A holiday helping hand

Turning Point Advocacy Services offers support services and emergency shelter to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence

By Brett Auten

Warrenton’s Turning Point Advocacy Services is wanting to make sure that its clients have the best holiday season possible.

And with a little help from you, 2019 will end in celebration.
Turning Point provides support services and emergency shelter to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. Each month the 30-bed shelter is near capacity as it serves as a safe harbor to about 20 adults and 15 children. The shelter (where the average stay per guest is 48 days) has a kitchen, community spaces and beds. It is asking for people to add a few things to their holiday shopping lists to help clients staying in the shelter during the holiday season.

“We can’t offer a warm, safe place for our families to stay without help from our communities,” Jolynn Houchins, executive director of Turning Point, said. “These donations are vital to our existence and the very security of the people we help.”

Turning Point serves individuals and families in Franklin, Gasconade, Lincoln, Montgomery, Warren and St. Charles counties. Its goal is to help survivors and their children overcome the cycle of abuse. Turning Point provides a variety of services that embrace the complex needs that survivors of domestic violence face in the wake of abuse, violence, destruction and the resulting homelessness.  No individual is ever charged for any service received at Turning Point. All staff and volunteers protect privacy and confidentiality to the fullest extent of the law.

Houchins said the shelter has a continuous need for personal and household items along with gift cards for gas and groceries.

“We have needs for all the very basic things we all need to get through our days and nights,” she said. “We have a particular wish list for the holidays, for items that will provide comfort for months and years to come.”

The big ticket items include two industrial size freezers and one industrial size refrigerator; twin size blankets, comforters and sheets; standard pillows and pillowcases, and 66-quart plastic storage totes.

“We get a lot of use from everything we receive,” Houchins said.  “We love receiving new items, but we also welcome and appreciate gently used items.”

While this is the shelter’s Christmas wish list, it is always in need of toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, shaving razors, body wash, bath and wash cloths and household cleaning products.

Donations can be mailed to: Turning Point; PO Box 426; Warrenton, MO 63383.

“We see a lot of clients who are seeking a rural setting to get away from their abuser,” Rosie Jones, Programs Manager of Turning Point said. “They do not want to us the same public transport or shop at the same stores.”

Even if it’s past the holiday on the calendar Jones said Turning Point can always use a hand.

“You never know, we may get a family on Christmas night,” she said.

Please include a note with your name and contact information so the shelter knows who to thank for the donation. For more information, or to arrange transportation for large-sized and bulk donations, call 636-456-1186. You can also visit turningpointdvs.com, or find Turningpointwmo on Facebook.

Turning Point provides a 24-hour/seven-day-a-week hotline, emergency shelter, court advocacy, safety planning, economic empowerment, counseling and resource education to victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and sex trafficking. Each year it provides services to about 450 women and children and answers about 600 hotline calls.

Turning Point’s vision is to help create a just culture of nonviolence, where people are equally valued, and where healthy relationships and self-worth flourish. For help, call the hotline at 888-873-7233.

CUTLINE Photo courtesy Turning Point Advocacy Services Some of the children at Turning Point Advocacy Services put together this Hand Christmas Tree for the holidays. Turning Point has a wish list throughout the holiday season to help provide support to its clients who are victims of domestic abuse.