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Community Development Systems & The Diamond Foundation Are Dedicated To Development Of The Whole Person

by Amanda Smith

Founded in 2001, Community Development Systems, Inc. is dedicated to developing the whole person through the assessment and treatment of behavioral and emotional disorders. Through experience, training and education in human behavior and mental processes, and psychological research methods, CDS, Inc. strives to help individuals reach their full potential by providing mental health counseling and therapeutic services that promote positive change in a holistic healing process.

Located at 401 Cherry Street in Macon, Georgia, CDS, Inc. was conceived and founded by President and CEO Paula Sims. Sims has been a Licensed Professional Counselor for ten years and has been recognized as a National Certified Counselor for eleven years. She is a Nationally Certified School Counselor and served as an adjunct Professor at Macon State College and Central Georgia Technical College. She has worked in the Macon/Middle Georgia community for more than a decade, providing counseling and therapy; employability skills; life skills and Workplace Psychology. Paula Sims is a Life Coach, helping others to become self-sufficient and find their purpose in life and their place in the community.

Fueled by her passion for the homeless and her desire to give back to the community, Sims founded The Diamond Foundation USA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. "One of the reasons that I felt it was important for me to start The Diamond Foundation is because of the importance of giving back to the community, a value instilled in me by my parents," said Sims. "CDS has done well and I felt that I needed to work equally as hard on something that I was passionate about without gaining anything. The second reason stems from being a therapist and dealing with social issues through entities such as the Department of Family and Children Services and River Edge Behavioral Health and the public school system," she continued. "With my experience and knowledge, I realized that I could teach people how to gain control of their lives, even in a bad economy. We give individuals a hand up, but it is equally important to give them the skills they need to be independent so they don't have to go back to relying on others for their basic needs." Teaching others the skills to become and remain self-sufficient, Sims has a proven track record of enhancing the lives of others and she is committed to the philosophy of Confucius which states, Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.

Community Development Systems and The Diamond Foundation are similar in that they both identify those in need, (mental health and homeless population) and assist with self-achievement of independent living. TDF establishes programs and will build partnerships with local businesses and vendors such as the Family Counseling Center of Central Georgia, Loaves and Fishes Ministries, Macon-Bibb County Economic Opportunity Council, the Macon Rescue Mission and the United Way in order to meet this mission. "A key component is partnerships," said Sims. "A lot of people are trying to address the homeless problem. We aren’t trying to move anyone out of the way; it truly takes a village. We utilize the resources that are already out there and add skills and training to assist people in becoming self-sufficient," she added. "We try to fill the gap in resources so that together, we can all say at the end of the day that our collaborative efforts have worked."

The Diamond Foundation provides a number of programs that assist individuals and families on the road to self-sufficiency.

- Selection of educational programs for adults and youth to provide the support needed for youth education and adult job placement

- Life Skills training to teach specific skills and the motivation to use these skills as well as access to local resources that are available based on specific needs

- Service coordinators make referrals to outside service providers for services such as mental health counseling, physical examinations, and post secondary educational courses and training

- Transition Management assists with reintroduction of the family to independent living and with becoming contributors to the community

Mental illness can result in an individual's diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life. Chronic homelessness is a tragic condition that affects the human spirit profoundly. Community Development Systems, Inc. and The Diamond Foundation USA help individuals and families find their strengths and abilities and assists with the road to achievement and productivity -- a priceless gift that cannot be adequately described or measured in a few words.

There are many ways to help The Diamond Foundation in its pursuit to transition homeless families back to self-sufficiency. Volunteers play a significant role in all of the programs of The Diamond Foundation and those interested in giving back to the community are encouraged to participate. The Foundation's volunteer base is diverse and experienced in many areas and come from local congregations, schools and colleges, community groups, and the private sector. They are individuals who have a desire to share their time, hope, and compassion. "I think volunteering should be a humanistic part of every individual," said Sims. "We should all be doing something in our lifetime to benefit others. You can start at any time, but giving back is a necessity to personal satisfaction in our later years."

Monetary donations can be made in a number of ways. Interested persons can donate online at www.thediamondfoundation.org or call the office at (478) 254-7292. You can also mail a gift to

Community Development Systems, Inc.
401 Cherry Street - Suite 505 - Macon, Georgia 31201
Or
The Diamond Foundation
401 Cherry Street - Suite 200 - Macon, Georgia 31201

 

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Paula Sims
Paula Sims