The Next Step Recovery Housing - Testimonials

Andrew G. 9/12/14

Six years ago I was a part of Next Step, though I walked around with a calloused heart. I knew the truth the Next Step had to offer. I disliked them because I was unable to receive love. Now six years later I was welcomed back because David and his staff never stop loving me. I am able to receive love now! I also am aspiring to be on Next Step's staff. I know it would be a wonderful platform to deliver love to other clients and the public at large.

Amanda S.  8/15/14


I could never thank Next Step enough for the way they have helped me to change my life completely around! Being from Ohio, I was so scared and nervous to move away from home, but from the second I walked in the door, I was shown so much love and support from the staff and the amazing girls I live with! Everyone here has been nothing but loving and helpful. On July 23, 2014, we celebrated 9 months clean, and I know I could have never gotten this far without the guidance from Next Step. Thanks to meetings and the recovery house, I have an amazing relationship with my family once again. I am able to be the mom I never thought I could be. I aspire to one day be able to help other women in addiction the way that I have been helped. I will forever be grateful to David, Doug, and my spectacular “House Mom” Susan, who has always been an inspiration to me. They’ve changed so many lives, and I know will continue to for a long time to come. 

Courtney F.  7/22/14

I just want to thank Next Step for not only changing my life, but also my family and friends. I came to Next Step right from prison, and it was the best decision I've ever made in my life! From the first time I stepped in the women's house, I felt like I was at home. I was welcomed with nothing but love, guidance and support. I now know a new way of life thanks to Next Step. I've been to many rehabs, jails, institutions, etc. This has been the only program I've stayed at because of how everyone supports me and makes me feel important, unlike the others. Because of this I have almost 10 months clean and I know it wasn't  just because of me, but also the Next Step program. Once again...Thank you Next Step for everything, and a special thanks to David, Doug and Susan. I love you all.  

Sarah N. 3/21/14


want to thank everyone in the Next Step family for all the love and support they've given me. My trip through addiction brought me places I never imagined and Next Step has shown me a new way of life, I celebrated 1 year on February 24, 2014. Doug, Susan and David have done nothing but guided me in my recovery for which I am eternally grateful. Next Step is so different from any other place I have ever been to and I believe that without it I would not be where I am today.

Jonathan H. 11/13/13

Dave Francis, Doug Panessa and the rest of the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Next Step Recovery Housing helped me restore structure in my life, face my fears, and understand that I must change my behaviors to fully recover from my disease.  I have managed to grow into a more independent, mindful and spiritual person thanks to my experience. Next Step’s program has instilled hope back in my life.  I never thought I would feel so comfortable and at ease in a recovery facility.  The knowledge I’ve gained will stay with me throughout my recovery.

Leroy B. - 8/8/13
I wanted to thank Next Step Recovery Housing for the help provided to me during my residency in your housing and recovery program. Next Step also provide me with the type of recovery program I needed upon discharge from Allegheny County Jail. I don't think I would have stayed clean and sober, without relapse, if it had not been for the family type atmosphere and the care provided by the staff at Next Step Recovery Housing.

I would recommend Next Step Recovery Housing to any family member or friend(s) suffering from the disease of alcoholism or drug addiction.

Thank you again for all you have done for me. I wish you continued success with all your ventures.  

RJ K - 7/15/13

Next Step Recovery has given me a second chance at life. I was heading down a path of destruction and ended up in jail. The staff at Next Step communicated with me via collect calls when no one else would. They helped getting me released directly to their program and even picked me up out of jail in Ohio. When the staff tells you they will do the impossible, they mean it! There are multiple living arrangements that can be made to suit the needs of the individual, and it's unique in the way each individual has their own treatment plan. 

Susan M

My name is Susan and I'm a 56 year old women in recovery. I was fortunate to be referred to the Next Step program through a hospital I was in for detox and rehab, that was back in early 2011. When I arrived, I was introduced to Mr. Francis and his staff of angels. He said to me "You never have to be alone again". He was so right! They showed me the way to live clean. Going to NA,AA,CA meetings, regaining my self respect and confidence I've learned that I can live my life sober. I've met so many wonderful people here at Next Step, and have learned that the disease of addiction doesn't discriminate when it comes to age, race or financial status. It's been a struggle but life is definitely easier without drugs and alcohol.  On 7/1/13 we celebrated 28 months clean and sober. I now work for the program and get to help other women on a daily basis. I couldn't be more blessed. 

