Eric & Elaine Johnson are both Certified Faith-Based Counselors specializing in marriage and family relationships. The Johnson’s are a husband and wife team who work side by side in their vision of building and restoring relationships. Although, their ministry of counsel began while mentoring young girls and boys in public schools and local churches, Eric and Elaine soon found themselves acting as relationship mediators with couples they encountered. The Johnson’s noticed many families simply didn’t know how to relate to each other in a healthy manner. The Johnson’s are responding to this incredible need by giving individuals the tools to have successful, healthy relationships through innovative, interactive educational workshops.
In 1992 Eric was recruited by Youth Potential Network (YPN), a non-profit youth empowerment program, to mentor youth in the North Forest Independent School District. Eric expanded YPN’s reach to Alief, Klien, and Houston Independent School Districts, foster care facilities and group homes by 1994 serving more than 300 families. Eric’s continued success with youth inspired him to expand his reach to adults through Single Society where he facilitated study group sessions for singles who were preparing for marriage.
Elaine joined the YPN team in 1994 where she headed the young women’s program. In 1998, Elaine launched Explore Academy, a home-school co-op which focused of purpose driven education. Later, in 2003 Elaine worked with the City of Houston as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor in the Sunnyside Community Center. Elaine was later contracted by St. Mary’s UMC to launch their Children’s Church Program which was nonexistent to children to 25 children from the community per Sunday.
Eric and Elaine began Optimum Lifestyle Community Development Corporation (OLCDC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2004 to strengthen marriages and families by providing marriage enrichment, financial literacy, AIDS and domestic violence training, abstinence education and life-skills and development workshops. We focus our efforts on promoting and maintaining healthy marriage and family relationships. OLCDC accomplishes this focus by giving individuals the tools to have successful, healthy relationships and cultivate a positive relationship culture within our communities.
Since 2004, Optimum Lifestyle CDC has served over 3,000 of Houston area individuals and families with various collaborating organizations. With these organizations, we have offered a wide range of innovative programs designed to meet the complex needs of married, engaged, cohabiting and single people.
Epitome magazine featured the Johnson’s as the May 2008 Role Model of the Month. In 2010, the Johnson’s were honored by a world renowned television show, ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for their work with children and families in Houston. Their show reached more than 12 million households with their message of love and togetherness through the hard times.
The Johnson’s are paying it forward by continuing to accomplish their vision by working with AVANCE Houston – a Head Start Early Childhood nonprofit organization. While working with AVANCE Houston, Eric and Elaine have served more than 350 families through AVANCE’s Community Empowerment Program.
Eric and Elaine also serve as President and Secretary of New South Union Civic Association as well as sit on Steering Committees of SETHA – South East Houston Transformation Alliance and CJL – Community Justice League.