Guests gathered to celebrate the official re-opening of the center, which serves as a way for disenfranchised people, such as the jobless, homeless and those who are out of prison, to rebuild their lives.
While at the center, participants will learn life skills that will help them obtain a job and be able to live on their own. They also learn about budgeting and managing a bank account.
Each client gets seven outfits, two pairs of shoes and a variety of personal hygiene products.
“Everything we get is donated in free to us to us, and it goes back out free,” Director Julie Hadlock said.
Once a client has a job and is working toward renting an apartment, the center contributes $350 toward a deposit. They also give many free items such as dishes, silverware and furniture.
“Once they’ve been working six months an they’ve stayed sober, been part of a church and done some community service, we help them get into an apartment or a house,” Hadlock said.
For the first six weeks of a job, the center offers free rides to work. They also have a bike shop where they repair bikes and give away bikes so clients have a way to get to work.
The new location now has 4,800 sq. ft. of space. The previous location, which was on Leeville Pike, was 3,600 sq. ft.
“There’s a lot more room here,” Hadlock said. “The other building was tall — things went up high — and a lot of our volunteers are older or are kids, so this way they can work easier.”
The previous location was opened in 2013. In its first year of service, about 7,000 families were assisted, and in its second year, more than 6,000 families were assisted. Each day, 20-30 people are assisted by the center, Hadlock said.
The center is open Monday-Saturday from 8 am. to 5 p.m. Donations are accepted during their hours.
Hadlock said the center always has openings for people who are interested in volunteering.
“If your church group or your school group wants something to do, we’ve got lots of volunteer opportunities, so we’d love to have them,” Hadlock said.
For more information about the Next Step Resource Center, visit nextstepresource.org or call 615-547-9999.