Calera counseling center to host Gospel concert

By EMILY REED / For the Reporter

CALERA – Victory Counseling Services Inc. is gearing up to host a Gospel singing concert on April 1.

The free event will feature Gospel groups such as Holy Destiny, Victoria Swindle, Faye Ashley, Yolanda Gross-James, and The Christian Harmonizers.

Beginning at 5 p.m., the event, held at Rolling Hills Camp Grounds, located at 521 Highway 304 in Calera, will serve as a way to educate the community about the non-profit counseling center, and raise funds through donations to help fund the center’s programs.

“We are not charging people to come, and we want people to come just to have a good time,” said Victory Counseling Services Inc. owner and executive director Dr. Hattie Holman. “Our goal is to tell everyone about the services we offer, and we will take up an offering to help with the services we do provide.”

The counseling center opened in December 2016, and Holman said since that time the center stays busy with individuals hoping to become involved in one of the many programs offered.

“We have been running over with people coming to us,” Holman said. “We talk to people in the community, on the street, wherever we come across them, and we try to encourage them in whatever way we can. Our goal is to let people know that we are here to help them, to provide them with training, to listen to them, and to help them have a better life.”

The center offers programs including Teen Chat, which counsels teens on topics such as bullying, peer pressure, sex, and drugs.

“Teens can come into a group setting and feel free to talk about issues they would not necessarily want to discuss with their parents,” Holman said.

New Life is a program geared toward ages 20-48 and teaches ways to change a lifestyle of drugs or alcohol, career changes, or achieving a GED.

“We try to cover self-esteem, and we help individuals get back on the right track,” Holman said.

A third program, 50-plus, focuses on helping individuals with legal advice, medicare supplements, and any other services individuals are interested in.

“Our services at the center are all free,” Holman said. “We have wonderful volunteers, but we are mainly geared toward low income men and women, because we understand that not everyone can afford counseling. We also know there is a big need in the community from individuals that are needing help, and we are here to provide that for them.”

Holman said a current need for the center is a van to help transport many of the individuals to and from the center.

“We have a small volunteer staff, and a lot of times the clients that come to us do not have transportation,” Holman said. “We have a volunteer, Eugenia King, and she will use her own car and go pick up the individuals and bring them to the center. She has a true servant’s heart, and is willing to help try and make a difference in the community, which is our ultimate goal.”

Holman said she is hoping the Gospel singing will be a good time for the community to come together.

Light refreshments will be served at the event.

For more information about the event, or to learn more about the center, contact 586-9797 or email revjackson@aol.com.