"We have been working on this for a long time," notes Turning Point President/CEO Vincent "Peter" Hayden, who has long dreamed of establishing a culturally specific "one-stop" service center.
believes that existing local organizations aren't working in a collaborative fashion to better serve the Black community.
"We are not working together as Black people - we are still trying to be the big person on the block," admits Hayden
credits COO Elizabeth Reed, who joined Turning Point
nine years ago, for beginning this past spring to move his
dream forward into reality and establishing the Culturally Specific Service Center
Two local job training programs, Goodwill/Easter Seals and Twin Cities Rise, will have office space there as the CSSC's inaugural tenants.
The anticipated start date is sometime in October or November of this year.
Speaking exclusively to the MSR, Hayden
and Reed defined "culturally specific" as an integrated system of services for people who are members of a specific racial or ethnic group as well as people who are poor and are disenfranchised from mainstream society.
"It's not just drugs and alcohol," says Hayden
, "but also it's employment and education - all these things.
envisions Turning Point one day becoming "like a medical arts building" for the Black community.
"We are not trying to come in and take over anything.
We are trying to say, 'What is a successful way to work with a client in a way that is helpful to him?' We are holistically dealing with the person - all of that person," he