Pay it Forward - Switchpoint in St. George, Utah
Several weeks ago I attended a luncheon upon the invitation of a friend. It was a fund raiser for a local homeless shelter called Switchpoint. More than $50,000.00 was raised that day.
During the event, a woman stood up and told her story. One that involved drug abuse, jail time, getting her children taken away and put in foster care, stark denial and then getting her life back on track.
Thanks to the valuable resources at Switchpoint, she received drug and alcohol counseling, got a job, found a place to live and her children were returned to her care. She is now completely self-sufficient.
She was brave to stand in front of several hundred people and tell that story. In an effort to give back, she now counsels those at Switchpoint who are in the throes of despair due to many of life's issues.
In the last 2 years, Switchpoint has sheltered 1,991 people. Among them, 61%(1,214) were Single Adults, 27% (538) Veterans and 12% Family Members (239). Statistics are as follows:
- 2,057 individuals attended onsite education classes
- 355 indiduals were able to maintain their employment during their stay
- 131 individuals became employed with support from partners and our Education & Employment Services
- Clean, safe emergency living quarters
- On-site laundry facility
- Nutritious meals served daily
- On-site computers for obtaining GED, job searching, computer skills and resume building.
- On-site case management for every client Assistance obtaining lost or stolen identification
- Access to employment searching programs
- Transportation vouchers
- Assistance with applications and eligibility processes for Food Stamps, Medicaid, etc.
- Assistance with obtaining affordable housing Food assistance through on-site food pantry
Beyond food and shelter: Switchpoint Community Resource Center is a stepping stone to independence for homeless individuals.
A train naturally follows the path of a railroad track, but one simple device is used to redirect them when needed. This mechanism is crucial for efficiently getting trains to their intended destinations, a feat nearly impossible otherwise. The name of this device is a switch point.
The motto of SwitchPoint is "It Takes All of Us." To give each person the best opportunity for success, local non-profit agencies will be on site to provide resources such as educational training, employment placement, and housing assistance.
My Pay it Forward plan is donating a portion of my earnings from every transaction closed to Switchpoint. In doing so, I can contribute to serving more meals, help finance more beds and help people get home again.
This is an entry to the: Third Annual Pay It Forward ActiveRain Challenge For November