Next Step Housing (NSH) has provided quality, clean and sober, supportive housing to residents of Yakima since 1991. NSH pioneered the development of Alcohol and Drug Free Communities (ADFC’s) in Washington and currently owns and operates the only clean and sober permanent housing for large families with children in the State. Our community-based Board of Directors and Staff have many years of experience in service provision for special needs populations and expertise in financial management as well as in developing and managing affordable housing.
Combined, the Board and Staff have a collective:
In 2020, 56% of the organization’s residents were extremely low-income earning less than 30% of the Yakima Area Median Income (AMI). Another 17% were below 40% of the AMI, and another 18% were below 50%. A total of 91% of our residents were at or below 50% of the AMI when they first moved in.
Since July 1999
SOLA Manager (Retired)
Since November 2012
WA State Dept. of Health
Disease Intervention Specialist
Since November 2012
Gesa Credit Union
Chief Executive Officer (Retired)
Since July 1999
Washington Resource and Development Council
Project Contract &
Since January 2008
Housing Development Manager (Retired)
Since April 2009
Pear Tree Place
Since November 2018
Yakima Housing Authority
Ashley Whitefoot Douglas
Since January 2019
Domestic Violence Shelter Coordinator
Since January 2021
Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) of Washington
Weatherization Program Financial Coordinator
John Mifsud (since June 1995)
Mr. Mifsud is celebrating 26 years as Executive Director of NSH. He has 42 years of program design, implementation and management experience as well as 37 years of experience in property management and development in the private, non-profit and public sectors. A long-term housing advocate for people with special needs, Mr. Mifsud developed the first affordable, independent clean and sober housing units for families with children in the State of Washington. John has managed portfolios of 800+ units in four states including commercial properties and tax credit developments. A Certified Families for Self-Sufficiency Specialist, Mr. Mifsud also designed and supervised on-site case management services for a diversity of special needs populations in Washington. Currently, John manages all staff as well as finances, fundraising, land acquisition, new developments and major capital improvements for NSH.
Diana McClaskey (since March 2002)
509.249.0390 (office) 509.469.0203 (fax)
Ms. McClaskey reached sobriety in October 2001 and moved into an NSH property in November of that year. She became the House Manager in March of 2002 and has dedicated herself to NSH having managed every property in our portfolio. Diana is a certified LIHTC Compliance Specialist and manages all NSH accounts payable and receivable. Ms. McClaskey has full responsibility for all leasing, rent collection, compliance, income certifications and resident files. As Deputy Director, she supervises all on-site management, case management and maintenance staff.
Connie Cleary (since January 2005)
509.457.8771 (office) 509.457.0173 (fax)
Ms. Cleary achieved sobriety in 2003 and began working for NSH in 2005. She became a Resident Manager in 2006. She was promoted to NSH Asset Manager in 2007 overseeing all property management of the NHS portfolio. Ms. Cleary is a veteran and a certified Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS) Specialist. Ms. Cleary has managed three major capital renovations at the Clean House, the Lamplighter and the Sommerset Apartments managing all on-site maintenance staff as well as subcontractors and inspections. She is currently the Resident Manager of the Sommerset Apartments as also acts as the On-Site Case Manager for previously homeless and disabled households. She has dedicated her life to NSH and the people who benefit from the agency's supportive housing.
Keith Erickson (since January 2010)
Mr. Erickson attained sobriety in 2007 and has been working for NSH since 2010. He was promoted to Maintenance Superintendent in 2018 and has managed major capital renovations at the Sommerset and Lamplighter Apartments. He also supervised construction of the Bicycle Apartments in 2020 and lives on site with his family. Mr. Erickson supervises all maintenance and inspections for the NSH portfolio as well as staff. He is very active in the Yakima Narcotics Anonymous community. Keith says, “Working with people in recovery is really a dream come true for me. I love that I am on staff at Next Step. Being of service to my community helps keeps me clean and sober.”
Rigoberto Dominguez (since April 2013)
Lead Case Manager
Mr. Dominguez attained sobriety in 2001 and originally came to NSH as a resident in 2010. In 2012, he began working for NSH as a People 4 People intern through their Parents Work First Program. He was hired as a Case Manager to work with homeless veterans at Pear Tree Place III in 2013 and was promoted to Lead Case Manager in 2021. He received his Associates of Applied Science in Chemical Dependency Counseling from Yakima Valley Community College in 2012 and completed his Bachelor of Science in Religion in 2012. Mr. Dominguez is bilingual and bicultural and has also worked for Yakima Memorial Hospital as a Chaplin focused on hospice and end of life care services. He sat on the hospital’s Ethics Committee and Critical Incidents Team and is currently on the Board of Directors for Triumph Treatment Services.
Josh Shay (since January 2019)
Mr. Shay joined the NSH Maintenance Team after working as the Yakima Superior Court Community Service Supervisor. He worked with a range of Drug Court clients who helped the elderly with yard work and painted over graffiti throughout the City. More recently, he was also the Yakima County Juvenile Justice Restorative Community Service Leader where he coordinated young people doing community service at the Union Gospel Mission kitchen as well as cleaning up Yakima parks, lakes and streams.
Hope Lange (since February 2020)
Ms. Lange attained sobriety in 2016 and joined the NSH team in 2020. She previously worked as a Young Adult Housing Case Manager at Catholic Charities after enjoying 23 years as an Registered Nurse. In 2017, she earned her B.A. in Business and Marketing. She serves on the Board of Directors for Rod’s House, a local resource center for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness. Hope is also very active in the Yakima Alcoholic Anonymous community and is the Property Manager for the Lamplighter Apartments and Pear Tree Place I, II, and III.
Crystal Cleary (since September 2020)
Ms. Cleary first worked for NSH in 2009 assisting with the major remodel of the Sommerset Apartments. She later became the Resident Manager of the Clean House and Lamplighter Apartments. In 2017, she left NSH to work as a Merchandiser at Home Depot and later became the Manager of Customer Service at Office Depot. NSH rehired Ms. Cleary in 2020 as the Property Manager of the Bicycle Apartments. Her customer service and information technology experience have been a welcome addition to the NSH team.
Alegria & Company, PS, is a certified public accounting firm licensed in the State of Washington with offices in Yakima, Prosser and Ellensburg. Alegria has been serving nonprofit organizations for nearly 70 years and manages NSH’s financial reporting and accounting including accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll. Additionally, Alegria manages annual audit preparation and tax returns. Danelle Kindall is the Senior Accountant assigned to the account. Brian Newhouse, CPA, is the partner in charge of all services provided to NSH.
Total People Housed
Average Stay in Years
Below 30% AMI
Below 40% AMI
Below 50% AMI
Below 80% AMI
Above 80% AMI
Left due to relapse
Found permanent housing
18 years old and under
19 to 35 years old
36 to 50 years old
Over 51 years old
Native or Alaskan Native
Long-Term Recovery from Drug Addiction
Long-Term Recovery from Alcohol Addiction
Living with a Developmental Disability
Living with a Physical Disability
Living with Chronic Mental Illness
© Next Step Housing. Site Design by Ian Carey.