Creative Source Management Inc.

Dawn Cauthen-Thornton | May 15th, 2019
Dr. Erika Hendrix and the Creative Source Management Inc. Team (Photos by Still Shots Photography)

Dr. Erika Hendrix and the Creative Source Management Inc. Team (Photos by Still Shots Photography)

Dr. Erika Hendrix is a woman of many talents. She was previously introduced to the readers as a minister, radio host, and a theology instructor. Now, she’s ready to showcase a different hat she wears as the Owner and Executive Director of Creative Management Source, Inc., a mental health agency started in 2006 with the help of her mother, Barbara Hendrix, the Program Director of Development, and friend Kimberly Perkins, the Assistant Director. The trio oversees the day-to-day operations and the 13 staff members that dedicate themselves to making life manageable for a few amazing people. They also operate Positive Connection Care, a residential group home service.

It’s no surprise that Dr. Hendrix has traveled this path in helping those negatively affected by mental health. It’s in her DNA. She grew up watching her mother give of herself as a special needs teacher with Guilford County Schools. She taught visually impaired students for 30 years, and ultimately retired from it. “Growing up, my mom would do respite in the home and we would see that every weekend. Before she retired, she told me that she wanted to start an agency. So we started making plans to do that,” says Dr. Hendrix.

The agency actually prospered for several years until funding was greatly slashed in 2013, so much that other agencies actually went out of business. By the grace of God, the ladies at Creative Source Management had already implemented day support services that kept them afloat.

Considering Creative Management Source, Inc. is 13 years old, Dr. Hendrix’s goal is to now reintroduce it to the community and let everyone know what is available in the light of cuts and reductions in government funding. The agency offers services to adults 18 and older on how to find employment, adult living skills, education such as obtaining their GED or diplomas, community integration, and other skills. And the entire program is nationally accredited under CQL (Council on Quality and Leadership).

“Because the majority of our clients have socialization skills we help them learn how to communicate when they go out so that they don’t feel isolated. We teach them how to think and advocate for themselves. And we help them determine what independence is to them. Because everyone’s independence is different,” explains Dr. Hendrix.

The majority of their clients suffer from some form of mental illness such as schizophrenia, bi-polar, personality disorder, autism, and intellectual developmental disability which can range from mild, medium, or severe. They also serve those with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). Graciously, the staff spends time teaching each client about their disability. “You’d be surprised at how many people have heard of these labels that they’re given, but they don’t know what it is.”

Dr. Hendrix and the team have partnered with the Greensboro Coliseum to offer many of her clients the opportunity to earn a monthly stipend by assisting at condiment stations during major events. This partnership was established nearly a decade ago and allows the clients to earn money, boost their confidence, and feel independent. They’re also in talks with other establishments to do the same. By the summer, they plan to open a sock store primarily run by their clients to earn a stipend and learn how to maintain a work/life balance.

“We don’t limit them here. We tell them all the time that we’re not focusing on the disability, but what they can do,” she says. One year some clients were sent on a scavenger hunt across the city. For two months, they were taught how to find their way around, including how to utilize public transportation. By the third month, they had mastered it and was able to meet their caretakers at the mall. This was a huge accomplishment and something for the clients to be proud of.

“We don’t just let our clients sit inside all day. We take them out daily so they can learn and experience things. They love going to restaurants and we reward them with that on a regular basis,” says Dr. Hendrix.

In 2009, Positive Connection Care was added. This branch of the agency offers residential services to clients that may need someone to assist them with home skills and self-care. Some live in a group home setting while a few experience AFL (Alternative Family Living), residing directly with their caretaker.

Most recently, the ladies have been fighting for additional time for their clients to receive PSR (Psycho-Social Rehabilitation that prepares the client to live independently after a setback). Currently, only 12 months is allowed, but Dr. Hendrix feels that more time is needed for full rehabilitation. These ladies don’t just collect funding for their clients, they truly care about their well-being and their development.

For a period of time, the agency also served children under the age of eighteen. The ladies noticed the expulsion and suspension rates of children with behavioral challenges and disabilities, increasing within classrooms and other activities. For the last eight years, they ran an inclusion summer camp for those children who may need additional attention. “We’ve attended their football games, parent-teacher conferences, birthday parties, and everything else. They have seen most of the children matriculate through high school and are now succeeding in life.

Being patient, consistent, and encouraging is the key to making a difference with these special individuals. For the last 13 years, the ladies and staff at Creative Management Source, Inc. have done just that.

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