Turning Point Center of Central Vermont is set to receive a $1 million dollar grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to help build a new 7,000-square-foot facility in Barre.

Construction is slated to begin in spring 2023.

“Preceding the pandemic, life was becoming more difficult for the people in central Vermont,” Bob Purvis, the center’s executive director said. “That speaks to the importance of having a single place where people on any pathway to recovery can go and find people doing the same thing.” 

Purvis says Turning Point’s North Main Street location in Barre has helped over 7,000 people in the last year. However, it has been a less than ideal space for its ten staff members and has had to steered away some potential clients. . 

“Our programs have expanded, we have more community partners that we’re working with, and our facility is inadequate,” he said. 

Purvis, who like all staff at Turning Point has a history of addiction treatment and recovery, said over the past two years, state and federal funding of more than over $2 million has brought the center closer to its $3 million fundraising goal. The expansion will include a room for wellness activities and individual recovery coaching rooms. 

“It’s going to be nice and solid, but simple,” Purvis said. “When someone goes in there, they are going to feel safe.” 

The USDA has now awarded more than $7 million from American Rescue Plan Act to hospitals and recovery centers in Vermont and New Hampshire to improve their infrastructure.  

Sarah Waring, USDA Rural Development State Director for Vermont and New Hampshire, ,said post-pandemic aid is essential for those in recovery.

“We’re seeing this enduring emergency that is going to go on for a number of years because the business models that our healthcare facilities rely on are not sustainable,” she said.