Empowering Lives: An Insight into SwitchPoint’s Mission and Impact

Words: Dave Barr

SwitchPoint Regional Director Christy Johnson

Welcome to our latest blog post series highlighting the community and people of Tooele, Utah, the location of Central States’ 12th manufacturing plant, set to open in the Spring of 2025. In this edition, we connected with Christy Johnson, Regional Director for SwitchPoint.

To get the opportunity to meet Christy and her staff touches your soul. Their passion and empathy for people stretch farther than imagined. Our Central States team was in Utah last November as part of the Western Plant groundbreaking got to experience this firsthand when we spent an afternoon working in SwitchPoint’s thrift store. The organization is a beacon of hope and support for those in need within the Tooele and the Tooele County community. We interviewed Christy to get her unique perspective on the organization’s multifaceted approach to addressing homelessness, food insecurity, and much more.


Q: Can you introduce us to SwitchPoint and its role in the community?

A: SwitchPoint is a crucial lifeline for many in Tooele County, offering a wide array of services aimed at empowering individuals and families. From a food pantry, emergency shelter, and community kitchen to housing assistance and employment support, SwitchPoint is dedicated to making a tangible difference. The organization draws its name from a railway switch point, symbolizing its mission to help people change their life’s direction.

A client seeing her apartment for the first time in Tooele, Utah.

Q: How does SwitchPoint uniquely address the needs of its clients?

A: At its core, SwitchPoint is designed around the dignity and agency of its clients. Unlike many shelters, clients are not required to leave during the day, allowing them to build connections and access vital services such as case management, showering, and laundry. This inclusivity extends to offering opportunities for individuals to volunteer, fostering a sense of community and belonging. Since its inception in July 2020, SwitchPoint has provided over 96,000 service points.


Q: It really does take a village to not only support children but also adults who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances. Life lessons aren’t always easy – would you tell us about your thoughts on this?

A: Here’s an example of that: I was doing a room check last month, and found some items that should not have been on campus. And the individual was really upset. He was like,” Great; you’re going to kick me out.” And I said, “Those words did not come out of my mouth. I never said that. But we have to address this problem. These things cannot be on campus. Let’s see what we can do to help you.” He was just ready to be kicked out and forgotten. Let’s figure out how to help him.


Q: Everyone seems excited about the apartment complex of 60+ units that is now open to help individuals and families. What other kinds of support services does SwitchPoint offer?

A: Beyond basic needs, SwitchPoint focuses on long-term empowerment through job skills training, resume writing, and housing assistance. The organization operates a thrift store where clients can use “switch bucks” earned through volunteering to purchase necessary items, reinforcing the value of work and pride in self-sufficiency. Additionally, SwitchPoint is involved in groundbreaking projects like 24/7 childcare and mental health supportive housing, addressing critical gaps in the community.

The SwitchPoint campus in Tooele is comprised of a repurposed elementary school and the new apartment complex.

Q: How has the community responded to SwitchPoint’s efforts?

A: The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with the community rallying to support through donations, volunteer work, and partnership. A recent valley-wide food drive exemplifies this support, collecting over 25,000 targeted food items to stock the food pantry. This generosity underscores a shared commitment to uplifting neighbors and reinforcing the social fabric of Tooele County. We’ve just been so fortunate to have great reception from anybody. But I think it’s including them in the process of helping others that’s made the difference – it’s really important that we share that. I like to call them the “warm fuzzies.”


Q: Looking forward, what are SwitchPoint’s goals?

A: SwitchPoint is continuously seeking innovative solutions to the persistent challenges of homelessness and insecurity. Plans include expanding mental health supportive housing, establishing a teen center for homeless youth, and exploring micro-business opportunities to create sustainable funding sources. These initiatives highlight SwitchPoint’s proactive approach to not only address immediate needs, but foster long-term stability and community integration.



SwitchPoint stands as a testament to what can be achieved when compassion, innovation, and community support converge. Its holistic approach to social services not only provides immediate relief, but also empowers individuals to reclaim their dignity and place in society. As SwitchPoint continues to grow and evolve, its impact on the lives it touches and the broader community will undoubtedly continue to deepen, reflecting the true spirit of collective action and empathy.

Central States is proud to stand beside SwitchPoint with commitments in place for Giving Back within the organization and employment opportunities in our Tooele Plant.

To learn more about SwitchPoint and their amazing organization, click HERE.

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