History

Turning Point, the only domestic violence program in Union County, has been in existence since 1985 offering support and advocacy to victims of domestic violence.  In early 1986, a crisis hot line was established. Later that year, the program was expanded to include support groups.  These groups offered a safe atmosphere where victims of domestic violence could express their feelings and learn about the dynamics of domestic violence.

In May of 1988, an opportunity to open a temporary shelter in the recently vacated homeless shelter was enthusiastically greeted by the community.  The temporary site offered the possibility of developing into a program and service that could only have been implemented within a shelter setting.  In November, the homeless shelter resumed its winter operation.  Turning Point was then squeezed into a two bedroom, one bath shelter that offered no privacy, unsafe play areas for the children, and little opportunity for one-on-one counseling.  The house filled to capacity more often than not, which limited the program from effectively meeting the needs of increased numbers of women and children who were victims of family violence.

The “DREAM” of a permanent shelter was realized in April of 1989 when Turning Point purchased a four-bedroom house with four acres of land.  Clients were first housed in the shelter in August of 1989.  This permanent location for the shelter provided adequate living space for 16 clients, privacy, a safe enclosed playground for the children, and an opportunity for individual counseling.

As support for the program grew and residents saw a need for affordable housing and life skills training, a new program developed.  With the help of a special county resident, a home was donated for Turning Point’s use.  Cassie’s Place, the transitional housing program, helps battered women make the transition from living in the emergency shelter to independent living.  The women involved in this program are taught budgeting and parenting skills.  This helps to reduce the chance of them returning to an abusive relationship because of economic hardship or emotional dependency.

In 1998, Turning Point begin a Children’s Program called The HERO Program.

On December 1, 1999 a Groundbreaking Ceremony was held for the new Turning Point facility.

In 2001, Turning Point completed an 11,000 square foot new facility with 42 beds.

In 2007, Turning Point started our Hispanic Outreach Program.

On July 1, 2015, Turning Point acquired the Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC) and Tree House Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) from Safe Alliance in Union County. The SARC provides survivors of sexual assault with a 24/7 crisis line, hospital accompaniment for a sexual assault kit, support groups, counseling, and advocacy appointments to assist with safety planning, crisis intervention, resource referrals, and court accompaniment. The Tree House CAC is a multi-disciplinary approach to child abuse investigations. Turning Point’s Tree House provides a forensic interview, medical exam, trauma assessment, advocacy, and counseling/support groups for children and their non-offending caregivers who have been sexually abused, physically abused, or witnessed violence in their home. The two new programs are located at 150 Winchester Avenue.