Turningpoint hires new directorThis year marks the third decade that area residents who have found themselves the victims of abuse have had a place of refuge and assistance during some of their darkest days.
By: Vera Roy-Stoeberl, River Falls Journal
This year marks the third decade that area residents who have found themselves the victims of abuse have had a place of refuge and assistance during some of their darkest days.
Turningpoint for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence, Inc., turns 30. With its notable record of providing support, it begins that milestone with a new executive director who says she’s ready to continue the shelter’s mission.
Kim Wojcik (pronounced “woe-chick”) of Red Wing, Minn., was hired as Turningpoint’s new executive director on March 9, replacing Vicki Goulette, the former head, who resigned in December.
“I’m very excited to be here, and in Wisconsin and in the St. Croix Valley,” Wojcik said about her position.
She said making the decision to accept her new job was easy.
“I was very impressed with how well Turningpoint is recognized in the area,” she noted. “I was also very impressed with the level of donations we receive here, impressed with the structure and design of this building, and impressed with the primary staff and their passion for providing quality care.
“I was even more impressed by John O’Boyle, the president of (Turningpoint’s) board,” continued Wojcik. “And by the board members. He made my decision to come here a big draw.”
Born and raised in Minnesota, Wojcik hasn’t strayed far from her Midwest roots. After graduating from high school, she attended Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Human Service Administration with an emphasis in grant writing.
She then worked for the Red Wing Area Coalition for Transitional Housing as its executive director for two years.
Soon after Wojcik and her husband began raising a family. Two boys were born to the couple. Wojcik decided to become a part-time stay-at-home mom, at least until the little ones started school.
Now that the boys are in school, Wojcik decided to again embrace her desire to help others. She learned about Turningpoint’s vacancy on a website for non-profit organizations and the rest is history.
“My primary interest is women and children,” said Wojcik, making Turningpoint’s executive directorship a perfect fit.
That’s not to say that Turningpoint doesn’t help others as well. One look at the facility’s current brochure reveals many services and outreach projects for men, women and children of all ages.
It has a 24-hour crisis line; temporary shelter and food; a women’s support group; children’s support group; later life abuse; personal advocacy; foster pet care; information and referrals; community education; restraining order assistance; legal advocacy; emergency transportation; Home Start; a sexual violence group; courtroom advocacy and more.
Turningpoint’s mission reads: “To empower those who have experienced domestic or sexual violence by providing them with the resources to achieve freedom from violence through community support and education.”
“Safety is definitely a high priority with me,” said Wojcik. “And through education and supplying men, women and children with educational tools, we can lower the incidence of abuse and take it out of the shadows.”
Wojcik says she’s ready to go forward with Turningpoint’s record of success.
“I want to have Turningpoint continue to provide the high quality of service it already has provided for so many and continue its growth as needs grow,” she said.
The shelter is the only one of its kind in all of St. Croix and Pierce counties.
With population growth and with the stresses of the current economy on people’s situations, “…the need is there,” Wojcik said. “There is nothing better that I would like than to work myself out of this type of job,” but unfortunately and realistically there is still a need for places like Turningpoint.
More information about Turningpoint can be found on its website: www.turningpoint-wi.org.