A History Of Hope
When HAVEN in Lee County opened its doors in 1985, its founders dreamed of creating a service agency that would serve all victims of domestic violence and sexual assault – men, women and children. Staffed by one person and housed in a small downtown office HAVEN provided crisis intervention and emergency services to victims.
Through the years, the agency has grown to embrace roles that range from supporting survivors of abuse in healing to seeking active engagement of the community in prevention efforts.
Since its inception, HAVEN’s Board of Directors, the Executive Director, and advocates have worked to establish relationships with other agencies in Lee County to maximize services; the Sheriff’s Department, Sanford Police Department, Central Carolina Community Hospital, the Department of Social Services, Lee County Schools, and the Lee County Court System. HAVEN provides public awareness programming, professional training for individuals serving women, children, and families as well as educational materials for the community-at-large.
More recently, HAVEN advocates, including a peer support specialist and recovery coaches, provide community education aimed at increasing knowledge about active addiction and abuse, exploring personal opinions and attitudes, and fostering caring responses to victims to decrease barriers throughout the healing process. Our peer support specialist and recovery coaches promote wellness and harms reduction while ensuring a non-judgmental environment for healing.
HAVEN’s Philosophy: “Out of the darkness and into the light”
To better achieve our goal to heal, to teach and to empower, HAVEN proudly showcases our agency. “Most shelter locations are undisclosed, or ‘hidden,’ but hidden does not automatically mean ‘safe.’ Victims of domestic violence should not have to hide from their community.”
Most shelter locations are undisclosed – or ‘hidden.’ But in reality, a hidden, supposedly unknown location does not necessarily mean ‘safe.’ Secrecy and safety are not synonymous, particularly in a community the size of Lee County. While victims of domestic violence do need a safe and secure refuge from their victimizers, they should not have to hide from their community, fearing stigma or shame.
Our approach empowers the victims and represents an opportunity for our community to be a leader in the fight against domestic violence.
Located at the corner of Horner Boulevard and Bracken Street, our facility consolidates HAVEN’s shelter and offices into one secure, well-equipped, efficient facility. Our one location offers a more efficient use of staff and funding. We now have fewer victims being referred to other organizations in other counties, as has often been the case in the past. We now have more room to shelter clients and the facility is able to offer more comprehensive services available under one roof.
Thanks to Federal Recovery Act funding and grants from other sources – as well as support from the community – victims of domestic violence and sexual assault have an enhanced, functionally efficient, healthy place to seek safety and on-going assistance.