Non-Profit of the Month


Each Month Vermont Views Magazine is pleased to feature a local non-profit organization.

Past featured non-profits can be accessed in the archive

Photo Credits:

Turning Point

Happy holidays, everyone!


It's been a fun year for Turning Point, and 2013 promises to be very exciting! Meantime, we'll be ringing in the New Year at our second annual Sober Dance at the River Garden (flier attached, and details below). Please share this information with those who might be interested. The December and January calendars are also attached.

New Year's Sober Dance: Monday, December 31, 9:00 p.m. 'til 1:00 a.m.

Are you looking for a family-friendly, nonalcoholic event to ring in the New Year? Turning Point is hosting a Sober Dance at the River Garden on Monday, December 31, from 9:00 p.m. to about 1:00 a.m., and it might be just what you're looking for! This event is for both those in recovery and those who choose a G-rated alternative to celebrate the New Year. This time of year tends to be jam-packed with parties, concerts, and other celebrations, but very often, alcohol is a part of the event. This dance offers another way to celebrate. Ralph Sherman and friends will provide the music, snacks will be provided, and everyone will be able to watch the countdown to New Year's at midnight. A donation of $10.00 is suggested.  

The River Garden's downtown locale provides easy access to other activities taking place that night, making it convenient for people to "party hop" and enjoy as much of what Brattleboro has to offer as possible. Revelers may attend one event for a while, stop in to dance for a while, and then move on. Or, they might choose to spend the evening at the dance. Whatever works!  

Remember: Monday, December 31, 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., at the River Garden, 153 Main Street, $10.00 donation. Contact Turning Point at 802-257-5600 if you have questions. We hope this alcohol-free alternative is appealing to the recovery community and all who support the center. 

NEWS FLASH: Long-term Plans to Move Downtown

Turning Point was located downtown for the first five years of its existence, but we made the tough decision to relocate last summer when the cost of being downtown became prohibitive. We found our new home here at 112 Hardwood Way, and our new facility is wonderful in many ways. However, we feel we'd better serve our mission if we were more accessible, which has led us to discussing ways to locate downtown again.


We've formed a task force of folks who are working on this initiative while the board, volunteers, and director keep moving forward with our current work. The task force has several months to research possibilities; we’re here at least until next August. If you’re interested in helping, please contact the center or reply to this message. Thank you!




Making Change—Wednesdays, 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.
In collaboration with HCRS (Healthcare Rehabilitation Services), Turning Point is offering a Making Change group, geared toward young people (up to 20 or so) who are dealing with substance abuse and other issues. The group helps young people explore choices, develop life goals and plans, identify triggers and traps, and develop sources of support and safety. Heather LeClaire from HCRS is co-facilitating this group with Kathy Gaiser-Licht, one of Turning Point's recovery coaches, and Shayna Feely, an intern from Antioch University. The group is on hiatus until January. A flier is attached.


LifeSkills Workshop—Tuesdays (1/8, 1/10) and Thursdays (1/15, 1/17), 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Turning Point of Windham County and the Phoenix House are collaborating on a series of Lifeskills workshops designed to help people get ready for job hunting. The two-hour, twice-weekly sessions will be co-facilitated by J.C. Colleran from Phoenix House and Nathan Boily, a Turning Point recovery coach. We welcome guests to attend any or all of the sessions, more than once if they’d like. The four-topic series will be repeated several times over the coming months.

Session 1: Employment Readiness and Community Resources

Session 2: Developing a Resume, Cover Letter, and List of References

Session 3: Employment Application; Scheduling Interviewing

Session 4: Interviewing; Practice Questions; Mock Interviews


Community-Based Case Management—Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
In their efforts to be as community based as possible, HCRS will be using our center as an outreach post for community-based case management. Breanne Lucey is available twice a week for two hours to help anyone who needs extra assistance in housing, budgeting, community integration, etc.


Recovery Coaching!
Each Thursday afternoon from 1:00 to 3:00, one of our trained coaches is available to meet with people who want to learn more about coaching. Stop by the center to meet a coach and ask any questions you have about this service.

       It's an exciting time in Vermont for recovery coaching! We have five trained coaches (Becky Gilbert, Kathy Gaiser-Licht, Nathan Boily, Judith Reishman, and Suzie Walker). The next Recovery Coach Academy will be held from February 4 to February 8 at the Wilson House. Anyone who's interested in becoming a coach should contact the center at 802-257-5600 and ask for Suzie. We have grant money available to help with training costs, in exchange for one year of service to Turning Point as part of our coaching team.

