Next Step Ministries Society
Our Story Why We Exist
Abby called the Next Step Ministries emergency call line. She was desperately looking for a safe place to live and help her escape from the abuse and addiction she was currently experiencing.
Becky answered the phone. There was a frantic voice at the other end as she listened to Abby urgently telling her that she was running from a life of prostitution, drug addiction and a very abusive relationship. Her life for the last 25 years had been a living hell, she was at the end of her rope and wanted out.
Becky asked where Abby was and immediately got in her car to meet her at a fast food restaurant close to where she called from. When Becky arrived, there were many people in line waiting to order, but she immediately knew who Abby was. She was wearing an old pair of dirty shorts and a tank-top, her arms were marked up, she was skin and bones, her face was gaunt and had sores on them likely from drug abuse. Her eyes had a distant but desperate look in them. She couldn’t stand still and was fidgety and constantly scanning the room.
Becky approached her and asked if her name was Abby and if she wanted something to eat. Abby said yes, I haven’t had a meal in weeks. After talking to Abby for a while, it became obvious that she was full of fear and pain. Abby was on the run. Becky asked her if she wanted out, she said yes and Becky brought her to the Next Step Ministries house. When Abby walked into the house she fell on her knees and cried to God, thanking him for saving her and for providing her with a safe place.
Denise, our live in volunteer, showed her the house and walked her over to her room. Immediately she started crying again. It had been years since she felt safe and had her own room with a bed in it. Abby jumped on the bed, smelled the brand new pillow and hugged the blanket. It was beautiful to see this, but it was only the first step.
Over the following two days, we were able help Abby get clean underwear and some more clothes, groceries, hygiene items, and her phone changed so her abuser couldn’t find her. In the weeks to come, we would also get her an ID card and set up on government financial assistance.
Abby started attending a program we provide to help break the cycle of addiction and abuse in her life. She started using what she was learning. The road to recovery for Abby was extremely challenging as she worked through the abuse that started when she was a little girl until she came to next Step Ministries. Even though she was in a safe place, she lived in constant fear that her most recent abuser would find her. At times her trauma was through the roof, but she stuck with the program.
She had a couple of slips, as most people do, but she was able to push through and has been clean and sober for 8 months. She has reconnected with her family and was able to get her children back in her life. She is determined to succeed and continues to go to Narcotics Anonymous meetings. She is doing what it takes to continue on the path of recovery and to ensure she never goes back to how her life was. Abby stays connected with us on a weekly basis and is now planning and figuring out what is next for her in life.
As we walk alongside women fighting so hard to escape their lives of sexual exploitation, their stories may vary, but they all come from a place of trauma and darkness. They are desperately searching for a way to live life with dignity and safety. Like all of us, they want to feel like they belong, they want to be good friends, good parents, good members of our community. They want to matter.
Our Impact What We Do
Our Vision is for women to exit sexual exploitation and discover their identity.
Next Step Ministries is a Christian organization that was established in 2010 by Phil and Jackie Reimer to help meet the needs of vulnerable and exploited people in the community of Calgary. Today, Next Step Ministries has four programs that work together to help women exit sexual exploitation and move toward a life of hope and healing.
Our Mission is to walk alongside women exiting sexual exploitation as they break the cycle of addiction and abuse.
The need is larger than what we first realized. In 2014, the City of Calgary put out a report called the Prostitution Response Framework, which states that there are as many as 3,000 prostitutes in Calgary. This, along with an unrelenting stream of women coming into our program has led Next Step Ministries to increase our capacity over the years in order to serve as many women as possible. With one house and the current size of our Day Program, we have been able to work with 30 individual women per year. With a second house to come online shortly, we will be able to significantly increase that number.
Our Goal is to have a safe place for every woman who wants to exit sexual exploitation.
Our Participants come to us facing many challenges. Each one of them has a history of being sexually exploited, close to 95% of the women come with a history of substance abuse, 100% require mental health support for diagnosable conditions (bipolar, depression, PTSD, and anxiety are the most common trends), they have a long list of physical challenges, and 93% come with criminal records and have an extensive history with law enforcement.
We track measurable outcomes for the women, but our ultimate desire when they leave Next Step Ministries is that they know that they are loved by God, loved by our team and that they have choices in life.
Our Programs How We Do It
Our programs at Next Step Ministries are designed to help the Participants recover from their past and move forward with hope into their future. This happens through demonstrating healthy relationships from both our staff and volunteers as they walk alongside them. We have four specific programs that represent our system of care for the women.
The Outreach Program meets women exiting sexual exploitation where they are at, helping them access resources and create an exit plan for those ready to move forward.
The Housing Program provides second stage housing for women exiting sexual exploitation. They are given their own room with a key so they have a safe place to call their own.
While the women are in the Housing Program, they attend classes in the Day Program four days a week where they work on recovery and life skills, which is all facilitated through a trauma informed lens.
We offer a long term Follow Care Program, which helps the women get jobs, permanent housing and follow their educational goals. Participants are able to access staff support at any time.
Our Requests What You Can Do
Next Step Ministries relies heavily on our many supporters. We can’t do it without our community working with us on this issue. Here are some ways you can get involved and support us:
- Become and Intentional Friend to one of our Participants
- Help facilitate in the classroom
- Clean a room and get it ready for a new Participant
- Join one of our Outreach Teams as they go and serve with other agencies
- Organize your church, community group, school or family to fundraise for our work
- Assist us with Administration work in the office
Simply contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you going!
The women in our programs need our prayers, and so do our volunteers and staff. This is a vast, dark issue we are in the middle of, and prayer makes a significant impact on everything we are doing.
Email us at email@example.com if you want to be put on our prayer list.
Your generous gifts allow us to respond to the victims of sexual exploitation who come to us with almost nothing but the clothes they are wearing. Because of you, we are able to provide housing, basic needs, emotional and spiritual support to these women as they walk the long, hard road to recovery. Click Here to donate now.
- Smartphones (Less than 5 years old)
- Tablets (Less than 5 years old)
- Desktop Computers (Less than 5 years old)
- Laptops (Less than 5 years old)
- Mp3 Players
- Projectors (Less than 5 years old)
- Flat Screen TVs (LCD and Plasma)
- PC Hardware (RAM, Hard Drives/SSD’s, Motherboards and Processor’s)
- PC Peripherals (Monitors, Flash Drives, Mice, Keyboards, Printers, Headsets and Audio Systems/Speakers)
Call 403-520-8080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.