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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Heads-Up Guidance Services Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Mental Health Centers, Mental Health

Mission: To provide affordable professional mental & behavioral health counseling and addiction recovery services to anyone in need... To assist all at-risk individuals and their families in achieving positive personal growth and community assimilation.

Results: In 2016 HUGS’ 25 clinical volunteers provided an average of 195 hours of Direct Services per month. Over 7,000 hours were donated by non-clinical volunteers. In addition to our onsite services, HUGS provided counseling to 7 Collaborative Community Partners and participated in 22 Community Outreach events. Numbers of participants in our Ready-2-Work Program were at an all-time high and additional growth was seen in our Intensive Outpatient Program. The focus for 2107 will be Group Counseling for At-Risk Adolescents & Teens and a Women's Group for Abuse and Trauma.

Target demographics: Individuals and families in need of professional mental and behavioral health counseling who could not otherwise afford to pay for services

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 215 clients

Geographic areas served: Savannah, Georgia (Chatham & Surrounding Counties)

Programs: Individual & Group Therapy , Families & Couples Counseling, Intensive Outpatient Program, Vocational Guidance (Ready-2-Work Programs), Probation-Mandated Services, Anger Management Course, Therapeutic Parenting Course, and Substance Abuse ssessments

Community Stories

33 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 MyrnaRayas

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am going trough a divorce process and I was feeling very lost and hopeless, one day somebody gave me a flyer about this place and it took me a couple of weeks to call and ask for help I thank God I did it has been one of the best decisions I have made lately, I was assigned a counselor who took the time to listen to me and provide me with some tools so I can heal myself and start a new life, I couldn't afford to go to another place since counseling services are very expensive this organization is making a difference in a lot of people who are struggling with life issues and don't have the income or insurance to go somewhere else.
It's been only 3 months since I started my sessions and I can see a difference on my way of thinking and solving the everyday life isssues.
Thanks HUGS counselors and volunteers for this wonderful service to the community I will be forever grateful for your help!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heads-Up Guidance Services (HUGS) is an amazing, one-of-a-kind organization. I have seen first hand the huge difference that HUGS makes in the lives of our clients. Providing affordable professional counseling to those in need is a service that makes our community a better place to live! Our counselors volunteer their time and talents to make this happen!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a new volunteer with Heads-Up Guidance Services Inc. (HUGS). The executive director and board chair kindly welcomed me into the organization, and equipped me with the skills I needed to thrive in my volunteer role. The clients are treated with dignity, and the counselors are extremely committed to providing high quality service. I would highly recommend this organization to other prospective volunteers.

Dana80

Client Served

Rating: 5

I started HUGS through a doctor referral a few years ago. I knew I was in a very dark place personally and knew I needed someone to help me, as I could no longer deal with it on my own. I didn't realize how broken of a person I was and traumatized from past life events and how it had took a toll on me. I had just been diagnosed with a terminal illness, along with dealing with a mountain of family issues and I just felt "done" with life. Daniella (counselor) Was my angel in disguise who saved me from myself. She was put in my life at the right time, and I will forever be great full to her. I got blessed twice with Rebecca (counselor) who has made me focus on me, and has made me see that I am worthy of whatever I seek out to do. I am important and i do have a voice that should always be heard. Both Daniella & Rebecca have taught me more than any words can ever say, and they are both angels. Hands down this organization has the talented, skilled, and trained professionals that know what they are doing. Andrea has an awesome team and for that I am forever thankful.

Client Served

Rating: 5

For as long as I can remember I was looking for love,I am 55 years old. I came through the doors of this phenomenal spiritually filled healing station and I found it. I have a history of physical,mental,emotional and spiritual abuse. I had the unfortunate inception of encountering these deterrents at the tender age of three. My need to seek acceptance of someone or something to ease my wounded mind,body and soul led me on a forty year love affair with cocaine (crack and powder). The rampant devastation's (bipolar depression,co-dependence,PTSD,anxiety disorder) of this fractured demonic lover led me in and out of prison four times and numerous hospitalizations and rehabilitation programs. The most crucial integral part of this terror filled liaison was I always has a desire to die rather than continue to keep failing at life as this cycle of viciousness had left me over and over. Ten months ago I walked through these doors and met a former staff member from a past failed rehab attempt at another facility. We were both surprised to see each other, she assured me I was in the right place and someone would take care of me. To hear those words coming from her I felt a sigh of relief, because she had been a ram in the bush so many times before. The moment I met Ms. Beverly something inside of me said please do not let me fail this time Lord- because I am TIRED!!!!. My beginning was sketchy because I was afraid of change,truth and trust. The time I have spent in every IOP group ,one-on-one session and family group session has given me the freedom to delve into myself. Intensely and profoundly I discovered my true self as a child, a loving beautiful woman, devoted caring mother , grandmother,mate,sister and friend. I faced so many obstacles these last ten months and with each one I ran into the arms of HUGS for the embrace I needed to forge ahead. I have the mos:t wonderful news to tell about HUGS and Ms. Beverly, they are a poignant example of ,Isaiah 58:9-12,"Repairer of the Breach" I will return to S.S.U. next week after ten years of being out of school. Thank the Lord for HUGS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

HUGS has been a Godsend to me! Over the last ten months, I have experienced much growth and a peace level that is truly amazing. Andrea is a Godly, caring, compassionate, insightful counselor who has provided me with a new perspective on my life issues. HUGS has made a huge difference in my life. Thank you, Andrea & the HUGS staff, for the outstanding services you provide. :)

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

For over 3 years, HUGS with Andrea Epting has professionally and personally helped our family overcome life changing struggles, heal and guide us forward to a positive, healthier, happier lifestyle.
HUGS services has made a beautiful difference by improving and enriching my life, my family, and so many others.

2 DAF722

Client Served

Rating: 5

HUGS is such a huge blessing to me and to Savannah. The staff and volunteers are always so nice and help you with whatever you need. Andrea Epting is an amazing counselor who has changed my life over the past 3 years. She is genuine, compassionate, patient, and truly cares about her clients. I am so grateful for all she and HUGS has done for me.

Previous Stories
1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

HUGS is an incredible nonprofit organization that provides professional services to those in need throughout Savannah and its surrounding areas. Speaking from personal experience, I have been using their counseling services over the past year and a half and it has completely changed my life for the better. The staff and volunteers are some of the most compassionate, loving, and sincere people I have ever met. I tell everyone I know about HUGS and highly recommend them to anyone who is in need of help. Thank you, HUGS, for all you have done for me and all the other lives you have changed over the years!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot behind to tell you how much of an impact on my life HUGS has made. Andrea has gotten me through the last year and a half. My granddaughter has gained so much through HUGS too. The program and counsellors are a godsend.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Absolutely love Andrea Epting. She is by far the best counsellor I've ever had! Very personable, caring, uplifting and inspiring me to be a better me, stronger me and her dedication to work and people sets a great example to me and many others I'm sure as well! She always puts,God in the center and that makes it that much more valuable to me!! I recommend HUGS to all striluggling and seeking help. God bless!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

HUGS = Altruism at its finest
Their counselors exceeded my expectations. I never dreamt I would benefit from any form of therapy; especially, at an affordable rate. This nonprofit is a blessing to Savannah and others should follow their lead.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The people are the nicest I've ever known. They treat me with respect.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Several of the counselors here have helped me and my family to function better and to become stronger and happier. They provide a resource that we otherwise would not have been able to access.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Amazing organization! Could not think more highly of Andrea Epting and ALL she does for our community.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Professional services to the masses based on need (Not benefits). A true non profit meeting the mental & emotional needs of its community! Finally quality (affordable)counseling with no strings attached!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heads-Up Guidance Services Inc. (H.U.G.S.) is a change agent that constantly lives out its Mission and Vision for all walks of life and community. As a volunteer I have the esteem pleasure in working with awesome and professional Counselors, as they assisted in addressing community, individual, and family needs in order to provide resources in living a healthier life. A few things that enticed me to volunteer is gaining knowledge in the field of interest as well as becoming a supportive figure that educates, encourages and uplifts individuals in the time of need. HUGS, stand strongly in giving a “Hands Up” and not a “Hand Out” which is empowering because it advocates helping others own the growth and teach others to do the same.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Heads Up Guidance Services (HUGS) does an incredible job of providing counseling services for individuals who, otherwise, cannot afford it. The staff and counseling environment is professional. HUGS endeavors to attract people of all cultures, economics status, religion, and/or walk of life to take advantage of its services. One word that most definitely describe HUGS is "benevolent."

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The experience with Hugs has not only allow for me to gain the knowledge of understanding this field of study, but also assists with providing help for those in need of services, whom can't afford to pay. I've work with Hugs for 2 years and this organization has established a tremendous helping hand out in the community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heads Up Guidance Services is one of the finest organizations in the Savannah community. Since I have been a volunteer here, I have gained insight on the importance of making a difference in people's lives, and HUGS does just that. It's an organization that dedicates many resources to helping a group of people that usually get overlooked by society, and HUGS has shown me that it is possible to make an actual difference.

It is by far the healthiest work environment that I've volunteered for. I would like to one day run a practice with the same set of principles that HUGS incorporates. Inclusion, a strong sense of community, effective communication, and compassion all make HUGS a unique organization in the mental health arena.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

HUGS is priceless resource in the Savannah community. The organization offers counseling services of all sorts (e.g. individual, group, couples, IOP, child and adolescent, play therapy, an anger management class, etc.) to people who would otherwise go without. The Director and staff are totally focused on what they can do to help each individual that walks through the doors of HUGS. Their have been, and continue to be, many people helped by HUGS each day.