October 21, 2004
Mr. Bob Winfrod, President
The Robert L. Winford Foundation
P.O. Box 1225
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Dear Mr. Winford:
Greetings! [The introduction paragraph is purely to connect. . . Either 1) first- or second-generational connections/relationships, 2) geographic connections, and/or 3) field of interest connections AND/OR relationships.]
Women from the Quad Cities Area have something very important to say. Consider their pleas:
• "I have nowhere to go–my alcoholic husband beats me and my children every day–please help me!"
• "I sincerely desire to get my life back on the right track–would you please help me find a place to live?"
• "My four children and I need a ‘safe place’ to call ‘home’ for at least three months–can you help?"
In fact, Next Step Ministries has averaged six desperate telephone calls per weekend of women seeking a place of refuge. We estimate that more than 3,000 women in the Quad Cities have similar needs. Unfortunately, the need must be great all over–we receive calls from all over the country. Pause to think about the immediate issues of prostitution, abuse, crime, drug addiction, homelessness, chronic economic poverty, and motherhood. Think about the hopelessness in the lives of the women who find themselves in these situations. . . More than likely they fit into more than one and many fit into all.
Emotionally unstable and addicted women in our community face the torments of pimps and tricks everyday while their children stand at their side. Even the children are approached to perform indecent acts with the average age of prostitution beginning at 14. Women, 71% of them having two dependent children, walk out of The Rock prison with $100 to establish themselves in an operating society where there is no room for someone with a criminal history, little job experience and practically no money. We hear so many stories about homelessness, addiction, prostitution, family abuse, imprisoned mothers, entrenched poverty, and unemployment that we are tempted to throw our hands up in despair.
All too often these women are forgotten individuals, having fallen into lives of crime, addiction and self-degradation. We turn our eyes away, while their wounds necessitate a closer examination. The wounds of these young women grow from a childhood of abuse (sexual, physical, verbal, chemical and many others). These wounds are exploited and used against them in the cycles of crime, addiction, abuse and prostitution, existing not only in the metropolitan areas, but also in rural areas. These women are ill equipped to manage even the most basic elements of successful living. Without comprehensive, effective help, they find it difficult to break the bondage in their lives. If they are parents, their dysfunction will, without intervention, be reflected in the lives of their children.
Statistics published in 2004 by the local Community Foundation, concerning the number of women in shelters, are up 157% and the number of children in emergency and transitional housing has increased by 257%. The arrests for the most recent two year period were level for men, but were up 30% for women. The statistics are disheartening, discouraging, and needing a response. Drawing on 75 years of experience in recovery, and on the collective expertise of over 100 active women’s ministries through the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, Next Step Ministries has fashioned an effective response to this need.
The need is great! Women are reaching out for help! Here is our plan:
Next Step Ministries has established Healing House to address these issues for the women of our area and to provide a safe alternative empowering them time and assistance to move from a life of dependency to a life of self-sufficiency. The Healing House Women’s Shelter is a service of hope, renewal, and transformation to a complete woman. In this comes the need to focus on a set of seven healing essentials: Social training, education, job readiness, financial management, work therapy, family healing and also on the important influence of spiritual awareness.
Our plan is in place. Only one barrier stands between us and accomplishing this initiative…adequate funding.
Would you please review our proposal and choose to fund this crucial program?
Please review the enclosed proposal and support this vitally needed work. We are respectfully submitting it for your consideration. If we can answer any questions or if you need additional information, please feel free to call us at (660) 747-6390. Please accept our sincere appreciation for the work you do in the Quad Cities area. We hope, after reviewing the enclosed material, you share our excitement about a unique mission that will have a significant impact on the community. Thank you for considering our request. The opportunity of potential funding is encouraging to us.
