About Us

Assisting people to live and work in the community of their choice.

 

Options for Independence is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit social service agency with the mission of “assisting people to live and work in the community of their choice”. Our goal of “building better communities, one person at a time” has guided us throughout our twenty-five year history. Formed in 1992 through a grant by the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council, Options for Independence’s initial efforts began with case management for persons with developmental disabilities. Over the years, we have added services to include support for persons with developmental disabilities, persons with serious mental illness, persons who are homeless, persons who struggle with chronic underemployment, persons affected by natural disasters and those persons with substance abuse needs. Our staff delivers services to individuals and families from age 3 through the lifespan that live within Assumption, Lafourche, Terrebonne, St. Mary, St. John, St. James and St. Charles parishes.

Over the years, Options for Independence has grown, partly through our own initiative, but largely through our response to calls for services from within the communities we serve. Our growth in services includes support for a wide variety of needs including support for persons with developmental disabilities, persons with serious mental illnesses, persons who are homeless, persons who struggle with chronic underemployment, persons with physical limitations and persons affected by natural disasters.

Options for Independence is known to be creative, eager, resourceful and passionate, with a genuine willingness to work and partner with others. We offer strong community leadership and innovative solutions with a proven success record in program development and implementation of services for special populations. The Management team of Options for Independence is strong, experienced, and committed to enhancing the lives of people with barriers to recovery by helping them develop skills that contribute to self-sufficiency.

Not quite a household name, Options for Independence works quietly in the background of the lives of the people we serve to assist persons to live and work in the community of their choice. At the departmental level of the state, local, and federal agencies, as well as among major benevolent foundations, Options for Independence is a well-known, proven and trusted partner, often engaged to assist other organizations to achieve positive outcomes through pragmatic, well-organized programs.

There is so much more to know and learn about Options for Independence. We welcome your inquiries and feedback.

All of our services are provided through a team approach of staff members including licensed, master’s level and bachelor’s level professionals. The majority of our services are provided in the participant’s home and community. Find out more information about our behavioral health services.


Meet Our Team

  • Barry Chauvin

    CEO and President

    Our founder and CEO, Barry Chauvin is as enthusiastic about our mission today as he was 25 years ago when we opened our doors in April of 1992. Barry, along with a few local and state leaders in the disabilities field, created Options for Independence to assist children and adults with developmental disabilities to move from institutional care back to their home communities. Since that time, our mission has expanded to serving all people experiencing barriers to living and working in the community of their choice. Barry has always sought to fill service gaps in the community and has led us to continually implement newer, proven models of care and to develop new programs. Whether it’s a new behavioral health team, a home for teenage girls or building affordable housing for families, Barry continually challenges himself and everyone at Options for Independence to find a way of “building better communities one person at a time”.

     

  • Mary Davis

    Board of Directors, Secretary

    Mary Archer Freet Davis has been a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of Louisiana since 1989. She was previously the Director and Clinical Manager for a Children’s Assertive Community Treatment project from 1994 until 2000. A retired Nationally Certified School Psychologist, she has worked with emotionally disturbed children and their families through the Child Protection Unit of the Louisiana Office of Community Services and the Terrebonne Parish School Board Pupil Appraisal Office. Currently, her private practice specializes in the supervision of master’s level Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselors preparing for state licensure.

  • Randall Alfred

    Board of Directors, Treasurer

    Randall M. “Randy” Alfred, a Terrebonne Parish native, has been a practicing attorney for 39 years. He is married to Denise Marcel Alfred and they have two sons and two grandsons. He is a founder of Options for Independence, a past President and a board member of the Kiwanis Club of Houma and the Bayou Board of Realtors Attorney for over 20 years.

  • Rebecca Hoffmann-Spears, LCSW-BACS

    Clinical Director

    Rebecca obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from Nicholls State University in Family and Consumer Sciences in 2001. At that time, she entered into Tulane University where she obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work in December 2002. Since that time, Rebecca has worked in the fields of juvenile justice, medical social work, oncology social work, behavioral health, substance abuse, residential care and disaster-related services. Rebecca earned her Licensed Social Work Credential in 2006 and became a board approved clinical supervisor in 2012. Rebecca joined the Options for Independence family in 2008 as a part-time Substance Abuse counselor in the Adolescent Intense Outpatient Program. In 2009, Rebecca joined the staff at Options for Independence full time. Since April 2015, Rebecca has served as the agency Clinical Director. In this position, Rebecca is responsible for the planning, direction, and monitoring of all aspects of the Behavioral Health programs at Options for Independence. In this role, she is responsible for serving as the primary liaison to managed care organizations and community partners, supervises and supports the program supervisors and their teams, serves as the primary marketer for agency behavioral health services and supervises staff for licensing requirements.

