Formerly The Next Step Day Room - New Name, Same Great Cause!

Staff & Directors

One of our employees said, "This is not a job. It is a mission."
We are proud of our committed staff. 


Kim Wohlford, Executive Director

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A lifelong Fort Smith resident, Kim joined the staff at Next Step in January 2016.

She served on Next Step Homeless Services' Administrative Board for 8 years, including terms as President, Treasurer, and Secretary before accepting the position of Executive Director. She and her husband, Charlie have one son and two daughters and one grandson. Kim has served over 25 years as a community volunteer with organizations including The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Children's Service League, and the Junior League of Fort Smith.

John P. Foster, Director of Case Management

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John P. Foster, Director of Case Management, is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. He holds a Master's Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and a Bachelor's Degree in Geography from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.  Prior to joining the Next Step, Mr. Foster worked at Western Arkansas Counseling and Guidance Center for 26 years where he held several positions including the Program Director for the NEW Center, a Community Support Program, at WACGC. The NEW Center provided comprehensive services in a Day treatment setting which included educational and vocational support, work adjustment, personal assistance, social assistance, transportation, networks, housing, psychiatric help and medical support. Mr. Foster joined us in August 2013.

Brittney Drost, Case Manager For Supportive Housing

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She comes to us with an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix and is currently working on her clinical mental health counseling degree through Walden University. Brittney has over 5 years of experience in the mental health and social work fields including previous work at Perspectives Behavioral Health, Methodist Children's Home and My House, Inc. She and her husband Chris, have two young children and live in Greenwood. Brittney joined our staff in January 2016.

Cheryl Matlock, Case Manager

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Cheryl Matlock is a Case Manager and also oversees the operation of the kitchen that provides daily hot lunches at The Next Step. Her other duties include billing and filing statistical reports each month. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Clothing, Textiles, and Merchandising from Oklahoma State University. Ms. Matlock is the veteran employee on staff as she joined us in September 2009.

Robert Petty, Case Manager

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Robert Petty is a Case Manager and our database specialist at The Next Step. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith in 2010. Upon graduation, Mr. Petty worked at Vista Health as a Mental Health Paraprofessional. Mr. Petty joined us in October 2011.

Overseeing the operation of The Next Step Homeless Services is a proactive Board of Directors:

Sharon Chapman, President


Sharon Chapman, an active volunteer throughout the Fort Smith community, joined the Board of Directors of the Next Step Homeless Services in July 2014. She became Vice President of the Board in July 2015. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Service League for the past 20 years and is currently the organization’s board president. She also serves on the boards of Western Arkansas Ballet and NICCE Foundation (North India Christian Children’s Education Foundation). Ms. Chapman has a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Oklahoma and previously worked as a case manager and supervisor at Area Agencies on Aging in Oklahoma and in Missouri.

W. Scott Whittenberg, Vice-President


William Scott Whittenberg is a Risk Management advisor with Brown Hiller Clark Insurance. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith as well as a Masters of Business Administration from Webster University.

Susan Tucker, Secretary


Susan Tucker is the owner of River City Deli and has served on our Board of Directors since July 2012. She became the Board Secretary in July 2013 and is graciously taking on her fourth year in that role.

Neil Pennington, Treasurer


Neil Pennington is the President of Strategic Healthcare Management and the Chief Financial Officer for the Little Rock Eye Clinic. Mr. Pennington joined Next Step's Board of Directors in September 2014 and became President in July 2015. He holds a bachelor's degree in Finance from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville as well as a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Amy Sights, Board Member


Amy Sights has lived and worked in the Fort Smith area for 15 years and attended the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith. She has been with Arvest Bank for 11 years and is currently a Private Banker. Amy is an active volunteer with Momentum Church and has a passion for helping people in need. She was excited to join the Board of Directors in September 2017 to help serve this area of the community.

Tom Caldarera Jr., Board Member


Tom Caldarera Jr. is the co-owner of Taliano’s Italian Restaurant. He is the longest serving member of our Board of Directors. He served as treasurer during the 2014-15 fiscal year.

