen years and moved into Next Step’s Cabot house late last year.
“We need to feel safe. We need to feel that we have somewhere to go, somebody to talk to that we know is not going to judge us or hold it against us, and that's what my peer specialist does for me,” Verbeck said.
She credits that support for helping her achieve six months of sobriety.
“Today could probably be the worst day I’ve had before in my entire life, but it does not equal up to that one good day that I had in active addiction and it's because of Next Step. it's because of my peer specialist,” Verbeck said.
As Verbeck continues working through her recovery program, work continues on the house she and seven other women will soon call home.
“This is all out of love,” McGill said. “Nobody makes a dime here. All we get is the satisfaction of helping somebody get the recovery we have.”
With just a few weeks left before move-in, a major project remains. McGill said the home’s flooring needs to be replaced at a cost for several thousand dollars.
Next Step needs donations to buy the supplies and complete the work. If you would like to help, click here to visit the organization’s Facebook page, where you can send them a message to learn more about how to donate.
B Baker Services is donating its time to help with renovations.