Take the Next Step is...

a grass-roots, faith-based, non-profit organization. Through our Community Resource Center and our many programs we serve homeless and low income residents throughout the Skykomish River Valley in East Snohomish County. 

Our Mission...

is to offer Friendship, Help, and Hope to our neighbors in need...

..our neighbors of all ages, backgrounds and situations - at risk children, homeless and street involved youth and adults, teen parents, low income and homeless families, veterans, the elderly, and disabled.

Our Vision...

is that all Sky Valley residents will have access to the resources, support services, and guidance needed to meet their basic needs and personal goals so they can live life to their fullest potential.

Our Core Values

We model generosity, integrity, respect, honesty, friendship, and healthy relationships.

We value and respect individuals by treating all with dignity and honoring diversity.

We serve all without respect to ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.

We are committed to being a safe place for clients, staff, and volunteers.

We promote well-being, wholeness, and community.

We affirm the need to nourish body, mind, and spirit.

We affirm personal growth and positive change in our clients lives and endeavor to do the same in ourselves and in our organization.

We are committed to client privacy and confidentiality.

We value a strength based approach and our clients’ right to self-motivation.

We are committed to building and maintaining local partnerships with community organizations, churches, businesses, and individuals.

We value openness and collaboration both within the organization and with our partner organizations.

We support, value, and affirm volunteers in the many ways that they serve.

We conduct Take the Next Step business with legal and ethical integrity and accountability.

We are committed to prayer and listening to God for his leading.

We believe in God’s redemptive work in the lives of our clients.

We believe we are the hands and feet of Christ as we serve.

We fulfill our Mission and Vision by...

respectfully listening to our clients, by helping them assess their needs, and working together to discover their options. Our "What We Do" program pages describe the wide range of assistance the Next Step provides our clients. 

The work of the Next Step is only possible with the commitment and dedication of OUR PARTNERS - more than 50 churches, community organizations, and businesses have come alongside us to help in our work, and our VOLUNTEERS - this year, 300 volunteers will give us more than 12,000 hours of their time worth in excess of $330,000!

Though homelessness, poverty, and hunger are invisible to many, they are a daily fact of life for thousands of people in Snohomish County. READ MORE ABOUT THE NEED AND POVERTY IN OUR OWN COMMUNITY >

A short history

Take the Next Step grew out of desperate need and the vision of an Everett Community College instructor.

Early in 2004, Donna Olson, was teaching the GED and Life Skills components of a welfare-to-work program, the WorkFirst Customized Job Skills Program. Daily her students shared their frustration with a "system" that gave them referrals to inaccurate or no longer existing resources. Referrals that often led to dead ends, disconnected phone numbers, long waiting times for services...

Donna and her students began to compile an accurate list of reliable resources for themselves and others in need. The project grew and Donna invited a group of friends from Monroe Covenant Church to join the work. Together, they created a huge notebook of current, reliable, and useful resources. With more and more students' encouragement, this group of friends determined to make this valuable resource available to a wider range of individuals and families in need. The vision for a Drop-In community resource center was born.

MONROE COVENANT CHURCH offered the rent-free use of their former parsonage. Several families and businesses made founding donations, a grant was received from the Covenant Church denomination and the doors were opened in March, 2005. We wondered if anyone would come. They did, slowly at first. Soon word spread that the Next Step treated people with respect and found ways to help...now, we have 5,000 visits to our Drop-in Center every year.

Take the Next Step was formally incorporated in October of 2005 as a 501(c)(3), non-profit corporation.

We did not begin with a grand vision to eliminate poverty in the Sky Valley, or a huge strategic plan to end homelessness; we simply watched and listened to what was going on in our community and responded as we were able.

Today, over 50 churches, businesses, community organizations, and more than 400 volunteers join together to help us bring friendship, help, and hope to our neighbors in need in many ways:

  • Kidz Club After School Program

  • Student Leaders

  • Community Resource Center

  • Community Dinners and Life Skills Classes

  • Growing Together Young Moms

  • Cold Weather Shelter

You can help our neighbors in need by VOLUNTEERING and DONATING to this important work.