The Next Stop’s vision has remained the same since day one: we wanted to create a place where adults with special needs in our community could come and continue to have opportunities to socialize, enjoy recreation, and learn life application skills. We saw games of kickball, lessons in the kitchen, and fun participating in group activities as more than just a possibility, but rather, as something that needed to be put in place.
It is no secret that after the school bus stops coming, those with special needs in Gwinnett County are faced with limited opportunities. Many spend days in non-stimulating environments, isolated from their peers, and feeling unproductive in their lives. This can and does lead to a downward spiral of loneliness and depression. With hundreds of kids in special needs classes in the high schools and work programs, many more young adults are set to face the same issues.
But instead of those days without friends, fun, or productive, meaningful activities, The Next Stop is making it possible for their members to have a place to call their own. The Next Stop is a place where members can socialize, learn, and spend stimulating afternoons laughing and enjoying friendships in a fulfilling and challenging way. Our objective is to support personal growth in the areas of self-confidence, social skills, life application skills, and awareness.
Our original idea is now an afternoon program. We realize that The Next Stop cannot address all the issues facing adults with special needs, but we hope to provide support, encouragement, and hope during this season of their lives. As we advance this program over time, The Next Stop will continue to build on this vision and support our special needs community and their families.