Adell Erozer

World traveler is passionate about helping others find their way home

Joining Turning Points after spending 17 years living abroad, Adell brings a global perspective to the challenges of helping the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless.  She is a resourceful and enthusiastic advocate for the invisible people of Manatee County.  Adell is married to Dr. Savas Erozer, and shares a home with a daughter, a dog and a cat, and sometimes a college-aged son.  If you ever want a great story, ask about whitewater rafting in Nepal.

Joe Mercado

Passion takes Action

A native of New York City, Joe has been in the Bradenton area for 8+ years and is a dynamic presence on several boards of directors, as well as human service organizations.  He is teaching his two children, 6 and 11 years old, the value of thoughtful, active service.  When Joe isn’t working hard to make life better in the community, he is most likely to be found on the golf course.  He got his first hole-in-one on January 1, 2010 and is looking forward to a few more.  Ask him about really fresh yellowfin tuna sashimi and how hard you have to work to get it.

Martha Childress

Choosing to use her power to do good

Martha is a born storyteller from Tennessee. She is a dynamic speaker with a unique perspective on homelessness and life on the streets. It is impossible to be unmoved as she weaves her web of history, reflections and calls to action.  Every person has value and Martha is committed to leading them to find it. “We don’t do what we do because of who they are; we do it because of who we are.”

Cheryl Hedger

Lifelong community activist

Cheryl is an Americorps/VISTA serving as the Volunteer Coordinator at Turning Points. She has been a community activist for most of her life, living her belief that the world can be a better place. A grandmother of 8, she is determined to show what dedication to service can do for her community.  If you ever get a dinner invitation from Cheryl, don’t turn it down–she owned a restaurant and is an outstanding organic chef.

Jonathon Gonzalez

Helping others at a fast pace

With a BA in Psychology from Stoneybrook, Jonathon is eager to help clients along their journey.  He is the proud parent of a three and a half year old.  You may hear some lively rhythm as you pass his office, as Jonathon loves to play drums and frequently practices on his desk.


Linda Gaines

This lover of good music loves to share the news through the Open Door Band and Speaker’s Bureau

If you need a speaker or a rock band, Linda is your person here at Turning Points.  This Air Force veteran has had quite a life journey through working for the National Enquirer, writing two as-yet-unpublished children’s books, and retiring as an inspector with Sarasota County. She is married to a real Florida native, and is the proud mother of three, grandmother of five and great-grandmother of one.

Michele Garden

Making every client feel like a human being who matters

Michele enjoyed her childhood on Anna Maria Island and graduated from Manatee High School, Manatee Junior College (now SCF), and finally USF, as a Critical Care Registered Nurse. Michelle has deployed for up to  four months at a time with the Disaster Medical Team, most notably in several locations in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In her spare time, Michele enjoys spending time with her son and grandson, and ballroom and Latin dancing.  She also ran away with the circus to sell concessions for five years while her son was an infant.

Donate Now