Agent of Change: The Center for Child & Family Services

Agents of Change: Non-profit provides help for families

HAMPTON, Va. (WVEC) -- A nonprofit group has been serving the Hampton Roads community for more than 70 years, but you may never have heard of it.

“I may not think about a lawyer until all of a sudden I need one,” said Ellen Williams, the Director of Behavioral Health Services and Clinical Director at The Center for Children & Family Services.

The center provides counseling and support to individuals and families to help them improve their lives.

The message to those in need is simple: Whatever you’re dealing with, you don’t have to deal with it alone.

“We're here to empower them to get on with their life," explained Williams.

People at the center offer services in the areas of behavioral health, consumer credit counseling, and child  and family connection. Staff members work to accommodate as many people as they can.

“We have a therapist to provide counseling and behavioral health services in Spanish,” Williams told 13News Now.

Karem Negron Vega is the Hispanic Outreach Program Coordinator at the center.

“We are very well trained, and we provide the best services,” Vega noted proudly.

Those services are helping people, one at a time, become the best versions of themselves.

“A lot of our patients here may not have the means to go out to be able to get the help that they need,” said Mark Hayes, who is a counselor and case manager for the center.

Many of the services are affordable if not free.

“We're going to be honest,” Williams stated. “If we can't help you, we're going to find a place that can.”

Seeking personal help can be hard, so the center's staff works to make each person's experience the best it can be.

“When they think that nothing will change in their life, there is hope,” Williams told 13News Now, “and I've watched for 38 years people come in here and leave having that hope fulfilled.”

“The staff is incredible,” said receptionist Brenda Baker, who has been with the center for over 25 years.

“Many of them have given up very profitable jobs other places to work here,” Williams offered.

The Center for Children & Family Services provides support to more than 10,000 people of all ages across Hampton Roads each year.


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