The Next Door

The GTA’s membership includes several Community Partner Members, whose work interacts with ours to create a better Gorge. One of those is The Next Door, the Gorge’s impressive and effective social service organization that strengthens children and families and improves communities in seven counties in the Mid-Columbia region on both sides of the river.
In total, The Next Door offers 27 programs that serve more than 3500 people each year, ranging from newborns through adulthood. They have 77 employees with offices in Hood River and The Dalles and in community partnerships throughout the Gorge. Their programs are focused on addressing social determinants of health, removing barriers and taking preventative measures with youth to ensure cycles of poverty and abuse are broken. They also work closely with the Latino community, with one of the most successful programs focused on promoting prosperity by helping Latino entrepreneurs develop successful businesses. 
The Next Door has several reasons to reach out to the tech community. The first is to share their new service providing translation and interpretation services, as well as coaching and training around diversity, equity, and inclusion. This program was created to share the incredible staff expertise with the community while helping to underwrite the social services they offer. They’ve provided diversity and plain language trainings in school and healthcare settings and are also ready to serve the business community.
The second reason to reach out is to connect with their youth programs. Mentorship opportunities can be just a one-hour lunch presentation to their Klahre House Alternative School or a regular commitment as a Big Brother/Sister or in the Mentor for Success program, which creates a positive impact on an at-risk teen’s commitment to staying in school and on the path to a successful future. 
The Next Door is a GTA member to work together with the GTA in identifying where they can support the development of the workforce as well as helping the tech companies know about their consulting services and ways the companies can engage with our kids and community to help shape tomorrow’s leaders. 
Learn more about their consulting services here  or their youth mentorship programs here or by contacting April Abernethy, Director of Development, at or 541-436-0307.
To find out more or get involved with The Next Door:

  • Attend the upcoming Stories of Hope Breakfast Events (use this link for more information)
    • Sept 22nd, 8 AM at Cousins Restaurant in The Dalles
    • October 27th, 8 AM at the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River
  • Come speak on Motivational Mondays at the Klahre House
  • Reach out about mentoring youth (ages 6-20)
  • Follow us on Facebook
  • Donate now with this link

About Janet Hamada, Executive Director, The Next Door 

Janet grew up visiting her grandparents and uncle in the Gorge over the summers and was happy to move here full time in 2004 to raise her family. She became Executive Director of The Next Door in September 2007. Prior to that time, she had served as Program Manager of Nuestra Comunidad Sana, a program of The Next Door, for three years. Janet has a strong commitment to the Gorge, as evidenced in the work she does and the number of Boards she serves on, including the Hood River Rotary Foundation, Four Rivers Early Learning Hub, the Building Bridges: Columbia Gorge Education and Workforce Collaborative, and as a community advisory council member for Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital. She is also president of the board of directors of the Oregon Alliance of Children’s Programs.