On (my) Mission Serving Those on a Journey of Change & Renewal.
My name is Whitney Oliver, and I am the Executive Director at the Gathering Hope House.
I am honored and privileged to serve in this new role, guided by an outstanding Board of Directors that continues to provide quality services to mental health consumers in Lorain County. I have been fortunate to work in the mental health field in Lorain County for most of my career, and I know the Gathering Hope House offers unique opportunities for residents of the surrounding communities in Lorain County.
I want to take this moment to thank the interim executive director, Sharquenta Richardson. I appreciate her dedication to this organization and those we serve and look forward to working closely with her as she assumes her new position of Associate Director.
As a long-time resident of Lorain County, I am proud to say that I am a product of the Elyria City Schools, and I benefited from growing up in this fantastic, diverse community. I was fortunate to earn my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology through the University Partnership between Lorain County Community College and Cleveland State University. I continued my education on the LCCC campus, where I received my Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from John Carroll University.
My first involvement with Gathering Hope House was in 2016 as a Case Manager at Nord Center. I heard the "Hope House" being referred to as a place where people could go to participate in programming, groups, and fellowship and get linked to other resources in the surrounding areas. It seemed that the field trips members participated in were legendary!
In my role as a therapist supporting persons managing co-occurring diagnoses and was a member of the Juvenile Drug Court treatment team for Lorain County Juvenile Court I often recommended the Gathering Hope House as a place people could connect and find programming specific to their needs. In 2019, I joined the Assertive Community Treatment Team at the Nord Center, a program that provides complete, wrap-around services for people managing severe and persistent mental health symptoms, allowing them to remain as independent as possible in their communities. In this role, serving mental health consumers in need throughout Lorain County, I was responsible for leading an interdisciplinary team of case managers, nurses, and counselors and led the fidelity review each year.
Outside of work, I am currently a mentor with the Community of Hope, which focuses on supporting transitional-aged youth in Lorain County. I also serve on the board for CityFresh. This organization creates and promotes a more healthy, vibrant, and equitable local foods system by supporting farmers who employ organic growing techniques to promote sustainable farming.
The Gathering Hope House brings together many of my passions, and I feel highly honored to be able to continue our mission, helping our members thrive, develop leadership skills and master the art of self-help and resiliency.
I have always been a champion for the fantastic opportunities in our county, and I understand the benefits of having resources available and accessible to all residents in our communities. The options provided for the county's residents are vital components of creating healthy, thriving neighborhoods, helping us communicate, grow and expand our relationships within our region.
I am proud to be a part of a quality organization filled with hard-working, creative, dedicated employees and members who put the mission into action!
Whitney E. Oliver, LPCC-S, LICDC