One of the most important aspects of addiction recovery – really, an important aspect of anyone’s life – is community. Access to stable, supportive housing and a network of others to walk alongside can make a world of difference for someone battling addiction. Next Step Recovery Housing (NSRH) exists to provide a safe, secure and educational environment where those in recovery can do just that: recover. 

Next Step was created by co-founders Chelsea and Jimmy McGill to be a unique and intentional approach to recovery, from the language to the personnel. It’s not “transitional,” “chem-free” or “halfway” housing. Recovery is the focus, and it is directed by people who know recovery best – those who are in it themselves. 

Next Step Recovery

Chelsea & Jimmy McGill

Next Step follows a Peer Recovery model, which allows people with direct, lived experience overcoming addiction to share their expertise and give back to others on that journey. Chelsea describes Next Step as a “guinea pig” for the model, which is now being shared with groups all over the United States as Arkansas finds itself on the vanguard of recovery. Next Step was the first in the state to have in-house peer specialists, and House Manager Joseph Cruz is an award-winning peer specialist. 

Next Step Recovery

Jimmy McGill & Joseph Cruz

The goal for everyone at Next Step is to build a solid foundation for a future in recovery, no matter what that path looks like for them. Meeting people “where they are” takes priority. Financially, that means the first two weeks in the program are free, and the price is scaled up based on income. Legally, that means transportation to court appearances or providing progress and character letters. Emotionally, that means overnight and weekend passes so that those in recovery can reconnect with loved ones and start to mend relationships. There are also the kickball games, alumni parties and countless other ways that Next Step creates community for those in recovery, both now and in the long-term. 

As NSRH Program Director, Chelsea emphasizes that Next Step is a family. Her goal is to open doors, have conversations and break the stigmas that surround addiction and recovery. Addiction is often seen as a moral failing, when in reality, it’s a disease. Treating it takes “a village,” Chelsea said, and depends on having a diverse group of people willing to show up authentically every day. 

“It’s not about the money,” she added, highlighting the work Next Step does to break the cycle of debt that many in recovery struggle with. 

Next Step operates through multiple funding sources that are provided primarily by community donations and federal grants, such as a Rural Health Initiative sub-grant from the Arkansas Department of Health. Thanks to the support of the Parker Gill Foundation, That.Church, Safe Haven of Clarksville and other groups, Next Step is able to bolster its presence and hire more staff, such as Program Relations Coordinator Macey Wadley. Wadley has been involved with Next Step since the beginning and was recently able to dedicate herself full-time to the program.

Next Step Recovery

Macey Wadley & Chelsea McGill

As Arkansas continues to be the epicenter of recovery, Next Step works to be as affordable as possible and give those in recovery pride, dignity and a sense of ownership over their lives. For anyone dealing with addiction, in themselves or in someone they love, the message is clear: Next Step is synonymous with sustainable, authentic recovery. 

To learn more about Next Step Recovery Housing or to make a donation, please visit Next Step online or call (501) 777-1881.


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