May is Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month

At this time of great worry and uncertainly for us all, we sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are in good health. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our staff, you in our community, and our program participants.

May is Mental Health Month, and COVID19 is affecting people’s mental health more than ever. Social isolation, stress and anxiety are affecting people, both with or without existing mental health. It is especially hard on the most vulnerable, our homeless who are already struggling with significant persistent mental and physical health challenges. Federal agencies and experts warn that a historic wave of mental health problems is approaching, depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicide.

These are challenging times and we are proud to continue and expand our services to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our community.

Our case managers are used to helping people navigate the most challenging times, but this pandemic is particularly tough on our neighbors experiencing homelessness and mental health. Our case managers have been showing up every day giving the neediest support they need on the road to recovery. We are doing all that we can to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on their mental health and well-being.

We are also working hard to address on-going challenges such as access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and access to groceries/nonperishable food for close to 100 people that are in our shelter and housing programs. Please contact ssir@tpf-vc.org to learn how you can help us address these needs. Inevitably, these new interventions have placed a considerable strain on our resources.

Thank You for Your Support

As we continue to move forward with the daily, sometimes, hourly changes, we want to take a moment to thank you for your support. If you can give, please do. And if you can provide more for those that are unable to give at this time, Thank You!

Since the COVID19 mandatory quarantine, Turning Point has pivoted and is still working hard to continue to help those struggling with mental health and homelessness in Ventura and Oxnard. We are classified as an essential service and have placed safety procedures for our staff, counselors, and the clients we come in contact with. Many of us, like you, are working from home, conducting Zoom meetings, and pivoting each day as information is updated.

Wellness Line

The Wellness Center in Oxnard has established a bilingual “Wellness Line”, (805) 653-5045. Since inception on March 30th the calls have been coming in daily. Sustained hardship, whatever form it takes, can have an impact on mental health. Turning Point is supporting everyone who calls with coping tools and support services. The Wellness Line is where you can call in and talk to a peer counselor and receive guidance to the available resources like mental health services, food pantries and temporary shelter. The number again is 805-653-5045.

Room Key Program

Our R.I.S.E. Recovery Coaches, field-based outreach teams, have partnered with the Room Key program that is housing at risk homeless in motels in Ventura County. They head out each day to help homeless individuals in the motels that serve as temporary shelters for our at risk homeless and have touched the lives of 350 people, assisting with ongoing support in navigating the challenges accessing care. 

Housing Programs

The good news is that all the current residents of Turning Point’s housing programs are all healthy. Our staff continues to provide Permanent Supportive Housing residents with case-management and mental health services while practicing social distancing, staff coordinate drop-offs for groceries and essentials for those running low on supplies.

Our Place Safe Haven, River Haven, Stephenson, Wooley House, Veterans Transitional Housing and Villa Calleguas (almost 100 formerly homeless and mentally ill residents) are in place and safe. Though at this time, due to current recommendations from Ventura County Health and the lack of testing, we are unable to provide our drop-in services like accessing the washing machines, taking a shower, receiving a meal or counseling during the day.

Currently, with need at unprecedented levels in the county, we cannot depend on the food banks for direct food assistance. They have had to shift their focus on putting food pantries in place for our county residents that have lost income.

We are grateful to our local restaurants Mai’s Café on Main Street for chicken noodle soup for all our housing programs and 2626 Kitchen on Loma Vista for helping us find meat for our Veterans Housing Program. We are also grateful to Food Forward for the fresh fruit and vegetables gleaned from the farmers market that helps feed our Veterans Transitional Housing Program, River Haven, and our other residential programs, Wooley House, Stephenson Place, and Villa Calleguas with fresh fruit and vegetables from the farmer’s market.

Oxnard Clubhouse and New Visions Center in Ventura are conducting tele-counseling and reaching out to every program members daily making at about 90 calls a day to each program member.

Growing Works

At this time filled with uncertainty, gardening’s relative certainty is most welcome. Psychology Today wrote: There’s a reason that horticultural therapy exists—It can be healing and has no negative side effects.

Turning Point’s Growing Works program has 11 graduates that are now employed with the nursery and 2 have found employment in the community. Growing Works program members are practicing safe distancing with 4 acres to do it in.

And more exciting Growing Works news! Growing Works Nursery plants are available at our local garden centers; Baron Brothers in Camarillo, Performance Gardens in Somis, and Otto and Sons in Sylmar.  Download our Plant List here and have your landscaper or gardener contact us at (805) 586-9900 or email at GrowingWorksSales@TPF-VC.org with your order.

Though during these difficult times it’s hard to remain optimistic, being optimistic means there is hope. And being hopeful, helps us persevere through adversity. This situation is not permanent, and no one knows better than our staff and peers, that Recovery is Possible!

Stay safe, stay healthy, and if we can help, reach out to our team, Wellness Line (805) 653-5045.