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Resilient Retreat nonprofit hosts groundbreaking

The abuse nonprofit announced the groundbreaking on Oct. 30.

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Making the best of life can be hard in the best of times, and the ongoing pandemic can hardly be described as that. 

But life goes on, and people still live and struggle as they always have. Sometimes those struggles can take the shape of depression, trauma, and abuse. People can handle those hardships on their own, but sometimes they need help as well. 

Resilient Retreat helps with that. The Lakewood Ranch-located nonprofit  was established in 2018 and has been providing workshops and training to people who have experienced trauma since 2019. Its participants include people who have suffered assault, domestic abuse and violence, and first responders who have experienced trauma in their workplaces. 

Soon, though, the organization is going to upgrade in a major way. Resilient Retreat is going to begin construction on a new facility in Sarasota to take care of suffering people. The organization marked the occasion with a “Road to Resilience” Groundbreaking event at its new location on Oct. 30. Attendees drove and parked and heard from founder Sidney Turner before watching “The Wizard of Oz” on a drive-in screen. 

“We knew we could not do a traditional groundbreaking with shovels and the stones, because COVID,” Executive Director Lisa Intagliata said. “We decided why not do a drive-in movie at the expansive property.

The care center — located on an 84-acre property on Fruitville Road — is planned to be 20,000 square feet and able to accommodate up to 30 people at a time. Amenities will include a community hall, a community garden, treatment locations, exercise areas, and more.

The center’s programs will have intensive three to five day retreats for people suffering from abuse. 

The hope is that people at the center in that time will experience a number of different healing and treatment approaches — including therapy, neurofeedback sessions, yoga, gardening, and more — and will take what’s best for them and practice it when they’re no longer at the center.  

“Sidney Turner, our founder, really saw that there's an awful lot of care facilities that are in the now,” Intagliata said. “ (They) help you get through the initial crisis for example if you're a domestic abuse survivor. After the initial crisis, there's no long term community to really plug into and build a support network.”

Many of the group’s treatments have gone virtual due to the pandemic, so people who aren’t from the local Sarasota area could continue their treatment practices online as well. 

The groundbreaking movie event was something of a celebration, with families arriving and participating in costume contests, pumpkin carving games, and more. Food trucks were available if guests were hungry and there were golf cart tours of the land so people could get an idea of what the center will look like. Eventually everyone returned to their cars for  “The Wizard of Oz,”  a nod to Judy Garland, who lived with substance abuse.

“We showed ‘The Wizard of Oz’ because it’s empowering,” Intagliata said.  “The whole concept with Judy Garland’s character … learning she had the power within herself all the time.”

Intagliata said the organization recently received the necessary construction permits and that construction on the new center will begin in a few weeks. A grand opening for the center is planned for 2022. 




Harry Sayer

Harry Sayer is the Black Tie editor for the Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and previously worked Black Tie for the Observer newspaper in Winter Park and Maitland. You can catch him at one of Sarasota's fundraisers and shindigs.

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