Next Step Program


The mission of the Next Step Program is for Volunteer Coaches to provide guidance, support, instruction, and encouragement to individuals and families who are interested in reducing their dependency on community resources and increasing their own self-sufficiency.

The Next Step Program seeks to make it possible for struggling community members to journey out of poverty by empowering them to envision and realize a future for themselves through encouragement and support. People in poverty and unstable environments living in "crisis mode", benefit from having someone in their lives who can support them through the difficult changes needed to build skills, change relationships, and develop the attitudes and behaviors necessary to complete the journey toward self-sufficiency. Next Step Volunteer Coaches are there to be that 'someone' and to help our neighbors in need recognize their potential, identify barriers, and learn how to positively overcome those barriers with informed choices and problem solving. More importantly, individuals/families develop self-determination and self-worth as they accomplish small goals toward self-sufficiency. 

Taking the Next Step toward self-sufficiency and less dependency on community resources.

Who We Serve

The Next Step Program participants may be comprised of individuals and/or families who are struggling with generational poverty, addiction issues, criminal history, symptoms of mental illness, physical ability restrictions, limited education and/or employment experiences and alternative lifestyles.

The Next Step Program celebrates the participation of the individuals and/or families who recognize their limitations and are motivated to partner with a Next Step Volunteer Coach to ultimately identify their barriers, establish goals to formulate a road map to success, and then put forth the time, energy, and effort to succeed in increased self-sufficiency.

How It Works

  • An initial meeting is scheduled so you can learn about the Next Step Program and help us to understand your needs
  • Participation in the program is voluntary and continues as long as it is beneficial to you
  • You will be matched with a trained Volunteer Coach who is committed to giving you the time and support you need so you can acheive your financial self-sufficiency
  • An individualized plan will be developed to identify the goals and steps you need to take to become financially self-sufficient
  • A Volunteer Coach will schedule three appointments with you one week apart, review progress toward your goal, and then determine how frequently you would like to meet
  • You will be provided with information on community resources and agencies that can help you along the way to self-sufficiency

Volunteer Coaching

Volunteer coaching is helping individuals/families become more self-sufficient by identifying where the participant is at in their lives, recognizing their goals and where they want to be, and together developing an action plan to acheive the desired goals. Next Step Volunteer Coaches are committed to giving individuals/families the time, support, friendship, and guidance they need in order to acheive financial self-sufficiency.

Benefits of being a Volunteer Coach:

  • Appreciation for the complexity of poverty and how it affects individuals/families
  • Experience satisfaction from seeing participants achieve goals toward self-sufficiency
  • Witness individuals develop improved self-esteem and feelings of self-worth as a result of becoming less dependent on community resources
  • Seeing improvement in family relationships

If you would like to become a volunteer, become a Next Step Participant, or simply get more information, visit our offices at 1924 W. College Ave. or call Mary Meyers, Next Step Coordinator, at 920-739-1679, Ext. 6.

Breaking the cycle of poverty takes a team effort.

The Next Step Program is a collaborative effort between the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Appleton, LEAVEN (Limited Emergency Valley Ecumenical Network), and Homeless Connections. The Next Step Program will also consider participants from other area nonprofit organizations.