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Turning Point moving back to downtown Brattleboro - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Turning Point moving back to downtown Brattleboro

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BRATTLEBORO, Vt. -

Ingrid Ecklein takes a taxi to Turning Point's Route 5 location often. She hasn't had a sip of alcohol in six months.

"It is important to learn how to socialize in a sober environment," Ecklein said. "That is one thing I have struggled with and I am finding it easier to socialize here because everybody in here is in recovery."

Others who frequent the peer recovery center also visit on their own dime, like a woman who goes by the name Morningstar. She has been sober for 39 years.

"My extra gas money to get up here because I love it here. I don't get here sometimes because I don't have that extra three or four bucks," she said.

The facility is one of 11 in the state. It used be located in downtown Brattleboro, but moved here because of financial restraints three years ago.

"Unfortunately we found out that within the first year, the number of people who were able to visit here had drastically decreased," said Suzie Walker of Turning Point.

Decreased 7,000-8,000 visits a year to be exact-- people in recovery who live downtown and used to be able to walk. So, the organization found a home near Main Street. It was severely damage by Tropical Storm Irene and went up for auction. A $162,000 guaranteed loan from the USDA made the purchase and renovation possible.

"People often hear about the problem with opioid addiction and alcoholism, and the crime and the negative things that come with addiction, but I don't think we hear enough about recovery and there is hope," Walker said.

Hope that will be offered in this house. And officials say when it eventually opens to those looking for support, it will only be a block away.

"The convenience and I think it is going to attract more sober people. People wanting to be in recovery and people wanting to be around people in recovery," Ecklein said.

"There are about 20 individuals in town who are just not able to recover. They will come to the Turning Point when it is there and who knows what little spark will be lit," Morningstar said.

The building is expected to be complete around August. Officials say it will give addicts a more central location to receive support and increased hope on their road to recovery.

Volunteers and community service groups are doing a lot of the renovation work to keep costs down. The building may also qualify for additional funds because it was damaged during Irene.

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