Turning Point, Macomb County’s only agency dedicated to providing assistance for domestic and sexual assault victims, has launched an aggressive fundraising campaign to cover the costs of erecting a larger building to accommodate the spike in assistance.
The goal of the 2012 Capital Campaign fund is to raise $3 million by next year to construct a new intensive emergency shelter in Macomb County. Turning Point officials said the current building is outdated and can no longer accommodate the growing needs of the community.
In 2011, Turning Point provided emergency shelter for 477 women and children, and assisted in more than 12,000 callers on the 24-7 emergency crisis hotline. That's up from 454 women and children serviced at the shelter in 2010 and 11,006 callers.
Turning Point Development Director Lynn Wilhelm told Patch she believes the numbers would be even higher. However, women are now staying at the shelter longer, from 30 to up to 90 days because of a lack of affordable housing and other resources.
“The safety net for domestic violence and sexual assault is shrinking," said Turning Point President and CEO, Suzanne Coats. "Numerous local and high profile cases have brought this issue to the forefront, clearly showing the need for a new shelter in our community.”
Wilhem said she the struggling economy definitely puts pressure on domestic violence situations, but the increased awareness that there is help for an age-old form of abuse, has brought more women through the shelter’s doors.
In 2010, there were 7,779 reports of domestic violence and 600 reports of sexual assault in Macomb County alone. The 2011 numbers have not yet been reported.
Since Turning Point started in 1980, it has sheltered more than 23,000 women and children. Turning Point also provides counseling, advocacy, and prevention education as well as offering Southeast Michigan’s first forensic nurse examiner program.
The proposed building would be located two doors down from the existing shelter. It will be a new facility built around an exisiting building, according to Wilhelm.
Wilhelm told Patch the organization will be escalating it’s fundraising efforts by word of mouth, by hosting more events, by sending out more mailers and asking the community for donations.
Currently, their major contributors include: Macomb County CDBG ARRA, McGregor Fund, The Kresge Foundation, The Carls Foundation, Elizabeth, Allen and Warren Shelden Fund, The Wayne and Joan Webber Foundation, and others who have helped Turning Point reach two thirds of their $3 million target.
For campaign information visit www.turningpointmacomb.org.