A Safe Haven for Victims of Domestic Violence

By Amanda Swift

As break out the fall decorations, Next Step Ministries is preparing for an eventful last few months of 2022. Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) was launched nationwide in October of 1987, with the intention of uniting advocates across the country to work to end domestic violence in our communities. Locally, Next Step will kick off the month with our Step by Step Stopping Domestic Violence Virtual 5k. Participants can choose to run or walk during the week of October 2-8 and submit their results through runsignup.com/Race/NC/Kernersville/StepbyStepStoppingDomesticViolence

On Tuesday, October 25 we will prepare to honor and reflect on the victims of domestic violence who have lost their lives. Guest speakers will be present to lead the vigil including leaders from the local police department, domestic violence survivors, Next Step Board and Executive Director Patty Sorrells, as well as Kernersville officials. Throughout the month look for stickers in the store windows of local businesses who are partnering with us to promote awareness and support to victims of domestic violence.

As the month comes to a close, Logan Robbins of State Farm will host the second annual Drive Out Domestic Violence golf tournament. The tournament is held at Pine Knolls Golf Club and will include prizes for closest to the pin, longest drive, and a $10,000 hole in one challenge. Lunch will be provided around noon and raffle prizes will be onsite to bid for. Teams can register at: drive-out-domestic-violence-golf.perfectgolfevent.com/registration. Cost of play starts at $300 for a team of 4. 

The mission of Next Step Ministries is to provide refuge, advocacy, and education to survivors of domestic violence/sexual assault and the broader community. This mission could not be fulfilled without the very generous support of our local Kernersville community. During the month of November our agency will pay tribute to those who regularly support our organization and ask others to join us during our, “Thanks for Giving” campaign. Next Step will hold an Open House at our administrative offices on November 15 for those who have contributed throughout the year. 

In December, staff, board, and our many volunteers who work tirelessly at both our Thrift Store and Safe House will come together to celebrate and be honored for their service to Next Step. 

Next Step Ministries began in 1998 as a response from a community saddened by the death of a local schoolteacher who fell victim to domestic violence. Over the course of agency history, we have grown from an initial, “Safe House” located in a small single wide trailer to a multi-bedroom home with a full kitchen, living area, and children’s playroom. Clients living in the Safe House can find immediate respite during times of life-threatening situations due to domestic violence. Next Step provides an onsite case manager who assists clients with locating and navigating additional services and housing. Clients are provided with everything to accommodate their immediate needs including food, personal hygiene products, access to laundry facilities, and transportation to necessary appointments. Those in need of services can contact Next Step through our 24-hour hotline at 336.413.5858. 

In addition to temporary shelter, our agency provides advocacy services. These services include: 

  • Assistance with the 50B Protective Order Process
  • Advocacy for Domestic Violence Related Court Procedures
  • Coordination with Local Agencies to Resources (e.g., counseling, housing, job search, financial assistance, etc.)
  • Safety Planning and Domestic Violence Education 
  • Support Group
  • Monthly Workshops

Lastly, Next Steps Ministries hosts a thriving thrift store located at 955 Hwy 66 in Kernersville, NC. Shoppers can find great bargains on clothing, household items, and books. Proceeds (after expenses) from the thrift store are essential to maintaining the day to day operations of Next Step. When you buy or donate to the thrift store you are supporting victims of domestic violence. Donations are received daily from 10-2pm. The Thrift Store does not accept items during the first week of each month in order to have sufficient time to sort and stock the store with new finds. For more information about donations to the store please contact our Store Manager Donna Ivey at: donna@nextstepdv.org.

In 2021, Next Step provided services for 75 sheltered clients, 94 non-residential clients, and provided crisis intervention services for 1,891 individuals who called the 24/7 Crisis Hot Line. This was an increase of 400 calls from the previous year. Of those 169 clients served, 76 were Kernersville residents. 

We continue to be amazed by the love and support shown to our agency by Kernersville residents. Thank you for your support of Next Step Ministries!

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