Jared S

I came to the Next step program my first time in 2011, I struggled and relapsed while in the program. The kind staff never turned their back on me and got me the help I needed to get control of my life again. After moving on from the program I relapsed again, and like before the staff welcomed me back with open arms. Now in 2013 I have begun to enjoy life again and become a productive member of society. I would like to thank the entire staff for helping me to save my life and showing me that life is better without drugs and alcohol. I highly recommend anyone struggling with addiction to give yourself a chance to change your life by coming to the Next Step program.  

Kevin M

My name is Kevin and I'm honored to be involved in the Next Step program. After I had relapsed in March of 2013, I needed a place come to get my life back on track and Next Step was just the place I needed.The staff here is very caring and understanding to the struggles that people in addiction face, from legal problems to the financial problems that arise from our addiction. So to anyone who is reading this that has a problem with drugs and alcohol this is a wonderful program to get your life back on track.

Cory C.

I would like to thank Next Step for all you've done for me in my recovery. Everyone here believed in me when I was at my bottom. Next Step found me full time work when I arrived and help me to start my own business. I would like to give the staff a special thanks for getting me my licence back when everyone said I couldn't. I guess I just want to say you guys have a great program. It's nice to see how your helping people get their lives back. 

Don H

I would like to thank the people at Next Step Recovery Housing for there help in my time of need. The care and support is genuine and second to none. The staff assisted me in enrolling in my first rehab, and made it easy to focus on my recovery with a clean and friendly environment. The supportive staff are people who truly care about your well being. I'm glad I made Next Step Recovery Hosing my first choice to help me live a sober, clean, productive life.

Jeff L

While here at Next Step I discovered many things about myself and how to cope with addiction. The staff has been here to guide me in the right direction in all facets of my recovery. The program has shown me that sobriety can be reached one day at a time. I was also very pleased with the accommodations, they are clean and comfortable with all the amenities included. They are also centrally located and on the bus line right to downtown Pittsburgh. I would recommend this program to anyone.

Lenny H

My journey through my alcoholism has been a journey through hell and worse. Any alcoholic or addict can testify to what has been lost through his or her addiction. Such as family, friends, financial uncertainties and internal loss of hope and a 100 other things. I thank God that there is a place like the Next Step program. The program has literally turned my life around and has changed my outlook on myself, others and life. The staff has been a big part of my positive change and happiness in sobriety. They have helped me out on all the problems that I had encountered during my alcoholism and more than that, given me a fresh new start for living life sober.

Nicole D


I want you to know that everyone at Next Step Foundation helped me to build a strong foundation for my recovery. Everyone helped me so much that I feel forever in debt. I love everyone and you are forever in my heart. This six month key tag means the world to me. Because it is the longest clean time I've ever had, and it feels great.I went through some hard times in the house, and without the tough love I don't know that I would have made it through. I know that I wasn't easy to put up with and I always fought it, but did make it through and it made me stronger. Hopefully in another six months I will be able to give you a one year key tag. I believe that things played out the way God planned. I know that you will continue to play a part in my recovery. When I give a lead someday Next Step Foundation will be a part of my story.

Jose C

I owe a great deal of gratitude to Next Step. I've learned in my eight months here to rely on God and let things happen instead of trying to make them happen myself. I did not realize how bad things really were. Today I can look to the future with hope. I recently celebrated one year clean and sober, and I thank God for every one of those days. I now work with veterans who are having problems with drugs and alcohol. It is sad to say that the program that they are in only gives them one chance who of us would have gotten it the first time? I would recommend to anyone who has a problem and really wants help to give Next Step Foundation a try. May God bless all of us.

Ricki C.

 Next Step Foundation has been such a great experience for me. I've learned a lot about how to live a normal, sober life because of this program. Living in a structured environment has taught me a lot about dealing and living with other people. I have met a lot of people here who have become a family to me. I developed a strong foundation here, and because of that I have a strong connection with NA as well. Next Step Foundation taught me how and why to get a great sponsor and a home group. I really appreciate all of the staff and residents at Next Step Foundation. I'm going to miss this place and I want to say thank-you for everything that David Francis and Lynn Francis have given me here. I also would like to extend a special thank-you to Christopher Law for bringing me to this program from New York. 

