Two sisters making a difference in south Knox

Every Saturday, Rebecca and Addie feed their recovering friends at Sam Duff Park. / Source: WVLT
Every Saturday, Rebecca and Addie feed their recovering friends at Sam Duff Park. / Source: WVLT(WVLT)
Published: Jul. 13, 2019 at 4:48 PM EDT
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Two sisters, Addie Arbach and Rebecca Parr, lost a loved one to drug addiction a couple of years ago. Now they want to make a difference in the lives of those struggling with the same thing in Knoxville.

The two founded Next Step Initiative to help those struggling with addiction and homelessness to find steps towards recovery.

Through this program they have helped more than 100 people get the help they need.

Every Saturday, the organization sets up at Sam Duff Park in South Knoxville where they offer a hot meal and free hygiene products to those in need. A popular meal they serve is spaghetti and salad.

Arbach said they refer to the people they help out as friends and not clients. "This is to help build a relationship and a level of trust between the two."

"We love them until they either get treatment or they get it together, or they die, but at the end of their lives they're going to know that somebody genuinely loved them," said Arbach.

Aside from hot meals, the ladies also provide their friends with resources they need to live a clean and healthier life.

The sisters connect their friends with people that can help them to get jobs, housing, and remain drug-free.

One friend, James Murr, said because of Addie and Rebecca's generosity, he has remained clean for the longest time since he has used drugs.

"It's a good feeling knowing people do care, because there isn't much out here to do," said Murr.

If you or anyone you know in the Knoxville area is battling addiction or homelessness, you can find Addie and Rebecca at Sam Duff Park on Saturdays or


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