Tuesday, December 1st 2020, 10:23 PM EST
By Alejandro Romero
BRADENTON – It’s a party down here at Turning Points as they celebrate 25 years of helping those who need it the most here on the Suncoast.
Since 1995 Turning Points has been one of the leading organizations in the fight to prevent and reduce homelessness in the City of Bradenton. On Tuesday, the nonprofit kicked off their 25th Anniversary Community Engagement & Advancement Campaign.
“We could not do this work without them, it is truly the volunteers who make the magic happen here at Turning Points,” said Kathleen Cramer.
Cramer, the Executive Director for the nonprofit, and her staff cheered and thanked the more than 180 volunteers that helped keep the nonprofit afloat in the year of COVID.
Cramer says The Bill Galvano One Stop Center serves an estimated 160 new clients monthly, offering essential services such as hot showers, free clothing, obtaining legal documents and much more to those at risk if being homeless.
“We also offer housing and utilities assistance for people who are struggling to pay their bills right now,” she said. “As well as a free medical and dental clinic.”
As we fast track to enter a new year, the silvery anniversary called for some change. The newly renamed, repainted, and re-branded Bill Galvano Center helped more than 8,000 people last year with critical services targeted to the essential needs of people in crisis.
“We’ve been focusing on making sure we can offer our services every day in the most efficient way possible, but we are looking forward of course,” said Cramer.
The nonprofit is looking at more ways of meeting the need of people, possibly expanding their hours, and what other areas need their help.
At the peak of the first wave of coronavirus here in Florida, Turning Points became one of the first organization to offer free COVID testing for the homeless. Continuing their work helping those that at times are severely underrepresented.
Cramer says the nonprofit is still in need of more volunteers. Since the start pandemic they’ve seen a 50% decrease in returning volunteers.