BRATTLEBORO -- Since 2006 the staff at Turning Point of Windham County have been helping people recover. The non-profit organization works with visitors who are trying to rebuild their lives and make a new start after coming to terms with their addictions.
Now, over the next few months, staff and supporters will extend that recovery to a new home which the group just bought, as well as to the organization itself. Turning Point of Windham County recently closed on a deal to purchase a home at 39 Elm Street in downtown Brattleboro. The building will need work, Turning Point of Windham County Executive Director Susan Walker said, but she is confident the support will be there to help the group finish the project.
And after spending more than two years at its present location off of Putney Road, Walker said the staff is also looking forward to making themselves more available to the people who need help who might not have been able to travel out to North Brattleboro.
"We moved out of downtown because the rent was so high and the heating bills were costing so much. If we were going to help anybody it didn't make sense to use so much money for that," Walker said. "But being out on Putney Road has been more of a barrier than we thought it would be. We have been seeing fewer people."
Turning Point offers a safe and supportive meeting place for people have been affected by addiction and want to begin or strengthen their recovery. Volunteers and staff have experience with addiction recovery and work with others who are trying to move forward. Turning Point works with the Brattleboro Retreat's outpatient programs and also receives support from Health Care and Rehabilitation Services, which supports the Turning Point coaching program. The organization does not offer professional counseling or medical help, but can help find other groups in the area that can address those needs.
Turning Point moved out of downtown Brattleboro one day before Tropical Storm Irene hit. Since then staff and volunteers have been serving people in recovery out at its location at 112 Hardwood Way, off of Putney Road, across from Black Mountain Road.
About a year ago Walker said a task force was put together to help find a new location in downtown Brattleboro. Earlier this year the house on Elm Street was put up for auction, partly because the house was damaged in Tropical Storm Irene and the former owner could not afford to rehabilitate the building. Then last week Turning Point's bid was accepted and the organization now has a new home.
But the building will need recovery work of its own.
Walker said in the coming months Turning Point will be looking for donations to see the project through, adding the group will try to organize volunteer labor teams to do some of the construction work inside to make the space available to the Turning Point visitors.
"We're beyond thrilled," she said. "We just love the idea that this building will experience a renaissance of its own, recovering from Tropical Storm Irene while our guests enjoy their own personal recovery."
For more information go to Facebook.com/Turning-Point-of-Windham-County.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at email@example.com; or 802-254-2311, ext. 279. You can follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer.