Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Professor offers free counseling for homeless

Good Things Happening

Allen Howard

F. Robert Wilson, a University of Cincinnati counseling professor, has reached out to the poor in Over-the-Rhine by offering free counseling services.

Thursday he will receive the Susan J. Sears Counselor of the Year Award from the Ohio Counseling Association at the All-Ohio Counselors Conference in Columbus.

Wilson of West Chester is coordinator of the master's degree program in mental health counseling, Division of Human Services, in the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services.

He is a nationally certified counselor, an approved clinical counselor and a fellow of the Association for Specialists in Group Work in Hampton, N.H.

Professor F. Robert Wilson is being recognized for counseling the poor and the homeless.

Wilson reaches Over-the-Rhine residents through the Health Resource Center, which provides treatment for people who cannot get services from other agencies.

The center was founded in 1995 by his wife, Cornelia Wilson, a professor at the UC College of Nursing.

"Our mission is to reach and serve the homeless mentally ill who are underserved,'' said Robert Wilson. "This is a segment of society that is used to being discouraged, so they give up. It sometimes becomes difficult because you are dealing with a population who already feels they are at the bottom. You have to gain their confidence in order to be able to help them,'' Wilson said.

Adopt-A-Family program

Marjorie Newman has "lived both lives."

As a middle-class mom, she said she looked down on poor families in subsidized housing - until she became one of them after a divorce. Now, the Westover Village resident is trying to make life a little better for 400 Loveland families like hers by matching them with more able counterparts for the holidays and beyond.

"Most of these people have been stricken with devastation after devastation, and every time they try to get ahead, something else knocks them down," said Newman, who has been promoting her Adopt-A-Family program at city council and school board meetings lately.

She'll start taking applications from families in need and those who want to help from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday at city hall, 120 W. Loveland Ave.

She's hoping families will form a bond and continue their new-found relationships for birthdays and other special events.

Newman said she was struck with the idea as the holidays approached. Last year, her four kids, ranging in age from 6 to 16, would have gone without presents at Christmas if the local Shalom Initiative hadn't interceded and let her shop their annual low-cost toy store free.

For information or other sign-up dates, call Newman at (513) 583-1673 or (513) 289-1485, or e-mail her at Donations also can be made to Adopt-A-Family at any Provident Bank branch.

Behind the badge

LEBANON - Randal Turnbow, human resources manager for the Warren County Sheriff's Office, has been promoted to major and named Warren County Jail administrator.

Turnbow joined the Warren County Sheriff's Office in 1995 as a corrections officer in the jail.

In 1998, he was named human resources manager. Turnbow, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps., became a state-certified police officer in 2002.

He and his wife, Darlene, live in Monroe and have two sons.

In a related move, Detective Larry Sims has been promoted to captain and named human resources manager. He has been with the sheriff's office since 2000, after 22 years with the Muskingum County Sheriff's Office.

Sims and his wife, Tammy, live in Springboro. He is the father of two daughters, a son and a stepson.


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