An embarrassed law enforcement officer recently told executive director Adell Erozer of Turning Points that although he grew up in Manatee County and drove past Turning Points at the Bill Galvano One Stop Center for years, he assumed it was a “quick lube” business.
“He came here on business one day and told me that he always saw so many cars and people walking around that he thought we were a car repair business,” Erozer said Wednesday. “He was absolutely blown away when he walked in and realized we are the service center we are. So, I knew right then that people still didn’t know about Turning Points.”
To try to enlighten the public concerning their work at 701 17th Ave. W., Bradenton, and be better able to solicit the donations and volunteers that are their life blood, Erozer recently called on the visual artists at Salt & Light Productions in East Manatee to create a promotional video for Turning Points that tells their important story.
The just-released video features the stories of four people who represent a cross-section of the needy people helped by Turning Points.
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I think the major thing that the video shows people is that homelessness can happen to anybody. And homelessness is something that is not a disease, not a label that you get. It’s something that can happen to anyone. The video gets beyond the image people have of who the homeless are. It shows you that it can be anybody.
Adell Erozer, executive director, Turning Points
The four are among 10,700 men, women and children that last year used Turning Points services to avoid homelessness or make homelessness just a bit more bearable, Erozer said.
Erozer did not want to make a video that had Turning Points officials telling the story.
She wanted real people telling their real stories.
And that is exactly what she got.
Video shows real people, tells real stories
Among the four profiles in the video is the story of Marie Collins, 52.
Collins was making a good living driving truck across the nation, but quit trucking to provide a home and a guiding force for her three grandchildren in Bradenton.
She came to Turning Points for help to avoid homelessness after going through her savings and ended up with a low-cost apartment and a job.
“I was thinking I was going to be on the street with my grandkids,” Collins said on the video.
On Wednesday, Collins returned to Turning Points to see the video for the first time.
“I was glad I was able to do it,” Collins said. “I wanted people to know that Turning Points prevents homelessness.”
Erozer said she “bawled like a baby” when she saw Collins and the other people in the video for the first time at Salt & Light Productions.
“I think the major thing that the video shows people is that homelessness can happen to anybody,” Erozer said. “And homelessness is something that is not a disease, not a label that you get. It’s something that can happen to anyone. The video gets beyond the image people have of who the homeless are. It shows you that it can be anybody.”
For information, visit tpmanatee.org.