      Coaching is getting a lot of attention these days as Vermont develops a “recovery-oriented system of care.” Coaches work one on one with people in recovery, helping them envision what their new life will look like and how they'll achieve their vision. Sometimes when people get clean and sober, they have troubles, including unemployment, lack of stable housing, marital problems, childcare and transportation issues, health and dental issues, and more. A coach knows the agencies that provide assistance and connects the person in need with treatment services, HCRS, Vermont Adult Learning, Early Education Services, Voc Rehab, the Drop-in Center, Morningside Shelter, and so on. By ensuring that people have less instability and calamity in their lives, there's a better chance of success in their recovery from alcoholism or substance abuse. Please contact us if you want to learn more.

    All our coaches are trained through the Vermont Recovery Coach Academy, a week-long 30 hour experiential training that covers everything from practical matters to ethical issues. The attached brochure provides an overview of coaching services.

Events Committee: Brown Bag Lunch Meeting, Thursday, January 10, Noon to 1:00

Turning Point plans monthly social events for our recovery community and to supplement state and other grant monies with monthly fund-raising events. Our main funding sources are modest and allow us to pay only rent/utilities/insurance and support a part-time director. We currently have a part-time volunteer coordinator thanks to a grant from the Thompson Trust. Funding to do most programming and any extras comes from our own local fund-raising efforts. If you'd like to make suggestions to our fund-raising committee, or help with an event, please attend our next meeting on Thursday, January 10, at noon at the center.

     We'll be discussing our fund-raising and promotion plans for next year. After the Sober Dance (see attached flier), the next event is our second annual Groundhog Day BBQ.


Hours: Closed Weekends

We need volunteers available on weekends to help, especially on Sundays for football season. Please help us spread the word, and contact us if you have questions or suggestions.


Community Meetings
We welcome you to attend our weekly community meetings, Mondays from 1:30 to 2:30. These meetings are open to the public, to anyone considering a volunteer role, wanting to help or learn more about what we do, or having a concern or suggestion to bring to our attention. Volunteers and staff attend, as well as board members and recovery coaches. We discuss upcoming events, as well as any issues affecting our center community or the community as a whole.


Volunteering: Do You Want to Help?
Our volunteers are a dedicated, fun bunch of people who give their time to help people in recovery. Sometimes that means providing peer support services to help those in need, and sometimes it's simply chatting, playing pool, hanging out developing friendships. We're always actively recruiting to build our team. Our hope is to have some evening hours, to provide a safe place for people to visit after work, and increase weekend hours. If you know of anyone who would like to volunteer, particularly weekends or after 6:00 p.m., please contact us (257-5600).
       Much of what a volunteer does is simply spend time with people who are looking for a safe place to be; that might mean playing pool, helping them use the computer, watching a video, or just talking. Some volunteers are people in recovery who wish to share their experience and wisdom with others; some act as guest services staff; all are supportive of people who are trying to live a clean and sober life. Sharing the company of people who have traveled the road of recovery for a while is vitally important to those who are new to recovery or who are struggling. We want to be sure people have a safe, sober place to land when they need one. Please consider volunteering. Stop by and visit us, if you haven't already. See what we do, and then decide if you want to help. Join our Community Meeting every Monday at 1:30; guests are welcome. New volunteer orientations for July will be held on the 25th. Call the center and speak with our volunteer coordinator Corinne Kendrick if you'd like to ask questions ahead of time.


Join Our Board of Trustees

It takes a lot of work to support our mission to serve the recovery community. Our board is made up of committed people in recovery and people who are supportive of people in recovery. The trustees oversee the work of the staff and guide our mission. They do so by helping with fund-raising, reaching out to the community, monitoring our financial picture, managing promotion, and more. If you think you'd like to help, please feel free to attend a board meeting, typically held the fourth Monday of each month at the BMH Tyler Conference Room; we meet from 5:45 to 7:15. Please contact the center for details, or just stop by on November 26. 

     We're looking forward to offering more events and more programming! And we couldn't do it without your support. Thanks for all you do to support our center and the local recovery community.


Suzie Walker

Turning Point of Windham County 
PO Box 1303 
Brattleboro, VT 05302 
802-257-5600 (center)