What Is the Turning Point Program?

Dec 7, 2021

When you give to The Salvation Army this holiday season, your donation helps make sure that Hope Marches On. One of the many Salvation Army programs that ensures Hope Marches On for all who encounter it is Turning Point Programs.

Serving West Michigan since 1973, when it was located at the old Ferguson Hospital, Turning Point provides relief and hope for those struggling with substance or alcohol addictions. Situated since 2014 at the corner of Fuller and Fulton in Grand Rapids, but also with locations in Muskegon, Ludington and Baldwin, Turning Point offers detoxification, short-term residential, and outpatient programs. 

Turning Point is unique in that it serves any and everyone who has substance abuse concerns and does not discriminate based on a patient’s funding source. 

“What many people in the general community don’t know is how often patients or clients are denied service, even in mental health, due to having Medicaid or no insurance,” said Jason Boeve, Turning Point Programs Director. “Many times, those that need the most assistance are turned away. But at Turning Point and Salvation Army, our mission is focused on helping anyone, especially those that are in the most need and highest risk. If they want our assistance, we are willing to do whatever it takes to help them. Whether it be a safe place to detox from substances, getting a solid start on the road to recovery through our short-term residential program, or moving into long-term sobriety within our outpatient programs – our dedicated staff are here to help the community in any way we can.”

The sub-acute medical detoxification unit provides peer support, therapists and medical care for individuals who need supervision while withdrawing from alcohol and or substance use. Medical staff is available 24/7 and the average length of stay is around five days. 

The short-term residential level of care is designed to stabilize and treat individuals who have a substance use disorder or are in need of a co-occurring capable service. This service offers an intense level of care with a seven-day-per-week clinical treatment regimen. Every participant has an individualized treatment plan and the length of stay ranges from 5-30 days. 

“We have a lot of services intertwined in one, which is ideal for people’s recovery,” said Joe Russom, who has been with Turning Point for over five years and is currently serving as an outpatient supervisor. 

Outpatient services offer individuals the ability to carry on their daily responsibilities while receiving care and attention, which can include therapy appointments, group sessions, and doctor consultations. This is designed to be a beginning of a continuation of treatment in order to allow individuals to further develop the skills to maintain long-term recovery. 

“You have the same staff helping you with everything,” Russom said. “I go see people who are in detox and residential, introduce myself and educate them. Then, I’ll set them up for services with us in outpatient. So when they leave, they see me again and they’re like ‘oh, it’s you,’ and they feel more comfortable. The whole idea is we want them to feel safe and not just thrown into every step. My team and our inpatient team talk with the doctor. It’s not separated, it’s all one case. We talk with each other to figure out what’s best for the individual.” 

Turning Point uses a holistic and individual counseling approach to treat each patient’s mind, body, spirit, and health while providing a safe and welcoming environment that promotes healing.

The individuality of every patient is used to design the treatment experience. Turning Point’s objective is for all individuals who seek services to leave with a healthier sense of self. The hope is to aide each individual in replacing unhealthy patterns and behaviors by developing new coping skills. Individuals are encouraged to reconnect with the community and focus on building strengths. 

“A lot of people may not realize – from the detox to residential to the classes and groups and therapists – all that goes into an individual’s stay. I don’t think people realize how it is a 24/7 thing,” said Diane Taber, who has been a treatment coordinator at Turning Point since 2018. “Even when I was working third shift, there would be people who couldn’t sleep, and they’d be up in the middle of the night needing to talk. Turning Point across the board, all the employees are so 100% into caring for the clients and wanting them to succeed.”

Turning Point averages about 25 individuals per day for its detox and short-term residential programs and since 2018 has helped over 3,500 individuals begin a journey free of addiction and build the foundation for a life of recovery.

“Turning Point has been like the diving board into a new life,” Taber said. “We’re kind of that full-service station and of that, I’m proud. It’s not just you take somebody in and ‘oh well after 10 days they’re out of here,’ it’s that care can keep going long after they’ve left here.” 




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