The YWCA Turning Points program offers transitional housing options for single women here in our community. It’s part of the YWCA Adopt a Room charitable program, and it’s a success story for each woman involved.
“Turning Points is a supportive living residence for women,” explains YWCA Crisis Shelter and Residence Assistant Manager Mirna Funes-Klaassen. “They are able to make a fresh start in this safe, nurturing space.”
The facility offers a bridge for women who have come from a shelter or group home and are working toward semi-independent or completely independent living.
Clients are accepted into the program through a referral and interview process. Whether recommended by workers in other agencies or applying on their own, each client enters the program voluntarily with the goal of making positive changes in her life.
“Each client has different specific goals and we work with them to develop a program that will help them achieve success,” said Funes-Klaassen.
Programs include support to build health and strength in a number of different areas. Life skills training is offered, such as budgeting and planning healthy meals. Women can receive assistance in completing their education and gaining employment as well.
“We work with each client on a case by case basis,” said Funes-Klaassen. “It’s up to the individual to determine her goals, and we set up the supports in the community to help her achieve those goals.”
Assistance with addictions and mental health issues are part of the services offered, as is 24 hour access to crisis support through the shelter. The Turning Points facilitator provides extensive individual support for clients ensuring their individual needs are met. Clients have the opportunity to make connections in the community and work toward gaining employment.
“Without Turning Points I would have not had a chance to deal with my issues, I would have been on my own. I am thankful for the chance to have staff support me and help me make my life better and worth fighting for.” – Turning Points Client
Each Wednesday night on-site programming is offered. Professionals from a wide range of areas are brought in to enhance the learning opportunities provided by the YWCA. This past summer, the group planted, cared for and harvested produce at a community garden plot. Vegetables from the garden were then used to create nutritious meals in the collective kitchen. The community garden was well received by both YWCA clients and staff as a way to give back to the community and enhance partnership and learning opportunities.
“Turning Points put us on a path to healing.”– Turning Points Client
The Turning Points facility includes 14 rooms which are virtually filled to capacity. The program generally runs for one year with some room for extension should it be required.
“These women may have been working to recover from additions or they may have left a violent situation. They may have left a group home or are struggling with mental health,” said Funes-Klaassen. “We are here to help them achieve their goals and work toward independent or semi-independent living.”
The Adopt-a-room charitable program allows you to help ensure these programs will continue.
“When you make a donation to Adopt-a-room, you are supporting beautiful new beginnings happening inside every room at YWCA Saskatoon. For the women of Turning Points this means a healing path in a new direction.”
Through the YWCA Adopt a Room charitable program, individuals and businesses are able to pledge a charitable gift and adopt one of several rooms at in the YWCA facility. The campaign is being promoted by 98COOL Radio as a way to involve your workplace, friends or family for a group gift. Held over the holiday season, the campaign raises much needed financial support for services provided year-long.
This year’s Adopt a Room charitable program will accomplish a great deal: providing safe haven for women and families in crisis, counselling, supports for women entering the trades, early learning programs for children, and accessible health and wellness programs. Designated gifts are welcome.
For information about Adopting a Room visit www.ywcasaskatoon or call (306) 244-7034 ext 122.
By Terri Eger