Irene Burford, Founder and President
Next Step Ministries
Next Step Ministries–Women’s Healing House
Mission and Vision Statements:
Next Step Ministries exists to bring people with life-controlling habits to Christ and to equip them to lead godly lives. We equip, mentor, teach, counsel, and empower people who are striving to recover from life-controlling addictions. Next Step Ministries strives to provide a comprehensive approach to recovery for each person including the physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual aspects of their lives. Our vision is to provide a refuge for people seeking to make a change in their lives from destructive behaviors to become productive and healthy people.
The Healing House Project Statement:
Healing House was created to address issues for women and to provide a safe alternative empowering them time and assistance to move from a life of dependency to a life of self-sufficiency. The Healing House Women’s Shelter is a service of hope, renewal, and transformation to a complete woman. In this comes the need to focus on a set of seven healing essentials: Social training, education, job readiness, financial management, work therapy, family healing and also on the important influence of spiritual awareness.
Targeted Groups and Geographic Focus:
Specific statistics of women in the Quad cities metropolitan area addressed in this proposal are not easily discerned. However, there is no-one who disputes the tremendous need:
• Addiction: Drug related arrests in county for the most recent two year period were level for men, but were up 30% for women.
• Homelessness: According to statistics published by the Wilder Foundation in 2000, the number of sheltered women has grown by 157%, and the number of children in emergency and transitional housing has increased by 257%.
• Prison: From 1985-1995, the number of women in the prison system has tripled, with 71% of them having two or more dependent children. Women are currently released from the Correctional Facility with $100, the clothes on their back, and nowhere to go.
• Prostitution: According to recent studies, the average age for entrance into prostitution is 14 and falling. The best estimate is that more than 15,000 women are engaged in Quad Cities prostitution.
Next Step Ministries is a 501 (c)(3), nonprofit organization founded in Warrensburg, Missouri in 1965 and is governed by a Board of Directors of 7 individuals from the metropolitan area (See Board of Directors on Page 6). Also see attached 501 (c)(3) I.R.S. Department of Treasury Determination Letter.
Mrs. Irene Burford, Founder and President 660.111.2222, voice
Next Step Ministries 660.999.3333, cell
P.O. Box 1225 Irene@nextstep,com
Warrensburg, MO 64093 www.nextstep.com
Financial Request and Purpose:
The needs of an expanding organization like ours are overwhelming. Our current and immediate needs are such that we are asking you for a grant of $ 25,000 toward our revitalization of the building and our general operating budget (see Budget on Page 6). TOTAL AMOUNT REQUESTED: $ 25,000
Evaluation and Accountability:
The progress and effectiveness of Next Step Ministries will be determined by ongoing analysis and oversight of staff, advisors, and Board of Directors. Because we are committed to integrity, we are willing to complete any reasonable evaluative measure that you request.
Next Step Ministries–Women’s Healing House
In 1969 Next Step Ministries was recognized as the first Christian addiction ministry in the U.S. At that time, we recognized the incredible need for a residential program for men and focused to develop one of the leading and premier men’s facilities in the nation. Until the past few years, we didn’t address the issues of women. The time has passed and a solution is necessary–we have accepted the challenge to develop the same "leading and premier facilities" for women. Consider the following:
• The numbers of homeless women and children are rising dramatically in Minnesota.
• Prostitution is a serious issue in our community.
• The face of addiction is increasingly female.
• The female prison population is rapidly growing.
As late as 1995, concepts such as homeless women and children or prisons filled with female addicts were considered impossible in our society. The negative effect of multi-generational poverty cycles had yet to be identified. Our society is now aware of these problems, and is demanding effective solutions.
A Cooperative Solution:
Next Step Ministries has established "cooperation" as a core organizational value. First, care has been taken to avoid duplicating existing services. The Healing House combines the following distinctive elements to create a ministry that does not currently exist in the Quad Cities Metro Community:
Four Target Groups–1) Prostitutes, 2) Women Leaving Prison, 3) Addicted Women, 4) Women in Chronic Material Need. Most women with one of these issues invariably has one or more of the others.