Thank-You, Ricki C..

David M

I want to tell you that I admire what you do at Next Step. When you help someone get clean, you not only help that person, but also that person's family and future family. Without Next Step Foundation, I know that my husband David wouldn't be clean and would not have stayed clean. Now I have a beautiful family, and a beautiful life. Thank you for all that you do. Don't ever be discouraged, you guys help change lives. 

Love, JIllian and David

Jamie B

Next Step Foundation has helped me learn how to be a good mother. I am very grateful to the staff because they have given me the tools that I need to successfully stay clean.  Next Step has shown me wonderful support as well as my family. I would tell anyone looking for Drug and Alcohol support to go with this program. It is structured, supportive, and comfortable.

Amanda M.

 To all staff: I owe all of my gratitude to The Next Step Foundation. I have earned the gift of love, compassion, and patience since I arrived here from jail. I want to thank the staff for all that they have done in helping me to gain custody of my daughter. I have learned to sit still and let things happen. This program has taught me responsibility and independence. I have diligently worked steps and have gained a very strong relationship with my sponsor, and a God of my understanding. I now feel comfortable with the tools I have been given to help me stay clean, so that I can be a good mother, daughter, and a friend. For the very first time I have good people to stand by me, who have absolute faith in me. I admire the time and patience, and also love that every staff member devotes to each client. With 18 month's clean, I am extremely blessed to be living the life that I deserve. In closing, I want to express my love and gratitude for everyone, this has been a life changing experience.

Love, Amanda M.


John H.


This letter is long overdue to Mr. David Francis, and The Next Step Foundation staff. It is truly a blessing today to have one year of sobriety after a tortuous and chaotic life of addiction for 40 years. I'm very grateful to Next Step for giving me my life back, for giving me some simple suggestions and making me accountable, responsible, and respectful. Most of all I am grateful for the program putting a smile back on my face, and helping me to get my soul back. I was so broken and beaten up, hopeless, and sad when I arrived here in September of 2009. The one thing that stands out in my mind is David telling me "you never have to be alone again". I wasn't for that year and maybe never again. I am so thankful to start this new journey of my life. Thanks for everything you have done for me and my family. As of February 2, 2011 I celebrated 17 months clean.

Sincerely, John H.


Bill C.

My name is Bill C. and I am a 41 year old recovering addict and alcoholic. Alcohol, prescription drugs, and illegal substances ruled my life for 26 years. On May 26, 2009, I finally surrendered to my disease, and went to rehab for 28 days. I realized that it was not enough to teach me life skills to stay clean. After 120 days in a halfway house I knew that I still was not ready to go home. I searched and found Next Step Foundation, upon arrival at my interview; the CEO told me "You never have to be alone again". I felt immediately at home. I became a Next Step Resident, and have been clean and sober for 10 months now. Despite trying, I couldn't stay clean for anyone else no matter how hard I tried. Next Step Foundation taught me how to do it for ME. This program really works. I am surrounded by an atmosphere of recovery and love. I am very grateful for this gift that has been given to me, to start a new life.

Sincerely, Bill C.

Donnie P.

In the summer of 2009, I was literally staring death in the face. I had lost all hope of ever being functional person in society ever again. Enter the Next Step Foundation. Through the compassion and guidance of a caring staff, I was given the tools necessary to secure my survival. With a 12 Step Program, a sponsor, and the core belief that I cannot do this alone, my hope for a sober future has expanded exponentially. The Next Step Community has become my family. - Donnie P.

Robero W.-

The staff helped me with my driver's license.  They have shown me love. When I had bad days, there was someone there to listen. I am grateful for all that Next Step has done for me and this is just the beginning. Thank you and god bless. - Roberto W.

Stephanie P.-

Next Step Foundation is a unique and amazing program. The staff here takes such a personal approach to each individual client. It is truly unlike any program that I have ever heard of. It is clear that Next Step Foundation really cares about their clients and do what it takes to get them the help that they need. I began working for Next Step and have learned what it truly means to help another person and I have seen miracles happen. I feel honored to be a part of Next Step Foundation and I will never forget all of the lives that we touch.

