By: Sophie Beal
Barbara Favors, a talented Gateway Case Manager won Employee of the Month this September! Ms. Favors is incredibly insightful about her work with men recovering from homelessness–which is not surprising considering she’s worked at GWC as a Case Manager since 2006 (just 6 months after we opened!) and for Fulton County in Substance Abuse Counseling for nearly 15 years prior. Among the many kind things her clients had to say in their Employee of the Month nominations was written, “She is an angel who deserves a 5-star all expenses paid vacation in Jamaica.” We wholeheartedly agree.
Get to know Barbara Favors:
Where are you from originally?
Georgia. I’m a Grady baby.
What led you to Gateway?
I actually worked for Fulton County for over 15 years doing substance abuse counseling and at some point, the economy bottomed out and within a year the county went through a rift, so as a result I lost a job there. But I had applied for a Gateway job when they originally opened and sometime down the line I got a call and, of course, I accepted the position. I’ve been here since 2006. About 6 months after Gateway opened.
I actually love the population that we serve. I’ve said over the years that it is my passion. I learned after I got here that the population I served while I was with Fulton County all those years were often exactly the same people. In fact, people would come in the door and say “Ms. Barbara what are you doing here?” And I’m like “I’m working… What are YOU doing here?” Like I said, this is my passion.
What inspires you most about this work?
I’ve had the opportunity over the years to see many lives changed. I learned early on that you may not have a whole lot of successes, but one success here and there is a whole lot of success. I’ve learned to appreciate that.
If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?
Discover how big your dream is, and follow your dream no matter how big it is.
What is the hardest part about this work for you?
I think the hardest part for me is encouraging people to believe in themselves. I don’t think a whole lot of people believe in themselves enough to invest in themselves. In this line of work it sometimes feels like you care more for them and their wellbeing than they do. The hardest part is getting people to see that this is a joint venture. It is not just me trying to help you. I do know that I am not able to help anyone who is not able to help themselves. So the hardest part for is just getting them to be on board.
What’s your favorite spot in Atlanta?
What do you do in your free time?
I love music and I enjoy dancing. I do line dances, Chicago and ballroom step. And I love reading and I love the water. Sadly, you have to go outside of Atlanta to get to the water.
What’s your favorite book?
I’ve always read and always like to read self-help books. Like Joyce Myers and T.D. Jakes. I’m big on enhancing self-awareness and I think the more aware we are of self the better we are able to excel.
Do you have a favorite quote?
My clients will tell you I say to them all the time: “Winners do what they gotta do. Losers do what they want to do.” And I always encourage them to play to win.
Congratulations Barbara Favors! People like you make the world a better place.