By Kristen Clark
With a little over a month behind us, Switchpoint Community Resource Center is well on its way to helping low-income families and individuals experiencing homelessness to a better and brighter future.
By design, Switchpoint Community Resource Center is unique. Our mission is one that believes it takes all of us to succeed. People sometimes find themselves in a bad situation. That doesn’t mean they are a bad person. They need resources, skills, perhaps even a mentor to help direct them to a new path; one that has a better outcome, brighter outlook and will provide lifelong skills for a positive tomorrow.
Switchpoint believes that by collaborating with agencies and organizations serving common clients, we can remove barriers and assist those in poverty to reach independence. What does this mean?
“It’s the old saying, ‘if you teach a man to fish…’” says Executive Director, Carol Hollowell. “We are offering resources to individuals who have nowhere else to turn. Many of our clients simply need to be connected to one counselor, one agency, obtain one identification and they will be off and running,” Hollowell continues. “It is truly exciting to see people become successful. It melts your heart.”
Hollowell had the opportunity to meet and assist one such individual at the overflow shelter that the City of St. George opened to accommodate homeless individuals just before Switchpoint decided the need was too great and opened their facility early on August 29th, 2014.
“This man had a job in Hurricane and was riding his bike back and forth each day. He would leave at 4 a.m. because he didn’t want to be late for work,” Hollowell explains. “When the rains and floods hit, he was unable to make it into work and ended up losing his job. He was staying with us at Switchpoint at that time. We simply had to make a few phone calls and get him connected to the right place. Within a week, this man had a new job with a place to live nearby. He had tears in his eyes when I told him. That was so rewarding to see.”
It’s stories like these that Switchpoint staff members see on a daily basis. Volunteer Manager, Julie Duckett has seen an outpouring of community support for the facility.
“Right from the beginning, we have had community volunteers doing everything they could to help us be successful,” Duckett explains. “I have had so many churches, scouts and local businesses who have asked how they can be a part of this. It is incredible to know that our community has such amazing members. Without them, this facility would not be a reality. Grace Episcopal Church, for example, has donated meals for our residents that cannot get across town for their free lunch service. They have been so willing to work with us, help us and support us. We can’t begin to express our gratitude for this organization.”
With continued support from the community, it is clear that Switchpoint Community Resource Center will no doubt be a successful and much needed resource for friends, family and neighbors who need a hand-up, not a hand-out.
Currently, Switchpoint Community Resource Center is looking for continued community support throughout the coming holiday season and into the New Year. “Often times, we have an amazing amount of support from the community during the holidays but the rest of the year, our support seems to slow dramatically,” Duckett explains. “We could really use help and support throughout the entire year. There are always volunteer opportunities here at Switchpoint.”
Switchpoint Community Resource Center has seen such a tremendous response and would also like to thank the following agencies, businesses and individuals for their tireless and incredible support: Grace Episcopal Church, AJ Construction, Southern Utah Home Builders Association, Kustom Containers, LDS Humanitarian Services, Family Dollar, Habitat for Humanity Restore, Hospital Thrift Store, Catholic Thrift Store, Stanley Steamer, Carpets Plus, Red Rock Canyon School, Diamond D Ranch Academy, Crossroads, Warner Industries, ChemDry, The Lifetime Store, American Red Cross, Utah Food Bank, Zion’s Bank, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, Linn’s Grocery Store, Department of Workforce Services, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, St. George City, Starbucks, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Pizza Hut, Brad C. Harr & Associates, Free Geek, Larry H. Miller Foundation, Delores Eccles Foundation, Sorenson Legacy Foundation, and the countless community volunteers. Thank you!
If you would like more information about Switchpoint Community Resource Center located at 948 North 1300 West or would like to volunteer to help, please contact the facility at 435-627-4663.
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