more than a homeless shelter

One of Switchpoint’s goals is to be the slight change in the lives of those who want a brighter future. In the frame: CEO Carol Hollowell and Morgan Barrick. Photo courtesy of Linda Stay.


There are many service opportunities available to us within our community that can change the lives of others.

Switchpoint Community Resource Center is a local organization dedicated to helping people in need.

Linda Stay, Development Director of Switchpoint, said: “A switch is a mechanism on a railway track. With a slight tweak, that sends the train off in a whole new direction, and that’s who we are. We help people become the turning point in their own lives.

Stay said adjustments are made by connecting people to the right resources they need and allowing them to make different choices to get them on a better path.

From 2014 to 2021, over 8,000 families and individuals have been served at the shelter. More than 3,000 of them were children.

More than a homeless shelter

Switchpoint not only provides food and shelter to people in need, but also specializes in personalized services. These services include: substance abuse classes, job shadowing programs, and a 24/7 child care service that will open in the spring of 2022.

Mike Estopellan, a thrift store employee, said: “From what I see, this place takes care of their homeless people better than any place I’ve ever seen.

Stay said Switchpoint’s mission is to empower people experiencing homelessness and poverty. They provide a comprehensive plan that is individualized to help achieve self-sufficiency.

In other words, Switchpoint specializes in listening to people and investing individualized time that encourages them to gain confidence.

Nate Nipko, a thrift store employee, said: “What makes us different is that it’s more than just a haven where people stop. We provide services that help people find jobs, housing, and recover from addiction if they need it.

Saving

Apart from the multiple services provided by Switchpoint, it also has a thrift shop and shop. When you shop at the stores, all proceeds are donated to help the shelter.

According to the Switchpoint Community Resource Center: “It’s [thrift store] The mission is three-fold: (1) to help provide an ongoing source of funding for the operations of the homeless shelter and community resource center, (2) to provide a four-week job training program for community members who need additional help. professional skills and (3) reuse usable household and clothing items donated by the community and offer these items at affordable prices to the public

Estopellan said they are focused on helping the homeless and people in the shelter, but the thrift store is open to everyone.

“We will never turn anyone away for a jacket, sleeping bag or change of clothes,” Estopellan said. “That’s why we are here, our mission is that we are here to help.”

Opportunities to serve

There are many volunteer opportunities for DSU students. These options include laundry assistant, pantry, and meal prep cooks.

Switchpoint relies heavily on the community. They are looking for 300 to 400 volunteers each month. More than 438,000 hours of service have been performed over the past seven years.

Stay said the main thing she would like people to understand is to overcome the stigma of those we serve, as each person has their own story.

Nipko said: “Being here and working with them [the homeless]… I realize that most of these people are people like us who are struggling.

Going forward, Switchpoint looks forward to opening a 24-hour child care center and adapting to the housing crisis.

“It was humbling and inspiring, and I changed. I feel honored to hear and know their stories. I’m honored to be a small part of helping them reconnect to their amazing selves and helping them remember who they are,” Stay said.

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