Hope is a beautiful thing. But hope is absent in the addict’s life.
The secretive nature and stigma associated with addiction prevents people from asking for help and often they lack self-worth, said Mike Schiks, Executive Director/CEO of Project Turnabout, an addiction recovery center in Granite Falls and three other southwest Minnesota cities.
“For some reason, they can’t let go enough to let someone help them,” he added.
Nancy Fasching, SWIF Community Impact Director toured Project Turnabout’s Granite Falls facility last winter and learned that for nearly two years the recovery center has been routinely turning away 60 or more people each month due to lack of space.
“If someone lands in jail or hits the bottom and is ready for help, there’s a four to six-week wait list,” Fasching said.
This waiting period is what prompted her to recommend Project Turnabout for a Regional Impact Grant for its current building project. SWIF awarded $50,000 to the project.
The organization’s $6.5 million expansion to its Granite Falls campus will expand detoxification beds by six, which includes adding a 27-bed women’s treatment unit. It also includes building an educational and family center that will improve patient, staff, family and community education as well as expand staff office space.
The current education area will nearly triple in size, offering better opportunities. It features a theatre sound system, projectors, TVs and Skype capabilities, thanks to donors, Schick said. Project Turnabout staff will also use the new education area to record teaching DVDs and conduct training and teaching webinars. The recovery center serves as a teaching and prevention service for a 27-county area.
The project will increase treatment beds for chemical dependency and gambling from 89 to 122 allowing the treatment center to help an additional 300 individuals each year. The gambling addiction program treats people from all across the U.S. whereas the chemical dependency treatment program primarily serves people from southwest Minnesota, having a direct impact on SWIF’s region of the state. The project should be completed in November.
Addictions strips people of so much, Schiks said. Self-care, daily routines and basic household chores are usually non-existent.
“That’s the first thing addiction takes away,” he added.
And meth addicts are notorious for neglecting nutrition and their teeth. So basic “chores” are a part of therapy. Residents re-learn how to take care of their own personal needs and help with other basic household duties, Schiks said.
Many of Project Turnabout’s services go well beyond what’s required by the state. Medical services and nursing staff are available around the clock. They staff a full-time chaplain who works with residents from the spiritual aspect. A lot of residents arrive with some physical problems as well as their addiction so physical activity and guidance from a fitness trainer are part of the therapy, too. Every person gets an individualized treatment plan, Schiks said.
In-patient addiction treatment is just part of Project Turnabout’s services. It also provides out-patient services at the main Granite Falls campus in addition to sites in Redwood Falls, Marshall and Willmar.
Because of the stigma that shrouds addiction; Project Turnabout is often looked at as a “best-kept secret” and is not widely known in southwest Minnesota. But the organization’s impact in the lives of those it helps heal and those whose lives are literally saved helps bring the addiction recovery center out in the open.
Lois Schmidt, who joined Project Turnabout last winter as development director, said that in her past work she often wrote grant proposals indicating the organization changed lives.
“Those organizations did change lives,” she added.
But Project Turnabout changes lives and restores hope in a whole different way. As part of her job interview process, she remembers sitting in on a conversation between Schiks and a resident who was successfully completing the program. The “raw honesty” and “emotion” really told the story of the changes made during recovery. All of the staff at Project Turnabout really help addicts in so many ways, she said. “We change lives!”
Schiks shared a letter received a few weeks ago from the parents of a young woman who went through the program about a year ago. She landed at Project Turnabout following a suicide attempt. After successfully completing the program she is now attending college and her life has totally changed.
Addiction keeps people from having hope and believing they matter or they are important. Project Turnabout helps them work toward healing and begin to believe, “I am worth it,” Schiks said.