The Beginning of a Life Change

When I managed the E.P. Foster Library in downtown Ventura we had many library users that were part of the homeless community. In 2008 I joined the Ventura Social Services Task Force and subsequently learned about the various local resources offered to this underserved population. One of the most effective organizations was The Turning Point Foundation.

One Monday around noon, an irate patron approached me. He said that he was an ex-Marine. He considered himself able to handle just about anything, but pointed to a person seated nearby and told me that the man reeked, that I’d better do something or he would.

Our Place Safe Haven

I didn’t recognize the “offender” as a library regular and thought he might be new to the area. Before approaching him, I called Our Place (now Our Place Safe Haven) and made sure they were open and that their normal services were available. I also drew up a little map about how to get to Our Place, just a couple blocks away.

He was seated in a low upholstered chair. I got down on my knees, introduced myself and spoke quietly to him. I explained that I had received a complaint that his clothes might need a good cleaning. Did he know that there was a place just a couple blocks away where he could do his laundry free and take a shower? No, he didn’t. I explained about what Our Place was and told him to check it out.

I Didn't Recognize Him

The next Wednesday, two days later, a clean shaven, clean cut man came to the library to speak to me. He said he’d been to Our Place, cleaned up himself and his clothes, and had a referral appointment with a case worker the next day. I didn’t recognize him.

New Beginnings

This was the beginning of a life change for both me and for the man, who I learned was named Francis and was also known as Frank. Working with Corliss Porter of Turning Point, I followed what was happening in his life. He was a veteran. He was eligible for veteran benefits, including health care. He had serious unattended health issues but within the year was able to get the operation he needed. And, most importantly, he was able to get off the streets.

I am retired now and living on social security and a small pension. One of my most important charitable donations is to The Turning Point Foundation. There are hundreds of people like Francis in our community. They need our help.

Mary Stewart

How a Simple Ribbon Cutting Changed Ashley's Life
Our Place Safe Haven Ribbon Cutting

Written by Ashley Pope, Owner of Spice Topia, Ventura CA and Membership Director at Ventura Chamber

I went to Turning Point’s Our Place Safe Haven’s ribbon cutting on Oct 25, 2018 where many inspirational leaders spoke about the newly renovated building. It’s beautiful, and a place many people will be proud to call home while they get back on their feet. Bob Davis, a Turning Point board director and Mortgage Loan Officer of Provident Bank,  spoke of helping those who are “not poster child cute” which really got me thinking.

Once outside, I was walking to my car, giant scissors and roll of ribbon in hand when approached by a man who looked homeless and asked if I would help him. My mind said I had places to be, but my heart said,

“You’re not going to say no after attending Our Place Safe Haven’s ribbon cutting? So I say yes!”

He told me that he just left the hospital, and was put up in a motel, but left to get a beer, walked a couple blocks and got lost. He still had his hospital band on, and bandages. I was naming the local motels and racking my brain as to where to start when Kevin Clerici, a Turning Point supporter, was leaving the ribbon cutting and happened to be crossing our path. He stopped to help.

30 minutes of phone calls, questions, researching… and we found where he was staying. At first, he was denied entry. More phone calls… and finally, success. He would have been on the streets that night if it wasn’t for us saying “yes” and not taking “no” for an answer.

I walked back to my car, ribbon and giant scissors still in hand. This was a first for me, but this was just another day for Kevin. We are lucky to have him Downtown, and the city would be lucky to have him serve on city council. I’m so grateful for all the inspiration at the ribbon cutting, and I’m so happy to have made a difference today. 

23rd Annual Golf Classic Tournament

23rd Annual Golf Classic Tournament

Benefiting Turning Point Foundation was a huge success.
Thank you to our golfers, donors, bidders and volunteers!

Everyone had a great time playing the course, enjoyed the lunch, auction and camaraderie of the other golfers! The generous donations helps with Turning Point Foundation’s restoration and remodel of Our Place Safe Haven, the only emergency shelter in Ventura County for people struggling with mental health issues and homelessness. The Safe Haven is where the road to recovery starts.

Your support helps us expand occupancy

You Helped Us Raise $11,000!
These funds assist in finishing the remodel and furnish for the expanded occupancy with new bunkbeds and linens for all the residents that will no longer be homeless and on the street.

Tuff Sheds for River Haven

If you haven’t been there, you have never seen anything like this! River Haven is a self-governing community of 23 formerly-homeless people. They have been living in cleverly-designed Geodesic domes that have surpassed their lifespan of five years.

We are entering a new chapter in the River Haven journey and are investing in small houses made by Tuff Sheds as a replacement for the domes. Tuff Sheds are like “Tiny Houses” and have a 30-year warranty.

We’re Celebrating!

We had a huge turn out for our ribbon cutting on June 27, 2018. Thank you to all who donated tiny houses!

Schedule a tour today!

Contact Suki Sir 805-652-0000 x 108 to check out River Haven, Safe Haven and more!


Growing Works Rock Party

A hearty thank you to the volunteers who made it to our Rock Party held on March 10, 2018

Can you believe we piled eight truckloads of rocks to be used for our Demonstration Gardens? And that same day CSUCI psychology students started our first potting project with acorns that will grow into oaks for the Growing Works nursery to sell.

Suki Sir, Marketing and Fund Development, Turning Point Foundation; Ventura County Supervisor, Linda Parks; Christy Ternaishi-Martinez, CSUCI Professor of Psychology and her students pot 100 lobata acrons at Growing Works, Turning Point’s new horticultural therapy program.

Volunteers Make Growing Works a Success

All told, close to 70 volunteers helped out on a drizzly Saturday and to us, they are Rock Stars! They jump-started the Growing Works nursery that will soon bring jobs for people with mental illness, thank you to the non-profit Turning Point Foundation.

Click here to enjoy more photos of this memorable rainy day event made bright with the spirit of volunteerism

Check out articles posted about the Growing Works Program