Written by Annie Reeves at StyleBlueprint, Posted November 2019
The Next Door
Fifteen years ago, The Next Door was formed as a place to receive women after their release from jail. At the time, there was nowhere else in town where women could turn after incarceration, so for 10 years, The Next Door invited women in, easing their transition. “We named it this because we wanted to be the next door, a good door, that a woman could walk through after leaving a bad one — prison, prostitution, or other struggles,” says Kate McKinnie of The Next Door.
Now, The Next Door has shifted based on the needs of our city, and it offers substance abuse and mental health services to the women of Nashville regardless of their ability to pay. Tennessee has been hit particularly hard by our country’s opioid epidemic. In 2018, surrounding states saw a decrease in their overdose death rates while Tennessee saw an increase. Now, 85% of The Next Door’s patients seek treatment for opioid abuse.
The Next Door offers myriad treatment options — from 30-day inpatient care to an intensive outpatient program. Additionally, they have Freedom Recovery Community, a 21-unit affordable housing community designed for women and their children to have a safe, affordable place to live where they can have access to The Next Door’s programming.
One of the most unique and beautiful things about The Next Door is its staff. Kate tells us that many of the staff members are also alumnae of the program, and the patients are often experiencing some of the hardest moments of their lives. “Sometimes they’ll say, ‘You just don’t understand,’ which is often true.” But, there is an undeniable ease when they’re met with the experience of a staff member who can say, ‘I’ve been in your shoes before.’ It’s powerful,” Kate says.
The Next Door steps in on one of the toughest days of a woman’s entire life — when she has made the courageous step to voluntarily walk through the “next door” to a healthy, sober life. Addiction is a disease that ruins a person’s quality of life and often her will to live, so most of these women have hit rock bottom and are in crisis due to their substance abuse disorder. Last year alone, The Next Door served 1,413 women in some capacity, and their hope is to continue to grow that number as each year passes.
How to Help: “Nearly 90% of our women are mothers. It’s really challenging to be away from their kids during the holidays. We try to make the whole week of Christmas a big celebration. We’re looking to gift 100 travel mugs filled with a $15 gift card to a Walmart, Target, Kroger or fast food restaurants for the holidays. Additionally, it’s a women’s facility, so we need tampons, hairbrushes, socks, basic toiletries, bras and sports bras.” To get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (615) 251-8805.
Link to full article here.