Stacey is the new Executive Director of Families Helping Families of Northeast Louisiana, Inc. She is the proud parent of Luke her son with developmental disabilities, and her son Jordan, who proudly serves in the United States Air Force.
Laura is a busy, busy person around the region. Most of her time is spent in the schools themselves assisting parents and professionals in meeting the needs of all children – not just those with disabilities. She also facilitates and speaks at many workshops and trainings throughout the year to educate individuals with disabilities, their families, and communities about transition – life after school. Laura is the mother of Sarah, the drama queen, who has spina bifida and Laura’s sister, April, has developmental disabilities both of whom are adopted.
Once a family is referred to Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, there is still a wait for services. Thelma contacts these families to let them know they are not alone and there is someone out there who is willing to help them while they wait.
Erica Hales is our bookkeeper. She has been with Families Helping Families for almost three years. Erica resides in Holly Ridge, LA with her husband, Frank, their daughter Braelyn and son Hunter. They attend Dunn Church of God in Dunn, LA. She began working in accounting while assisting the accountant at Park Place Baptist Church in Pearl, MS many years ago. Later, Erica became the Director of Administration and Manager of Operations for Revolution Park Racing and Entertainment Complex. Erica is a hard working young lady and we are blessed to have her on our team. She says “I love working with the staff at Families Helping Families because I feel that we are making a difference in the life of individuals, in a real, hands on way.”
Shacoma is an invaluable resource to our center. She keeps and maintains the library and the library computer tracking database. Shacoma also prepares over 4,000 copies of our newsletter for mailing twice a year. She is the only person in the office who can correctly complete the bulk mailing form. (Go Shacoma!!!) Best of all, she adapts and tackles any project that she is given.
As the parent liaison at Children’s Special Health Services Region 8, Evelyn Jackson enjoys providing support, information, and referrals for the patients and families who come to CSHS. She also supplies evidence-based healthcare information that will enable patients/families to be proactive in their own healthcare and life choices, when presented with various circumstances and referrals. In her home, community and church, Evelyn works diligently to be a kind/loving mother, grandmother, neighbor and youth leader. She also loves to work in her vegetable garden and to teach others how to eat and live healthily.
Carrie is our State Dept. of Education Transition employee. She is a single foster adoptive parent who has one biological child and 8 adopted children, 3 girls and 5 boys, 2 of whom have special needs. One of her sons has Traumatic Brain Injury and ADHD, and the other has ADHD. Carrie strives to help prepare teens in the transitioning from school to the community then to the world of adulthood. Not only does she believe in sharing her home, she also believes in sharing her heart.
Lizzie is truly the success everyone aspires to. Lizzy grew up in her parent's home, went through public school and graduated with a certifcate of achievement. After leaving the school system Lizzy wanted a job and has been gainfully employed with several different agencies.
Lizzy's father worked each day and that left Lizzy with hours to spare and no one in the home. She decided she wated to move to her own place and get a roommate! With the help of her Case Management agency she did that. Lizzy and her roommate both have jobs, pay taxes and contribute. Over the last year Lizzy became dissatisfied with her wages. She was employed with a mobile crew and was actually paid $2.50 an hour. This is legal and has to do with Federal incentives but it does not encourage self-worth or self-esteem. Lizzy understood that she was not going to flourish at that rate of pay. She wanted to make minimum wage.
Lizzy began to call Families Helping Families (FHF) and spoke to Aliscia, about once a month for quite some time. The girl has grit! Aliscia explained that FHF had suffered a budget cut and that things were tight. She also promised Lizzy that if the funds were restored in the next legislative session, she would hire Lizzy, at minimum wage. The rest is history. The legislators restored funds in 2014 session and Lizzy got a job with FHF, the next month.
It will be difficult to explain how much this has meant to Lizzy and all of us who work with her. We have grown and flourished, just as she has. When she was handed her first check, she was as excited as anyone I have ever seen. I guess you know what she did with it. Nooooo she did not open a savings account, she did not make a donation to FHF or any other organization.......she went to the MALL.
It's then that we knew...we are all more alike than different. By the way, she bought a red recliner for her new home.