Motivated by Christ’s love, our mission is to end domestic abuse.
In fiscal year 2016, we served 577 women and children through shelter, case management, legal advocacy, support groups, and children and youth programming. And the demand is growing. Since 2012 we’ve experienced an increase of 25% in the average shelter length of stay, 110% in hotline calls, and 39% in clients receiving case management.
Each year, nearly 1,000 women and children request shelter and support services from Safe Haven.
Sadly, our current facility is too small to meet this demand. To allow our program capacity to grow, a new space is being designed to better meet our clients’ needs.
“Do you have shelter for me and my three children? I need a safe place to go so he won’t find us.”
Eight months pregnant, she called Safe Haven’s hotline.
Q: Why is Safe Haven building a new facility?
A:Each year, nearly 1,000 women and children request shelter and support services from Safe Haven Ministries. Sadly, our current facility is too small to meet this demand. In 2016, our staff served 577 women and children in our residential and nonresidential programs. Over recent years, Safe Haven has gained credibility and increased visibility throughout this community and beyond. This, in addition to the population growth in West Michigan, has led to an increased demand for our services. The partnerships we share with many other nonprofit organizations in the area have also connected more survivors with our programs, even as they receive services from our partner agencies. We have come to realize that the demand for our services is steadily increasing, and we feel responsible to answer that call.
Q: What is the one site facility model?
A: For the past 26 years, Safe Haven has operated out of two separate locations: our administrative offices, at which we hold support groups as well as individual client assessments, and our confidential emergency shelter. Our new facility, however, will model a new trend that is emerging among other domestic violence organizations that provide residential or emergency shelter services. In this one-site plan, our nonresidential and residential programs will be integrated under one roof. The benefits to this approach are significant, but one in particular is increased collaboration between our residential and nonresidential teams. Residential clients will now have easier access to many of our programs, including legal advocacy, therapy, and children and youth services. While these have always been utilized by our residential clients, our new facility will reduce some of the barriers current clients have expressed when trying to engage in these services.
Our new facility will also create space for agency collaboration. Instead of a client needing to meet with community worker or agency somewhere else, they will now be able to meet within the agency in a trauma-informed space.
Additionally, the new facility will increase space for our Prevention and Education Program. This will allow us to offer more trainings to larger audience. Equipping our community with the tools to be active change agents in our mission to end domestic abuse is crucial.
Q: How will the new facility maintain safety and confidentiality?
A: Even though our shelter will no longer be a confidential location, every possible measure will be taken to ensure the confidentiality and privacy of our clients, through architectural drawings to the construction process and the training our staff receives. There will be multiple security measures taken that have been unprecedented among shelters in the community thus far and will add extra levels of safety and protection for our clients. Our staff and volunteers will also undergo additional trainings and certifications in order to ensure that they are equipped to address and meet the needs of our clients and their security.