Community Helps Network

by Tonya Dixon | March 8th, 2012
Community Helps Network

Wesley Baldwin & Richard Lide (Photo By Howard Gaither)

Wesley Baldwin has traveled all over the world from Chicago to Thailand to Japan. He received two Navy Achievement metals, earned a business degree, and owned several businesses. He has seen a great deal and done virtually the equivalent. Despite all that he has done, all the places he has lived and the businesses owned, there remained in him a sincere drive and desire to help others. However, it wasn’t until tragedy struck within his own family that he decided it was time to do more.

In 2007, Wesley Baldwin, supported by Richard Lide, founded Community Helps Network (CHN). Baldwin runs the company’s day-to-day operations, maintains financial oversight, and manages development. Lide considers himself more of the chairman offering support in various areas.

CHN is a private mental health and substance abuse agency that provides tailored, individualized assistance to individuals and families. The premise is if individuals are able to live thriving lives communities will accordingly follow suit. Baldwin and Lide acknowledge that mental health stability is a basic need that all individuals deserve and have a right to receive. “When I returned from the military I saw the need for mental health assistance in the community,” says Baldwin. “I had a family member that took his life dealing with mental issues. He didn’t have any help or anywhere to turn.”

Community Helps Network is able to assist adults, adolescents, children and their families with not only mental issues, but also substance abuse, financial and social issues as well as those with developmental disabilities. The company also endeavors to work in concert with outside agencies that positively contribute to the personal growth of CHN clients. The network is constantly collaborating with the Department of Social Services, local school systems, domestic violence agencies, homeless coalitions, the Juvenile Justice Agency and the court systems to do whatever is necessary to completely and holistically fulfill the needs of every client. “CHN was created to assist individuals with reaching their full potential and leading a more enhanced quality of life,” says Baldwin. “If individuals that are being served by CHN or the surrounding communities are not being served efficiently then I feel that I have failed; and failure is not an option.”

The network provides intensive in home care, maintains a community support team, offers medication management, provides clinical assessments, outpatient therapy, group therapy, psychosocial rehabilitation, substance abuse intensive outpatient therapy, target case management services and home care services. Each service is meticulously drafted and individualized to form fit every client’s specific needs. Transportation services are also available based upon each person’s treatment plan, goals and programming.

For example, CHN Staff can provide transportation should a client need to go from school to a therapy appointment or a community function. The staff may also transport a client to a job interview in the community. Each of these instances would be appropriate if the transportation is part of the overall treatment plan. Emergency services are offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. CHN has an on-call qualified professional available after hours as well. Where appropriate and required, Baldwin and Lide adamantly enforce all specified employees maintain certification and be qualified to perform their assigned tasks.

For Baldwin and Lide the logical place to establish their company was in their hometown of Raeford, NC. Virtually unknown to those outside of the city’s borders, Raeford is an extremely rural community; which ironically made it the perfect community to launch what the partners believed would be a catalyst to enhancing, edifying and empowering the quality of life for Raeford citizens and ultimately the entire Raeford community. The idea could potentially replicate and reverberate throughout the state, nation and even the world. Baldwin says because of unending motivation, inspiration and dedication, CHN, its clients and surrounding communities have no choice but to thrive.

Whether or not the world is within reach the network is focusing on strengthening one individual at a time. The response and reception was so well received in Raeford that Baldwin and Lide have been able to open nine other offices, covering 16 different counties throughout the entire state of North Carolina. Although the company maintains a presence in virtually every area of the state, the extremely rapid rate of success is due in large part to the character and integrity of those directly affiliated or employed by the company.

Baldwin and Lide are so committed to helping others they refuse to turn away clients regardless of their financial status. It’s those qualities that initially attracted CHN regional director, Lu Evelyn Tillman to the company. Tillman has worked with CHN since 2008. She went to school with Baldwin and Lide so she was familiar with their work ethic. However, she admits that she’s not an employee because of her community connection to Baldwin and Lide. She is genuinely proud to be a part of an organization that she says, “does much more for clients than billable services.”

Tillman proudly boasts and reinforces that CHN is fervently dedicated to building the client as well as the community. She says Baldwin and Lide have made it clear that it’s important to go beyond the call of duty. “We even support people who just show up-no appointment; money or no money; medicare or no medicare,” she says. “We make sure people are treated fairly. In addition, Wesley and Richard have personally reached out and helped clients and employees. It’s things like feeding the hungry and making sure no family goes without during the holidays (which they did last year).”

With over 10 years experience working in the mental health and substance abuse industry, Tillman has gained the respect of many and is fully capable of gauging the authenticity and sincerity of others. “In order to work in this business you must have a love for people. You must understand you have to meet people where they are,” she says. “Everybody is not at the same level, but we must help them get to where they need to be.”

Baldwin and Lide are so convinced that many more people are desperately in need of the services CHN provides, they now have their sights on planting branches in Virginia and South Carolina. Baldwin admits it has become part of his life’s mission. Undoubtedly, CHN will extend its caring arms far beyond its current territory especially if Baldwin has anything do with it. He says he is primarily driven by three things: first God, then his kids and “the ability to get better at what we do in order to expand to a national level of reaching out to as many people as possible that need support and services.”

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