    Working with Rebecca are:

    • Katrina Billiot, MSW, LMSW – Hooper Dorm Program Director
    • Leona Thibodaux – Administrative Assistant
    • Joyce Matthews -Receptionist
    • Laurie Brand, LCSW – Counselor
    • Katie Champagne, LCSW – Counselor
    • Angelle Thibodaux, LPC – Assessor
  • Danielle Angeron, MD

    Medical Director

    Dr. Danielle Angeron is board certified in Family Medicine. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Louisiana State University in 2001. She received her medical degree from LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans in 2005. Dr. Angeron completed her residency at East Jefferson General Hospital in 2008. She is currently in private practice with SLMA in Houma. She treats patients of all age groups with a wide range of medical problems.

  • Sherl Turner, PHR, SHRM-CPHR

    Human Resources and Operations Director

    Sherl received her Bachelor’s Degree from Nicholls State University in Business Administration in 1992, her Professional in Human Resources Certification from HR Certification Institute – HRCI in 2012 and her SHRM Certified Professional from the Society for Human Resource Management – SHRM in 2015. She started with Options in the Assertive Community Treatment Program in 2000.

    Working with Sherl are:

    • Courtney Damen – Nutrition Educator
    • Heather Theard – Nutrition Educator
    • Gail Dubois – Custodian
  • Angelle Caro Thibodeaux

    Angelle Caro Thibodeaux, Licensed Professional Counselor, Assessments

    I really enjoy doing assessments with our participants. I enjoy having the opportunity to meet with so many people and provide guidance and encouragement to participants and their family members. I am also grateful to work with the Options for Independence family. I feel that they are some of the most compassionate and caring coworkers that I have encountered throughout my career.

    When not at work, I enjoy traveling and having fun with my family. I also enjoy serving our community through various non profit service organizations and projects.

  • Roosevelt Thomas

    Roosevelt Thomas,Housing Coordinator

    Roosevelt has been with the Options family for the last 17 years. Roosevelt helps those who have never lived independently be able to do so. He likes, “knowing that a family will be helped with a new beginning and that families can enjoy the luxury of living in a home that is adequate for today’s standard of living.”

    Working with Roosevelt is:

    • Aaron Champagne, B.A. – Team Support Coordinator
  • Dayna R. Price, LPC-S

    Functional Family Therapy (FFT) and Community Psychiatric Supportive Treatment (CPST) and Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) Program(s) Supervisor, FFT National Consultant

    Dayna attended Nicholls State University and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences in December of 1998 and a Master of Arts in Psychological Counseling in 2005. Dayna obtained her LPC licensure with the state of Louisiana in October of 2008. She is also a Louisiana LPC-board approved clinical supervisor. She is the supervisor of the Functional Family Therapy (FFT) program and has been so since it’s inception at Options in January of 2009. Dayna is also a national consultant for Functional Family Therapy, LLC. Dayna has been employed with Options for the past 17 years working with youth and adults in various programs, but she has been a supervisor with the agency for the past 10 years.

    Working with Dana are:

    • Anya Carter-Ward, MSW, RSW – Therapist
    • Cynthia Watt, M. Ed. – Therapist
    • Charniece Scott, LMSW – Therapist
    • Cierra Johnson, LMSW – Therapist
    • Jovonne Harris-Norman, M.A. – Therapist
    • Kimberly Mellion, B.S. – Therapist
    • Jazsmin Roundtree, B.A. Jazsmin – Therapist and CPST/PSR Case Manager
  • Fatima Griffin, M.S., LPC, NCC

    Anger Management, Counseling Center, Psychiatry and Substance Abuse Program(s) Supervisor

    Fatima Griffin earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Xavier University of LA in 2008. She went back to school where she earned her Master of Science Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Walden University in 2013. Fatima became licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Louisiana in April 2016. Fatima has a background in child abuse and neglect, geriatrics, and substance abuse. She currently works as the Supervisor of the Anger Management, Counseling Center, Psychiatry and Substance Abuse programs. Fatima works closely with our child psychiatrist from Tulane University.

