Skokie’s Turning Point secures $1.2 million grant
Turning point at Turning Point: Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center CEO Ann Fisher Raney talks about a major new grant that will allow the center to double its size. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
MORE ABOUT TURNING POINT
The Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center, 8324 Skokie Blvd., Skokie was established in 1969.
It provides mental health services for all ages including Skokie, Evanston, Chicago, Des Plaines, Glenview, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Park Ridge and Wilmette.
Its annual budget is $2.9 million with a staff of 56 employees.
In 2011, the facility served 1,525 clients not including those served by its emergency crisis service. More than 85 percent of those served have incomes at or below federal poverty guidelines.
For more information, access www.tpoint.org.
Updated: January 14, 2013 6:37AM
SKOKIE — The application by Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center was much more modest than the unexpected results.
Turning Point CEO Ann Fisher Raney decided the center should seek a $150,000 grant to pay for a practical nurse, but the North Suburban Healthcare Foundation thought so highly of Turning Point, which provides comprehensive mental health care services to residents in communities throughout metropolitan Chicago, that it didn’t stop there. Foundation members came back for another visit, but unbeknownst to Raney and her crew, they were there not merely to explore the grant Turning Point was requesting.
Instead, the Foundation ponied up $1.2 million, a grant that allows the center to purchase the remaining space in its building on the 8300 block of Skokie Boulevard. That means Turning Point will be able to just about double its size and fill the 40,000 square foot building at 8324 Skokie Blvd.
“Today is a very important day,” Raney declared Friday at a well-attended celebration of the grant. Many key community members and legislators were there including U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-9th), State Sen.-elect Daniel Biss (D-9th), State Rep. Lou Lang (D-16th), State Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-8th) and Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen. The key reason for the event though was to say thank you to the North Suburban Healthcare Foundation, which has helped fulfill a long-time dream.
“Their generous gift allowed us to purchase this beautiful spacious space,” Raney said. “Thank you for believing in our vision to expand our services and to create an integrative care center with colleagues who share our commitment to the rights of all persons to the best possible health care.”
Raney said it’s likely that Turning Point will lease out the new space to as many as three non-profit organizations that will help create a one-stop comprehensive behavioral health care facility.
It’s too early to announce what organizations will move into the new space, she said, but Turning Point has wasted no time in starting the discussion.
Don Perille, cochairman of the North Suburban Healthcare Foundation, said there was “divine inspiration” in making the grant reality for Turning Point.
Perille was part of the grants committee, which visited Turning Point after it applied for a grant to pay for the practical nurse. In the parking lot following the visit, he had the idea for a larger grant.
Foundation members wanted to spend more money on brick-and-mortar projects rather than just programming because they knew the foundation wasn’t going to be around much longer, Perille said.
“When we expend all of our funds, we’re going to go away, and we realized we’re going to leave holes in people’s budget and figured maybe it would be smarter to do bricks and mortar now,” he said.
The large grant will allow Turning Point to pay for the new space and the practical nurse it originally sought.
Van Dusen last week said the commitment to Turning Point reflects “a community of caring,” and he called the facility “one of the crown jewels” of Skokie.
Not all legislators who appeared at Friday’s celebration were directly involved in the grant or purchasing the additional space, but they have all championed Turning Point in one way or another over the years and believe in it as a shining example of caring for those with mental health issues.
“What Turning Point has shown is that with a kind of innovation that we can not only deliver the best quality of care but we can also do it at a remarkably favorable cost,” Schakowsky said.
Lang called Turning Point “a model for the state, a model that other people are following.”
Silverstein helped with purchasing the additional space, and Biss said the expansion “will help us serve our constituents more effectively.”
Visitors last week also toured the empty space that now belongs to Turning Point – space that will allow the behavioral health care center to grow more significantly than it ever has before.
“It is a wonderful day, a wonderful day to celebrate,” beamed Turning Point Board Chairman Michael Bland. “Today has been 41 years in the making.”