Grant helps with Turning Point's education, emergency housing efforts

Editor’s note: The SHARE Foundation recently announced grants to 11 area nonprofits focused on intervention and prevention of crime and violence through the foundation’s Union County Violence Intervention Plan (VIP). This story is part of a series of articles highlighting the programs funded, at least in part, with those grants.

Preventing violence isn't accomplished by one organization or one program. That's the impetus behind the SHARE Foundation's Violence Intervention Program grants, according to the foundation, providing funding for a variety of programs at 11 different organizations.

Working toward that goal, Turning Point sends a prevention education teachers to speak with K-12 students in Union County schools with a message of anti-bullying (including cyberbulling) for elementary students and a safe dating curriculum for teens. Turning Point interim director Danielle Monroe said the $19,000 VIP grant the organization will receive also helps pay for a staff member who coordinates Turning Point's women's shelter.

"Our prevention education teacher visits the schools," Monroe said. "She also does community events, goes into churches, local meetings with organizations like the Touch Coalition. The grant enables her to get us out there in the community and educate, work toward breaking the cycle of violence."

Turning Point has an emergency shelter which offers case management, advocacy, referrals and support groups for individuals, who can stay up to 30 days, with possible extensions. The organization, which was founded in 1983, also provides a 24-7 hotline for crisis intervention (870-862-0929), support and referrals, children and youth programs, women’s outreach, emergency response teams and community education.

Monroe said Turning Point's shelter coordinator provides case management for shelter guests, helping them explore job opportunities, find transportation to and from work and doctor's appointments. The nonprofit can accommodate up to 16 women in their shelter.

"We provide emergency housing, rooms and food, all hygiene necessities; we provide internet access, clothing and shoes, a washer and dryer," Monroe said. "They don't have to go anywhere, they can be as comfortable as possible."

Monroe said that the support from the SHARE Foundation is vitally important to the outreach and emergency housing efforts.

"The SHARE Foundation supports us so we can support our community," she said. "It means a lot to us."

• About the grants: The SHARE Foundation recently announced grants to 11 area nonprofits focused on intervention and prevention of crime and violence through the foundation’s Union County Violence Intervention Plan (VIP). The grants, totaling $324,371 dollars, are the organization’s third round of VIP grants and thirty-second round of grant awards overall. With the grant announcement, the SHARE Foundation has now give more than $8 million in grants and strategic initiatives to 91 different nonprofits operating in Union County, according to a press release from the organization. The grants fund items including operations, specific programs, software purchases and more.

SHARE’s VIP program began in 2018 and focuses on six areas: mentoring, re-entry, neighborhood watches/clean neighborhoods, parenting/life skills, jobs/targeted education, and mental health/substance and drug abuse.

For more details on the SHARE Foundation, visit their website at sharefoundation.com. The foundation’s Violence Intervention Plan, it’s strategies and intended outcomes are available to review. Contact Debbie Watts, vice president of community impact at SHARE Foundation at 870-881-9015 for more information or to get involved.

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