Stephanie P. 

Douglas P.

My life dramatically changed because of the unconditional love and sincere care that I have received at the Next Step Foundation. I came here a broken man, living on the streets of NYC and straight from jail. I was in my active addiction for twenty four years and knew no other way of life. The staff, residents, and graduates taught me how to live life on life's terms, for the first time in my life. After a year and a half clean, I relapsed but with the tools acquired at the Next Step Foundation I knew where to go to receive help. This program has taught me so much, I could never repay them for all they have done for me.

-Doug P.

Tommy P.


Thanks to Next Step and its staff, I've regained my life through all the help I have received and unity within the facilities. I have been in the fellowship for 28 months clean and plan on returning home to Las Vegas, Nevada and become a productive member of society. I am truly grateful to Next Step and its staff for all the have done. 

Sincerely, Tommy P

Amanda W. 

My name is Amanda Weese and on March 10th, 2010 my journey began. I came to Next Step beaten down, at my bottom. Next Step gave me the foundation, support, and love that I needed to get clean. Through this program I have completed Out Patient, became gainfully employed, and was given another chance at life, not only for me but for my daughter and family as well. This is the program I will always be connected with and will be forever grateful.

Sincerely, Amanda W.

Lisa M.-

My name is Lisa M. and my clean date is January 21, 2010. I have known David Francis since he started this program. I have been in and out of recovery for 6 years; I had given up on life. Before I got clean, I saw David and told him I was ready to surrender and come to his program. He told me he believed in me and has been waiting for me to give Next Step a chance. So here I am with 10 and 1/2 months clean. David truly cares about each and every one of us; he has helped me and done things for me that no other program would be willing to do. The staff expects nothing in return besides for me to believe in myself and stay clean.

Lisa M.

Alishia P.

 In coming to Next Step, I received more blessings that I had ever expected or dreamed of. David Francis has helped me with such things such as being released from Allegheny County Jail, before giving birth to my son; getting involved with AA and NA, and in by doing so, maintaining healthy relationships with people in recovery. The  therapeutic part of this program has helped me deal with issues that numerous other therapists could not help me with. In dealing with these buried issues, my therapists taught me tools and I practiced utilizing them in preparation for dealing with everyday life. In six months, I have accomplished and achieved more than I have in the past 15 years. I give all the credit to Next Step Foundation, my therapist, staff, my son Jacob, and family. My son Jacob and I are able to smile on a regular basis due to the happiness embedded in our hearts from the blessings this program has given us.

Sincerely, Alishia P.

Diane P.

I'm Diane and I am an addict. Before I found Next Step, I was at my bottom. In jail and pregnant, my family was afraid to have contact with me, even from behind bars. I was hopeless, helpless, and desperate for a new way to live. Next Step showed me that there was a new way to live. They gave me to opportunity to gain clarity to realize I am worth saving. I don't know where I would be without all the wonderful people I've met at Next Step. They are part of me and without them I would not survive.-Diane P.

Secily C.

I'm writing this letter to let everyone know just how much Next Step Foundation has done for me.I was incarcerated on April 7, 2010 for violating probation. I called and wrote Next Step asking if they could possibly get me out of jail. They helped me get released as of May 13, 2010, I was free from the ACJ. I was just so happy and grateful to be out of jail. I was afraid of being incarcerated for the duration of my pregnancy. I slipped up and relapsed on June 29th and was sent to rehab. Upon my return, I was treated no different.  I realized we all make mistakes and they made me feel part of and accepted again even though I messed up. I have wonderful roommates, who I love and care for so much. I gave birth to my daughter on the 31st of August.  David has helped me and Juliana out with anything I could possibly ask for. I am now on my way out the door, I successfully completed their program. I can't thank the staff and David enough for giving me a second chance at life, and watch my beautiful child grow up. 

Regards, Secily C.

Natalie T.

