For the past 11 years, Turning Point has served as a crucial mechanism in Graham- really a haven for those down to their final second chance.
On Feb. 8, the substance abuse center located on Indiana Street will host its annual fund raiser banquet, in which they will serve food and have a silent auction. The annual event is key to Turning Point’s survival, an institution whose only funding comes from private donations and contributions.
“We have no government affiliation at all,” said Turning Point board member Joe Siskar. “We operate with a board of trustees and we have an executive director, an office manager and some counselors.”
The fund raiser coming up this Saturday is Turning Point’s largest source of revenue for the entire year. It helps pay the salaries of all of its staff and allows the program to stay open.
“We have so many different goals that we have planned for the upcoming year,” said Turning Point Executive Director Christie Blue. “We want to get more family involvement. I want to do a monthly lecture where the family can understand what the addiction is doing to them and teach them ways not to enable their loved ones.”
Blue also wants to open a satellite center in Breckenridge that will eventually become free standing. Turning Point is strictly an outpatient treatment center, but it does sometimes refer substance abusers to outpatient facilities in Texas. For it’s own part, in the last two years the center has had 166 clients with a 56 percent success rate. This means that 56 percent of clients since 2011 have completed their recovery program successfully.
But really, as important as the fund raiser is for the substance abuse center, the city of Graham will have lost one of its most important addiction resources if it ever loses Turning Point. It is the only substance abuse center in the city, and one of only two of its kind in surrounding counties, the other in Mineral Wells.
“Breckenridge has nothing. The closest thing to Breckenridge is in Graham or Abilene,” Blue said. “Then there’s Jacksboro, where the closest center is here in Graham. We’re the only center in the area that helps.”
Blue explained that because services provided by Turning Point are completely free, there is no specific socioeconomic demographic the center caters to, and that equates to many more people being helped.
One of those recently helped by Turning Point is Sherri Hall. Hall was a severe alcoholic for 33 years. At her most destructive, she was drinking two cases of beer per day.
“This went on for 17 years,” Hall said of her peak drinking period. “But then I got DWI’s, and then I noticed that my children were not doing right, and the next thing you know, my children were moving away from me and wanted nothing to do with me because I was an alcoholic.”
Through instigators including a dying marriage and children who could no longer be in her presence, her drinking got worse. Hall eventually had enough, heard about Turning Point through a friend of hers, and called pleading for help.
Over the next several months, Hall went through a regimented program that included one-on-one counseling sessions that helped her identify the underlying reasons for her addiction.
“Them people saved my life,” she said of Turning Point. “They talk to you like you’re a human being. They don’t talk to you like you’re just someone off the street, and you could be, but they don’t talk to you like that. They give you insight as to what is going on.”
Read the entire story in this Wednesday's Graham Leader.