In 2018, Project Turnabout released a book reflecting on the history of our organization. The motivation for this book was based on the belief that who we are today is founded by those that came before us. We wanted to recognize the staff members who have impacted the organization over the years and decided the names and positions be listed together in no order or hierarchy.
In putting together this history book, information was gathered from past and present Board members, a myriad of people who received our services over the years, and interviews with current and former staff, including the late Bruce Bottge, whose notes were especially helpful. We knew going in that this was not going to sell a large number of copies - that was not our intention. Our intent was to record and share the paths we have traveled and lessons learned with future staff, Board members, and other interested parties.
What stood out through the creation of this book was the strength of the organization in its ability to stay focused on the mission while continually adapting, improving, growing, and expanding our services. (Special thanks to the Granite Falls, Marshall, Redwood Falls and Willmar communities over the years who have supported us.) The past year has been one of transition for us and a time to examine how we do things given our growth and size.
This past year, our 184 employees have served over 1,500 patients from 78 counties, 19 states, and 2 countries along with more than 800 family members. We started a new planning cycle that involved looking at access to our services, improving targeted areas of care, identifying opportunities for innovation and growth, and lastly, being responsible stewards of our financial, informational, and human resources.
The following are some examples of our progress. We broke ground in the fall of 2018 adding nine additional residential men’s beds at our main campus in Granite Falls bringing our total bed capacity to 131 to meet the continued demand for treatment beds. This is scheduled to be completed in May 2019. Following Board approval we have begun the process of expanding our Women’s Service in Willmar. We acquired the adjacent property to Cheri’s Place on Gorton Ave. NW and are currently developing plans for a substantial project to expand a range of Women’s and Outpatient services in the Willmar community.
This will include construction of a building to house both an Outpatient Services facility, as well as an 8-16 bed Women’s Transitional Living Center that would offer medical, mental health, and treatment services. The women served would then have an option to transfer to Cheri’s Place Sober Living House and/or our sober living townhouses where, along with their recovery, furthering their education would be the primary focus.
We feel this “Life Program” will provide women the opportunity to not only find recovery but to also to give them a boost in developing sufficient vocational and life skills to help them move forward in life. The building design process is underway. Stay tuned for more information about this project. We know most people do well in our services as indicated from a number of measures we do with each patient. One concern is helping them sustain the changes they have made with us. For some years we have been developing an Internet based “life-line” for people after they leave our services.
To that end, we have developed applications for women, men, problem gamblers, and families that keeps us connected. Recruiting can be both difficult and expensive. For this reason we have strategized the expansion of our professional internship programs. We now work with 10+ colleges and universities for chemical dependency counselors, mental health professionals, health information, and nursing. Project Turnabout has been a founding/charter member of the Minnesota Alliance of Rural Addiction Treatment Providers.
We have become an active voice in public policy issues related to the nuances and challenges of providing substance abuse services in rural communities. In summary Project Turnabout continues to make progress in helping individuals and families find and sustain a new life unimpeded by alcohol, drug, or gambling problems. We know, more than ever, we need to work, wherever possible, with individuals and agencies across the communities we serve.