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Business of the Month: ‘Too many of us are living in despair, and we’re providers of hope’

Business of the Month: ‘Too many of us are living in despair, and we’re providers of hope’
October 07
14:11 2020

By Busta Brown

HOPE Counseling & Consulting Services promotes and enhances health and recovery for individuals with mental illness, substance abuse, and behavior problems through high quality services. I asked founder and CEO Rev. Dr. Linda Perkins McRae to describe the feeling of the results of her clients healing. “My heart beats outside of my chest, because it makes it all worth it, all of the hard work. HOPE stands for Healing Our People & Environment. We have to heal the people first. When we heal a father, it’s not only for him, but it’s also for his wife, their children and a greater community. That’s what makes my heart beat,” she said with so much love and passion. 

McRae shared one of the many HOPE success stories. “I have a client that was shot, and between what he’d learned from HOPE and that experience, he refused to retaliate. We taught him that what he does in the moment is not only going to affect his moment, but his lifetime. It doesn’t just affect him, but his children and grandchildren. He understands that now. He shared how thankful he is to have been a part of our program and how it changed the way he sees life,” said McRae. 

HOPE provides counseling which includes outpatient individual/group/family therapy; substance use disorder assessment and treatment; behavioral health/psychological assessment and treatment; problem gambling services (FREE to client and family. Call 1-877-718-5543 and request HOPE); couples counseling; anger management and domestic violence intervention program. Their DWI services include short- and long-term DWI treatment, offering morning and evening hours. They offer services to sex offenders as well, empowering individuals who have been identified as sex offenders with the necessary tools to recover from a life of crime and punishment.

HOPE has a few new additions. “Our domestic violence intervention program is the newest addition. We are in the courthouse speaking with DAs, judges, lawyers and potential clients, letting them know that we’re here to support them. We provide assessment and treatment as well. There’s a great need for this service, because both women and men are victims of domestic violence. So many people are having difficulties in their relationships, so we’re grateful to be able to make a difference in our community,” said Dr. McRae.

“We are also excited that U.S. Probation allows us to provide family services to clients. We recently opened More Than Conquerors Remote Learning Center for students in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools system. This is for students that need a safe place where they can get their education through remote learning. We are using one of our homes as a transition home for releasees,” she said with a huge smile and spirit of joy. 

Dr. Linda Perkins McRae clearly loves what she does and what makes her story even more amazing: her family does as well. Sly and the Family Stone said it best: HOPE is “A family affair.” It all began with the love and support from her husband of 26 years, Pastor Ronald McRae. He’s served as senior pastor of Little Salem Christian Church for 22 years and has worked in the field of Human Services for more than 20 years. Dr. McRae reminisced about how her vision for HOPE began. “I can remember when I opened my first office outside of the home. We had to pull our resources together. He also helped me get the furnishings and so much more. I am so grateful for my husband. And in the past couple of years, he’s come on board to work with us here at HOPE as the chief operations officer and director of DVIP & Boys2Men Mentorship Program. Three of our four daughters work with HOPE as well. Shonise McRae is the administrative assistant, Monty Pearson co-leads the group home, and Vikki Martin helps direct our Domestic Violence Intervention Program,” she said. I could see and feel how full her heart was, and with good reason. Other staff members include Levonia Gravely and Gabrielle Sandor.

McRae believes that given the proper tools, “every person can maneuver their environment successfully and play an integral, vital role in their community. If you teach someone to change their perspective and thoughts, it can change their outcome, because you’ll see something different, so you can have something different. Too many of us are living in despair. We are providers of hope. That’s what we do. I’m a cognitive behavioral therapist, so I’m always going to challenge thoughts, because our thoughts affect how we feel, which affects how we behave,” said Dr. McRae. 

In one of the emails that she sent to me, I noticed the scripture Jeremiah 29:11. So I asked her about it, and it was as if a lightning bolt had gone off. Linda Perkins McRae is on fire for God! I could feel it when she spoke about the scripture. “Our God has given us hope and He has a great plan for each one of us. And if we can entertain that God has good desires for us and it doesn’t matter where you started from or what you have. If you begin to challenge your negative thoughts, you’ll begin to walk different and talk different. No matter what door was closed, you’ll believe that another one will open.”

The Chronicle’s Business of the Month is HOPE Counseling and Consulting Services. For more information, call their office at 336-631-1948, email them at thereishopeinc@nullgmail.com, or stop by one of their four locations: 326 N. Spring Street and 500 W. 4th St., in Winston-Salem; 460 Salem Church Road in Reidsville; and 11 W. Main St. in Thomasville. 

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