The Next Step, Inc.

Helping Youth Step Into Their Future

In 2004 The Next Step was a vision that was given to Onreka Givens-Johnson by God.  It started with her family providing a couch for youth who found themselves in a state of homelessness.  Then it branched out to a food and clothing distribution through Preparatory Academy at 1510 and 1512 SW Tennessee Avenue overseen by her mother Barbara Thomas Givens, a native Lawtonian.  

Later the street outreach program began with volunteers providing backpacks filled with food, toiletries, coupons, water, and other miscellaneous items.  In 2008 the program grew into a full supportive program for homeless youth.  Partnerships like the one with Lawton Housing Authority, who  made The Genesis House Project come to fruition, helped to provide housing for The Next Step participants.

The new housing program is My Next Step which is a partnership between a local apartment complex for the Supportive Housing program. Youth are given the opportunity to have safe and stable housing while working toward independence. 

The guest experience what it would be like to live independently while having support. They have the opportunity to work on a Life Plan that will help to transition into adulthood with success. This supportive housing program has helped many young people be able to move into permenant housing.

Since it's begining work in 2008 the Next Step has: obtained their 501 (c) (2015), expanded it programs and services to youth and families, and continues to collaborate with local organizations to help meet the needs of the community.  We thank the many organizatons and individuals that have helped Net Step over the years.


OUR TEAM

Onreka Givens-Johnson Founder

Hello. I am Onreka Givens Johnson. I was born at Lawton-Ft. Sill and was raised in Mililani, HI.  I graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC with my degree in Philosophy Pre-Law. I found my passion working in the community helping to find solutions to the needs of homeless children and youth. I am grateful to God, my family, volunteers and the youth for supporting The Next Step program.  I will  continue to dedicate my time, talent and efforts to seeing that The Next Step continue to touch the lives of youth who otherwise would not have the support they need to succeed and transition successfully into adulthood.   

Chairperson

Hello. I am Anne Jones Gray and I have been working with youth and families for over 30 years.  I have dedicated my services to youth and family based agencies in Lawton and will continue to serve as a community advocate for those who need a voice.  

Vice Chairperson

Hello. I am Daniel Moore. I am the Pastor of Friendship Pentecostal Holiness. I am a community volunteer and have a passion for people and a strong sense of community.  I have been volunteering in the Lawton Community for over 20 years.

Dewell Brewer, Treasurer/Secretary

Hello. I am Dewell Brewer a native Lawtonian, business owner, community advocate.  I have been volunteering in the community for over 7 years.  My focus is helping to meet the mental health needs in the LawtonFt. Sill community.

Casey Robinson

Hello. My name is Casey Robinson. I am the on-site volunteer Program Coordinator for My Next Step.  I help the My Next Step participants with general daily support and assistance with acheiving their weekly goals.