My name is Natalie and I am an addict. Before I found Next Step, I was pregnant and hooked on heroin and cocaine. I made a decision to check into Magee Women's Hospital, until they could find me somewhere safe to go. They contacted me to Next Step and I was accepted right away. I was very happy and relieved to come here. David the Founder and CEO is truly a great person, and has gone out his way to help me and my baby, even down to transportation for my appointments. They have given me everything. He has made me feel very welcomed to be here at Next Step. I have been in and out of rehabs since 1998 and this is by far the best one I have even been at. This place has taught me so much about myself and life itself. I am so grateful for this program and my recovery today, I know how to be honest and not take life for granted. Next Step is very resourceful and can help out any addict whatever the situation may be. Today I have 6 and 1/2 months clean.

Natalie T.

Susan M.

My name is Susan M.  I am a fifty-six-year-old alcoholic and addict.  I was fortunate to be brought to Next Step Foundation from Sewickley Hospital on March 1, 2011.  That's where I was introduced to my hero, David Francis, and his staff of angels.  He said I would never be alone, and he was so right.  They showed me the way to living clean, going to NA/AA/CA meetings, and regaining my self-respect and confidence.  He showed me that I can live without alcohol and other drugs.  I have met so many wonderful residents at Next Step.  This disease does not discriminate against age, race, or financial statusit takes of us.  It's been a struggle, but it's easier to stay clean than to be in your addiction.

On January 1, 2012 we celebrated ten months clean and sober.  I now work at Next Step as a staff member at the Hillsboro facility that houses women in recovery.  I try to be a good influence on them, regarding living in the real world.  They have taught me about the lives they have had to live.  Every day here has been, and is, a learning experience.  I am so grateful for my higher power and Next Step.

Susan M.

Pete D. 

I was brought to Next Step in early March 2011.  I met with David, and was introduced to some of the residents in the program.  From here I was placed in a rehabilitation program to help with my detoxification from opiates.  I chose to go back out, though, after I was kicked out of Cove Forge.  I made it back to the Next Step office that same day.  The following morning I was sent to Guadenzia rehabilitation treatment facility in Erie.  Afterwards, I made it back to Next Step, and stayed clean for fifty-four days.  I relapsed again, and went to a rehab program in Altoona.  I ended up back at Next Step that June.  Next Step will not give up on youthe team here will keep working with you, and finding what best works for you to live a manageable life.  With seven-and-a-half months of sobriety, I have received a lot of rewards from my progress in staying clean.  My family is back in my life, I have a full-time job, I have friends in my life again that I thought I had lost.  My favorite reward of all is I've found peace of mind.  My days are filled with positivity instead of negativity.  I help other recovering addicts get their foot through the door of recovery, and I just enjoy being a part of the world again.  I live for today, and that is what works for me.

Pete D.


From the Parents of a Graduate

It seemed so strange missing the November Family Meeting.  Now that our son is a Next Step alumni, I can still remember our first meeting in August 2010.  In fact, we attended our first two meetings without our son.  We always felt we needed those meetings more than he did.

We were so blessed that we found you and Next Step when we did.  The shock and despair that we felt after we learned of our son's problems seemed insurmountable.  We really believe that God led us to you, and now we pray each day that the unbroken son you returned to us is the one we will always have.  We know not to look ahead, but for today we are truly blessed and proud of him.

We pray for you each day that God will bless you with strength and wisdom.  To everyone on the staff at Next Step, may you always be able to provide a place of recovery for those who seek your help.

God bless you, David.  We will always be grateful to you and to Next Step.

Our sincere best wishes,

The Parents of a Graduate

Barry G.

My name is Barry and I am 25 years old. I am an addict in recovery, I've spent the last ten years of my life drinking and consuming drugs. On September 28, 2011, I was tired of living the life the way I was. I had no where to go and no body to turn to. I remembered one of my friends I went to high school with and used with as well, was in recovery and doing very well at Next Step. He had given me their number a while back and I decided to make the initiative and call them. They sent me to rehab and after a successful completion I returned back here. I really love it here. I have met so many great people here, that are doing well and are willing to help me if I ever needed it. I really am grateful for David and the staff as well to lead me in the right direction. I am so thrilled I found this place.

Justin B.

I will never forget the first day I had arrived at Next Step Foundation.I walked in scared and broken, I walked back out with relief and confidence. Not even a few days into sobriety I was given hope.  For days to come I experienced life in recovery, with fellow addicts who had new and long lasting sobriety. I've made new friends for life. I've been awarded friends,hope,faith and most of all my life back. I am eternally grateful for Next Step and all they have provided..