Jeanne Carroll, Board Member


Jeanne Carroll has worked for the Fort Smith Public School District for thirteen years where she serves as the District Homeless Liaison. Ms. Carroll attended John Brown University and currently holds a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management. She spends numerous hours each month volunteering for local non-profit agencies. As a child, her family experienced homelessness, which helps her to serve better and understand the life situations of the individual and families that she works with.

JO Carson, Board Member


Jo Carson represents foster children as an attorney ad litem in Sebastian County and has done so for over 25 years where her first priority has been to reunify children with their family. An adjunct professor at UAFS, Jo served in the Arkansas House of Representatives and has represented thousands of indigent women and men as a deputy public defender, also in Sebastian County. She is grateful for the opportunity to return to our board in this year, having served twice before as a board member and officer.

Ila M. DeBose, Board Member


Ila M. DeBose is currently working at the University of Fort Smith as the Director of Field Education, Social Work Program as well as Back to Basics Counseling Services as the owner and therapist.  Ms. DeBose previously worked with the school-based services program at Perspectives Behavioral Health Management. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Xavier University. Ms. DeBose joined our Board of Directors in 2012. She served as the Board Treasurer last year.

Larry Favalora, Board Member


Larry is a very creative Businessman, Writer, ordained Pastor, and Speaker who has owned and/or operated several Corporations in the past in such areas as Architecture, real estate development, banking, telecommunications, energy development, aviation, on-line marketing, and both personal and business consulting. Larry also served a term as a nationally recognized Mayor and turned down a personal invitation to run for State Senate seat he filled by appointment by then Governor of the State of Oklahoma, the Honorable Frank Keating.


Presently, Larry is a Partner in a Mergers and Acquisitions firm in Tulsa, OK, and is Senior Partner in an Alternative Energy Power Plant Development Firm as well. Larry holds a Masters in Environmental Design and Architecture, and years later went back to school and got his MBA from Cambridge University. Larry has nearly three decades of combined entrepreneurial business ownership experience, as well as executive marketing and senior level roles.  Larry is the father of two, and grandfather of eight. He resides in Fort Smith.


Paula Glidewell, Board Member


Paula Glidewell is the Co-owner and Vice President of Glidewell Distributing. Ms. Glidewell is the past Vice President of The Next Step Homeless Services Board and has served as President previously. She sits on the Community Affairs Committee of the board. She also is the Vice President of the Southern Association of Wholesale Distributors (SAWD), Board member and Governmental Affairs committee member of the American Wholesale Marketing Association, President of the Oklahoma Wholesale Marketing Association. She is a Board member of the Arkansas Convenience Store Association, an Arkansas Hospitality Association member, Fort Smith (Little Rock/ Greenwood) Chamber of Commerce member, and a member of the National Beer Wholesalers Association. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Ms. Glidewell is an Auxiliary member of the Salvation Army, Board member of Girls Inc., a member of Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club, Noon Exchange Club, and Zonta. Her previous volunteer service includes serving as Vice President of the Junior League and State Public Affairs Chairman for Arkansas’ Junior Leagues, Director of CASA for Sebastian and Crawford counties, and President of the Learning Academy School Board, and Soroptomists.


Lou Skeen, Board Member


Lou Skeen is a native of Little Rock, AR. She moved to Fort Smith 10 years ago from Fayetteville, AR. She attended the University of Arkansas and has been a manufacturing representative for KI furniture for the last 21 years. She is an active member of St. John's Episcopal Church serving on several committees and is involved with the Sack Lunch Program. Lou joined the Next Step Board in September 2016.

Tim Smith, Board Member


Tim Smith has served on our Board of Directors since February 2012 and is a member of the Property Committee. Mr. Smith has owned and operated Ross Explorations in Fort Smith for more than 30 years.

Brooks Yelverton, Board Member


Brooks Yelverton is the Assistant General Counsel for ArcBest.  Brooks, a former prosecutor and criminal attorney from the Memphis area, has been settling into Fort Smith for the last few years with his wife and family and is looking forward to serving his new community.

As a nonprofit 501(c)(3), donations to
The Next Step Homeless Services
are tax deductible.
Tax ID # 71-0755680

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