    Working with Fatima are:

    • Aaron Champagne, B.A. – Team Support Specialist
    • Leshecca Norman, LPC – Counselor
    • Ethan Nicholas, LMSW, LAC – Anger Management
  • Akansha Thakur, MD

     

    Akanksha Thakur, MD, Psychiatrist

    Akanksha Thakur, MD is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Tulane University School of Medicine. After completing medical school at Tulane University School of Medicine in 2010, she trained in general psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. She then returned to New Orleans where she completed child psychiatry fellowship at Tulane. Dr. Thakur is interested in increasing access to care, especially for rural populations in Southwest Louisiana, telemedicine, school mental health, cultural psychiatry, and psychodynamics.

  • Richard Bergeron, II, PMHNP-BC

    Nurse Practitioner 

  • Lamara Johnson, LMSW

    Multisystemic Therapy (MST) Program Supervisor

    Lamara Johnson is a Licensed Master Social Worker, who is working towards her licensure to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences, with a concentration in Child, Family and Social Services, from Nicholls State University in 2006. In 2011, she obtained her Master of Social Work Degree from Southern University at New Orleans. Lamara has worked with youth and adults with substance use and mental health disorders. In 2007, she joined the Options for Independence team; she had held many different positions within the organization. Lamara currently supervises the Multisystemic Therapy (MST) Program.

    Working with Lamara are:

    • Allison Betts, MSW, RSW – Therapist
    • Latoya Celestin, LMSW – Therapist
    • Diamond Triggs, PLPC – Therapist
    • Marquita Turner, PLPC – Therapist
  • Robin Johnson, LMSW-FFT-CW

    Functional Family Therapy – Child Welfare (FFT – CW) Program Supervisor

    Robin Johnson is a Licensed Master Social Worker. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Associates in Criminal Justice from Nicholls State University in 2011. In 2014, she obtained her Master of Social Work Degree from Southern University at New Orleans. Robin Johnson has worked as an advocate for families since 2003 and has worked with youth who have substance use and/or mental health disorders at a community-based level, and joined the Options for Independence team in 2013. Robin currently supervises the Functional Family. Therapy Child Welfare Program (FFT-CW).

    Working with Robin are:

    • Jordyn Serigne, M.C.M.H.C. – Therapist
    • Latasha A. Williams, M.H.S. – Therapist
  • Katrina Billiot, LMSW-HD

    Hooper Dorm Program Director

    Katrina Billiot is a Licensed Master Social Worker. In 2009, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Child, Family & Social Services from Nicholls State University. That same year, Katrina began her career with Options for Independence, working as a Workforce Development Specialist, providing education and support services to participants of both the Lafourche Parish School Board and Louisiana Vocational-Rehabilitation Services. In 2012, she obtained her Master of Social Work Degree from Tulane University. Katrina currently serves as the Program Director for Options for Independence- Hooper Dorm, a non-medical residential group home for girls. Her responsibilities include management of the dorm and overall program, as well as maintaining a cooperative partnership with all involved agencies and service providers. Katrina’s passion is easily seen in her approaches and daily interactions with the residents and staff. She, along with her team, have a deepened commitment to achieve a profound impact on the lives of the children served.

    Working with Katrina are:

    • Service Plan Manager: Tiffany Batiste, M.A.
    • Direct Care Workers 2: Kori Brown, Lori Pennison and Nicole Pitre
    • Direct Care Workers: Janai Joseph, Holly Trahan, Tabitha Little, LaKenna Lewis, Kay Billiot, Cindy Crochet and Danielle Hartman
  • Kristie G. Mazur, B.S.

    Communications Coordinator

    Kristie Guidry Mazur graduated from Nicholls State University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in General Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration on Child, Family and Social Services. She has 16 years of experience working with program administration, development, implementation, and evaluation as well as grant administration, resource development and management, professional training, community development, client advocacy and community education and outreach. She serves as the Communications Coordinator for Options for Independence and has worked with Options since February 2011. Currently, Kristie’s focus is maintaining Options for Independence’s Behavioral Health license, Non-Medical Group Home license, and CARF accreditation.