The Next Step Program
Our basic approach to providing assistance is called the Next Step Program, a self-help program that promotes change, dignity, and self-reliance in people who are in need.
This involves Next Steps of Johns Island (NSJI) Mentors meeting with Next Step Program Participants (“Participants”) to set personal goals, and then breaking them down so that they can pursue them one step at a time. Participant goals often involve employment, housing, family life, and medical or addiction issues.
Most of our Participants will have incomes below the poverty line and approximately 40 percent will be homeless or at significant risk of becoming homeless. We partner with Participants who are committed to making positive, enduring changes in their life. And we work with them as long as they need help and want to participate in the Next Step Program. We help Participants set and take Next Steps toward their goals, providing encouragement, needed information and referrals, and other resources that will help them to reach their goals.
Our experience is that this approach supports opportunities for success and is a way of overcoming barriers to the achievement of personal goals. Many Participants don’t feel like they have a track record of success when they come to the Next Step Program. We try to help them identify their strengths and build on them, one Conversation at a time, one Prayer at a time, and one Step at a time.