She’s Got Her Smile Back - CHA is More Than Affordable Housing?
May 31, 2018
If you are used to being the person people come to with their problems who do you go to? The scary thing is you might not go to anyone, because you may feel you must always be strong. Barbara McCullers is a senior resident of Parktowne Terrace whose positive energy is felt throughout the building. During the holidays, she would cook meals for her fellow seniors and go door to door passing them out with a smile on her face. Little did they know behind Barbara’s smile were emotions that were slowly overwhelming her.
Barbara is the rock of her family. Whenever they need her she is there without a question. One day Barbara’s daughter called to let her know that her son-in-law was going blind. Immediately she went to go assist her daughter. Barbara had to be the support to keep the family strong through this trying period. Along with losing his vision he also lost his grandmother which made things harder. Barbara tried to do everything she could to be strong for everyone during this time, but did not realize the toll it was taking on her.
She continued to let her positive energy shine at Parktowne, despite everything she has been through. Unfortunately, tragedy struck again, Barbara received a call that her 24-year-old grandson had passed away. She was crushed, but knew she had to remain strong for her family. The emotions just continued to build up in Barbara, but somehow she managed to put back on a smile and show love to everyone.
The feelings continued to rise inside of her until one day she woke up and the feelings were unbearable. Barbara could not take it anymore her smile was no longer there and she was in a dark place. Thinking of ways to overcome these feelings she went into Parktowne’s Elderly Service Coordinator Michelle Sims office. Barbara told her everything from problems in life to personal goals. Michelle knew exactly how to help. She gave a call to Innervision an organization that helps people with resources, services and supports in employment, education and wellness. Michelle knew that their program would be perfect for Barbara.
Innervision helped Barbara with her feelings, how to assess them and move forward in a positive way. Growing from every class, it was clear to her that she wants to be a Peer Support Specialist. Barbara not only gets to take courses to help her emotionally, but also take courses to help her become a Peer Support Specialist while at Innervision. Being on the program for a year she has received a Member of the Month Award, as well as, Member of the Year Award. One of the first people she celebrated with was Michelle. “My bond with Michelle is awesome because when I receive an award or anything I tell her and she applauds me,” said Barbara joyfully. Barbara was happy with her progress, but knows she is destined for more.
Barbara always wants to use the opportunities she gets as stepping stones for her future. She is currently taking classes at Central Piedmont in hopes to get her substance abuse degree to become a Substance Abuse Counselor. “I want to get my degree so I can give back what was so freely given to me,” said Barbara.
The Charlotte Housing Authority is so proud of Barbara and everything she has accomplished and has made it through. Continue to create positive energy and effect lives one smile at a timeBack to News