Outcome Based–While The Healing House experience is designed to be 12-18 months long, completion will be based on achieving the critical objectives needed for long-term success.
Faith Based–The Healing House places an awakened and growing faith at the center of healing.
Comprehensive–Women in our care will receive counseling, basic education, life skills training, work readiness assistance and more. Upon completion, they will be equipped to stand on their own.
Includes Children in the Healing Process–Most residential programs require women to find alternative care for their children while undergoing treatment. Those that allow children usually focus on child "care" while serving the parent. If a woman has minor children we seek to bring healing to them, too.
Second, The Healing House came about through a dialogue between seven ministries and groups. Every effort has been taken to connect with other agencies to ensure that we provide the best services available, and that we make full use of existing resources. The seven groups that have collaborated are:
Next Step Ministries has entered into a full partnership with Community Emergency Service. They will provide case coordination and support for families as they transition out of The Healing House. Additional partnerships and cooperative relationships are currently in formation. In summary, The Healing House offers a solution that employs proven, effective strategies that are Comprehensive, Christian, and Cooperative.
Our mission is "To bring people, in bondage to life controlling habits, to Jesus Christ and to equip them to lead godly lives." Our comprehensive approach will include spiritual, psychological and social development. We plan to serve 20 women and their children, when present, through the following process:
I. The First 30 Days: Intake and Assessment This will involve women at a facility within city limits. Children will not be with their mothers during this time. This period will have three goals:
• Addressing immediate crisis needs
• Assessing the readiness of the individual for the program
• Preparing them to enter the program
II. The Next 60 Days: Stabilization Period The first two months will be spent preparing women for the long-term module, for reuniting with their children, and for establishing them into a regular daily routine. Group sessions will be provided on a daily basis introducing them to four basic issues:
• Grief recovery
• Addictive behavior
• Family systems
• Christian Living basics
III. The Long-Term Program (12-15 Months): Recovery, Discipleship, Healing The core of the program will include women entering into a "contract" concerning their recovery. Issues that may need to be addressed on a one-to-one basis are: primary healing issues (addiction, prostitution, PTSD, abuse, recidivism, etc.), specific "life" issues (anger, low self-esteem, gender, etc.), basic life skills (parenting, money management, homemaking, etc.), education and spiritual issues. These issues may be addressed through:
• Individual counseling and studies
• Group sessions
• Rotating learning modules
• Community, school and church involvement
• Case coordination for women and children
Next Step Ministries has demonstrated consistently over 40+ years that its foundations are solid and that it has the vision and energy to accomplish what it undertakes.
A History of Stability - Founded in 1965 as Family Mission Outreach, the average tenure of Next Step Ministry CEOs is over 7 years. Careful, conservative, leadership has enabled it to survive numerous threats ranging from world economic depression to urban renewal.
A History of Innovation - In 1969 recognizing that many people struggling with addiction needed more than a meal, a bed and a sermon, we shifted our focus to long term residential discipleship for addicted men. In so doing, we became the first Christian addiction ministry in the U.S. After moving to expanded quarters in 2000, we created a framework for what has been called the most comprehensive recovery program in the U.S. Program elements include Biblical teaching, personalized recovery programs, a computerized education center, work based therapy, and church mentoring. In 2004 Next Step Ministries began a ministry joining a small handful of U.S. recovery ministries that offer full-time outreach aftercare services for men.
The Next Step:
After exhaustive preparation and planning we are prepared to move forward to gather funding for this much needed service. A facility must be purchased and renovated to suit the needs of this program. Also, the operating funds must be raised from our expanded donor base and the integral support of local benevolent foundations. Providing a safe and loving place for women and their children is critical. Here’s our plan for Phase 1:
Purchase/Renovation of Women’s Healing House $ 1,300,000
Healing House Program Start Up $ 350,000
Administration and Fundraising $ 200,000
TOTAL GOAL $ 1,850,000