Haven House is in need of more family advocates. Are you suited for this opportunity?
Sue Wiens found it very easy to serve as a family advocate to a family with three children. When she heard that a local group was going to perform The Nutcracker ballet, she knew it would be a great experience for the children. All it took was a call to their mother and extend the invitation.
Excited to be attending the ballet, the children showed up with new clothes and eager anticipation to take it all in. The kids met Natasha Hill, the sugar plum fairy, and some of the other dancers and had their pictures taken. What a treat! Thanks to Sue, Christmas was a very special holiday for this family.
Family advocates are the most integral part of the Haven House program. Haven House provides transitional housing for homeless families and single women. In addition to providing shelter, safety, security and hope to homeless families, the program includes personal counseling and emotional support to start these families on a path to self-sufficiency. The goal is to restore each family to permanent housing.
Since opening halfway between Delta and Olathe in April 2011, Haven House has provided over 18,000 shelter nights to 160 people including 80 children. A number of families have graduated into their own homes.
While at Haven House, families are provided with training in budgeting, parenting skills, employment assistance, conflict resolution, sexual abuse prevention, relationship building, nutritional food preparation, professional counseling and Bible studies. Periodically, local organizations are invited to Haven House to educate parents on what services are available in the community.
Matching a family at Haven House with an advocate family provides a one-on-one connection and provides the specific help and advice each family needs. Several churches have already expressed an interest in taking on this family advocate role.
If being a family advocate is not your thing, there are many other ways to get involved. Donations of household goods, clothing and small furniture are also appreciated. Each family is housed in a suite with a private bath. Families are encouraged to furnish their suite like a home. When they move out of Haven House, these items are usually given to them to set up their own home again.
Haven House also features a common gathering area, commercial kitchen and spacious grounds for children to play.
Haven House focuses on families because studies show that children experiencing homelessness are at a very high risk. They are sick four times more often than other children, go hungry at twice the rate of others, have three times the rate of emotional problems, are far more likely to experience violence and are far less likely to graduate from high school.
Both Montrose and Delta counties rank in the top third in the state with the highest percentage of children living in poverty.
For more information on how you can help give families a chance to rebuild their lives, call Lillian or Larry at 625-5677 or the Haven House office at 323-5280. You can also visit havenhousehomeless.org for more information or to make a tax-deductible financial contribution with a credit card.
Speakers are available to speak to church or civic groups to spread the good news about what's happening at Haven House. To make arrangements, call 323-5280.