By: Lorrie Ward Jackson | Category: Professional Services | Issue: March 2012
James Baumgardner, counselor at Hope Harbor Family Ministries.
In recent years, Hope Harbor Children’s Home and Academy has shown its commitment to its mission statement, “Restoring hope and equipping children and families for lives with meaning and purpose,” by establishing Hope Harbor Family Ministries and Thrift Harbor. Proceeds from the thrift store, located at 405 W. Will Rogers Blvd., go to help Hope Harbor’s efforts. In the last year, those efforts have expanded even further with the addition of James Baumgardner as an offsite family counselor.
“We want to provide Christian-based, affordable counseling and training services to the Rogers County area and surrounding region,” says Buamgardner. “We serve children, teens, couples, parents—the entire family.” Through Baumgardner, Hope Harbor offers these counseling services on a sliding fee scale based on income. But Baumgardner is quick to point out, “We do not refuse services based on financial status.”
Counseling is geared to help families navigate through an array of common problematic issues. A couple might be having conflicts, difficulty coping with problems, lack of communication, or financial issues. Parents might be facing problems with discipline or raising a child with lagging cognitive or social skills. These are just a couple of examples of problems with which Baumgardner is trained and experienced to assist.
“I have a passion for family life and related concerns and have worked in this field for 20 years,” says Baumgardner. “I enjoy helping children and families discover and develop solutions for concerns and troubles they are dealing with.”
Although everyone has problems to cope with, according to Baumgardner, there are a couple of signs it might be time to ask for help. If the family’s problems begin to affect other aspects of life, such as work, school, physical health or other relationships, and if other methods they have tried before don’t seem to be working, it may be time to ask for assistance. “Sometimes professional help is needed to sort through problems and uncover solutions,” says Baumgardner.
For the moment, counseling services are offered on site at the Hope Harbor location at 319 E. Blue Starr Dr. in Claremore, but Baumgardner will soon be offering free online workshop webinars on a variety of family-related topics. Times for these workshops are to be announced, so he encourages those interested to check the website at www.hopeharborinc.org for upcoming schedules. Also, area locations host free workshops by Baumgardner. He will be visiting 29th and Yale Church of Christ (2901 S. Yale in Tulsa) on March 2 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and March 3 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for a parenting workshop. He also has plans for two more in the fall, with times and locations to be announced.
Baumgardner moved to Claremore a year ago from Manhattan, Kansas, where he served as a family life minister and substance abuse counselor, and he looks forward to lending his expertise toward helping families in the Rogers County area. “We’re truly here to fulfill our mission statement of equipping families for lives of meaning and purpose,” he says. “I hope to help accomplish that.