Journey Enterprises: Restoring The JOY in JOurneY

Dawn Cauthen-Thornton | March 15th, 2019
Fanta Dorley, Tiara Thompson, Regina Nevels, Quiana Allen & Nancy Hairston (Photos by Still Shots Photography)

Fanta Dorley, Tiara Thompson, Regina Nevels, Quiana Allen & Nancy Hairston (Photos by Still Shots Photography)

Have you heard the term ‘Black Girl Magic’? It’s used to describe the awesomeness of black women who are shaping the world in their own way. Journey Enterprises consists of five powerful women who are working together to serve the needs of those that have served us most of our lives: our elders.

Journey Enterprises is described as a conglomerate of agencies that build and work together to better the healthcare industry. They also specialize in perfecting the lives of their caregivers. Within the enterprise there are five trademarked entities – Journey Homecare Services, Journey Training University, Journey Adult Day Social Center, Journey Holdings, and Journey Foundation. Each entity is operating and accepting new clients, students, and employees.

“We all function as different CEO’s over each entity. As a start-up, we work together to promote and implement each one,” explains Fanta Dorley, who is the CEO of Journey Foundation.

The conglomerate exists at all simply because the women were affected in some way by the healthcare industry. Whether it was a family member involved or someone working in some capacity, home care has touched each one. Tiara Thompson, the CEO of the training university explains, “Quiana Allen and I both have experience in the industry and Regina Nevels and Fanta have had family members in home care, so we’ve all learned what not to do or what we wouldn’t want our family members to go through.”

Each brought a different perspective and saw different niches that needed to be filled.

Think about six degrees of separation and you’ll find that each one of these ladies were connected in some capacity, seemingly destined to cross paths and fill the void in their community. “Must of us go to the same church but are familiar with each other in different ways. I met Regina and Fanta through a mutual friend that attends the same church. Tiara and I knew each other from the nurse ministry. Regina knew Tiara as well and linked her with us. Once we started talking about our vision, Regina mentioned it to Nancy Hairston, her co-worker, who I worked with many years ago,” Quiana constructs the puzzle.

Initially a mutual friend of the group wanted to start an adult day care center but the timing wasn’t right. Approximately one year later, in 2017, Fanta coordinated a meeting to share her idea and everyone seemed to be ready to jump on board. To test the waters, they did a soft launch with a few clients and a few students for each entity. Surprisingly, they all were a great success. This year, their goal is to do exactly what they set out to do and go full-force to grow all entities as they were intended.

The Journey Adult Day Social Center, run by Regina, will open this spring. To start, the center will provide daily support for the caregivers, adults 18 and older, exercise sessions, meals, medication reminders, and most of all, a safe environment so their family will take comfort in knowing their loved one is being properly cared for. As business increases, their scope will expand as well.

Regina has first-hand knowledge of being a caregiver to her ailing grandmother and aunt who both suffered from Alzheimer’s and dementia, respectively. “One of the hardest parts for me was separating the disability from who I knew them to be, because they are mental disabilities and not physical. What motivates me to operate the adult day center is the love of helping others and making a difference in society.” Regina has offered Bible verse John 13:35 which says, ‘By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Quiana, an LPN with over 14 years of experience, will head the home care entity and the vision is to provide in-home services like respite care, companionship, bathing, meal preparation, and a host of other needs, based on a personal evaluation. Home care has been close to Quiana’s heart since she witnessed her mother lose a long, hard battle with cancer. Ever since that moment, her mission has been assisting others in alleviating the physical pain associated with illness and creating a path towards living their best life. Her drive includes her children who motivate her daily. She hopes one day they will follow her lead and become entrepreneurs so she can help them get started.

The Journey Training University’s sole purpose is to provide quality medical staff. They train students to become personal care assistants, certified nurse’s assistants, and teach skills like how to be relatable and provide what the client needs. They’ve also included more practical courses such as resume writing and financial literacy. This entity is run by Tiara Thompson, a native of Rocky Mounty, NC by way of Washington D.C. “The training university is such a huge deal. We partner with Guilford Technical Community College on a track they created specifically for JTU to train CNA students. Last year was our first class and we had an 80% success rate, which is aligned with GTCC’s pass rate,” confirms Tiara.

Obtaining a certification is most important, not only for the student to follow state regulations which leads to increased salaries and job satisfaction, but to ensure the customer is receiving the best care available. The university is in the process of becoming accredited to be able to offer more options to their students and broaden their scope of medical knowledge.

Journey Holdings is the real estate and investment arm in which companion care living and purchasing real estate entities is available. Companion care is all about allowing the elderly to have dignity by living in their own home instead of a long-term facility. They would share their home with a roommate with like personalities, interests, and mannerisms. This dual living opportunity is due to most clients in this age range surviving on a fixed income. With this arrangement, a home care nurse would be available to visit and offer needed services to both clients.

After the Adult Day Center opens March 23, Journey Holdings will host a grand opening later in the spring. Nancy Hairston has taken the lead on this. Her business management degree will certainly prove valuable while attempting to establish a footprint. Though it won’t be a piece of cake, the Virginia native knows it will be worth it. Attending school while working full time and raising two children prepared her for the hard work ahead.

To assist with the cost associated with each of these entities, Journey Foundation has been established. It’s considered the charitable hub for all them. There is always a need, in every entity under the Journey umbrella, for financial assistance. Fanta has taken on this branch as her main role is reaching out to donors in the community, organizations like United Way, Community Foundation, and other federal grants that are able to fund the different needs of the client. “Particularly with Journey Training University, students sometimes aren’t able to move forward in their education and obtain certifications because they don’t have the time nor the money for it, “says Fanta. When the adult day center opens, there will be scholarships available to the clients who are unable to afford the services.

The group of ladies find comfort in having created a model that will allow the family to be happier, give the client a new sense of dignity while aging, advance the average homecare worker by furthering his/her career and positively impacting the economy by increasing the wages of homecare workers.

Within the next five years, they all would like to expand to other cities to assist with implementing their concept. “The goal is to have each entity fully functioning and self-sufficient enough for us to tour the country and share our method so that, as we all become elders, we can rest assured that we will be cared for with excellence,” affirms Fanta.

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