CLAYTON — A social worker with a passion for helping others is launching a nonprofit counseling center in town.
Hope and Restoration Pathways, or HARP, will open next week on U.S. 70 Business. It has been the lifelong dream of Lora Williams of Clayton.
The nonprofit will offer Christian counseling and senior-support services. It will also welcome those without insurance and those who can’t afford their insurer’s copays.
“I see all day long so many hurting and desperate people,” said Williams, a Johnston Health social worker who moved to Clayton in 2004.
“When home care is over and I can’t go out and visit them anymore, sometimes they have no where to turn,” Williams said of her Johnston Health patients.
Earlier this year, Williams received a birthday gift – money she was supposed to spend on furniture for her house. Instead, she put the money into savings while she thought about how best to spend it.
Ultimately, Williams decided the put the money into HARP.
“By faith, this has happened,” she said. “It’s difficult to know and see people who need counseling services, who can’t afford it or who can’t afford copays.”
At HARP, Michael Garner, a therapist intern, will provide counseling services for clients who do not have insurance. Garner is a graduate student at Liberty University, where he is pursuing a master’s degree in counseling. He is also a youth minister at Quest Fellowship.
Williams will offer support for families and seniors transitioning to nursing homes or assisted-living centers. In addition, she will counsel clients on the importance of advance directives and provide screening for placement in assisted-living centers. Advance directives are legal documents that provide guidance for health care decisions in the event a person is unable to make such decisions
As a graduate student in Texas, Williams worked at a nonprofit counseling center; that experience sprouted her dream.
To underwrite the nonprofit, she is spending her own money. In addition to that birthday gift and her day job with Johnston Health, Williams is a counselor at a shelter for victims of domestic violence.
At HARP, Williams will ask clients who can’t pay for their service to complete a financial-disclosure.
Eventually, Williams hopes the nonprofit will also be able to provide food and medicine for people in need.
To learn more about HARP, visit harpcares.org.