Exposed to entrepreneurship by his family, Kevin Jordan’s desire to own his business was inevitable. Internships at Duquesne University exposed him to Corporate America, he then realized he wanted to be the boss. “I had to learn the mechanics of running a business: the key aspects of assessing business risk, understanding supply and demand, target marketing, team building and raising capital gave me the ability and confidence I needed.”
Jordan was contacted by Dr. Omar Reid, a clinical psychologist, who operates several mental health clinics in Boston. They both agreed with the poverty and discrimination in Pittsburgh a clinic with a cultural focus was needed. Jordan says, “I began the process to execute a plan to meet the market needs. It took two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars before we opened. We needed the exact talent to assist with policies/procedure manuals, credentialing with insurance companies, Medicaid, meetings with government officials, etc.”
The goal is to help individuals, families and ultimately the community to focus and live productive lives. ABS provides outpatient mental health, psychiatric, drug and alcohol abuse services, and psychotherapy counseling services for children/adults experiencing behavioral challenges and acute mental illnesses. “Cultural competence is our philosophy,” says Jordan. “African American culture is unique, throughout our transition in American society we’ve had to overcome obstacles and barriers that others haven’t endured. Our family customs, norms and language are unique to us. It’s the understanding of ‘living in our skin’ that provides ABS the insight to assist our people. That sets us apart. You cannot learn that in a classroom or a book.” Why a ‘for–profit’ establishment? “Money, we want to make money. We want the market share. We are intentional in this. ABS is a corporation, we have a professional culture that mimics corporate yet we maintain the spirit and feel of a not-for-profit. You can start a non-profit but you don’t own it. You cannot Will a non-profit to your heirs. Therefore, no wealth can be passed to the next generation,” says Jordan. Understanding this society is about wealth accumulation, Jordan is confident ABS could be a model for African American entrepreneurs to recognize how to generate wealth. “We should learn to be on the giving side of philanthropy. I’ve been fortunate to have worked in both environments and understand the difference in not only the cultures associated with each but also the mindsets.” ABS maintains three facilities: East Liberty, Edgewood Town Center and Aliquippa (December 2016). Opportunities to acquire/merge with healthcare businesses and franchising/licensing are possibilities. Jordan declares, “I don’t have the need to say I own my own business. I want to generate wealth. At some point I would also like to advise others on how to do the same.” Contact: Adaptive Behavioral Services, Inc. 412-661-7790; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.absjamz.com.
This article was first published in Soul Pitt Quarterly Print Magazine (Fall 2016). Copyright Soul Pitt Media. All Rights Reserved.