Safe Haven Foundation’s newest initiative, Haven’s Harbour, will provide subsidized housing and supports for 9 additional young women who are pursuing post-secondary education.
Transitioning from adolescence to adulthood can be an exciting and overwhelming time. Living independently and making your way in the world can be scary, but most young people do not feel alone because they have family and natural supports with them through this new chapter. For youth with prior experience in homelessness, exposed to significant trauma, living with mental health disorders, overcoming substance abuse, and separated from their families, it can be scary and intimidating. Because of these hurdles and their needs, our youth may require some level of ongoing support while learning to live independently. By opening Haven’s Harbour, Safe Haven Foundation will be able to provide a third type of housing support to youth, which will round out our existing House Parent and Peer Mentor Models provided in our Haven’s Way long-term homes. Youth will be able to practice the life skills learned at Haven’s Way with the security of affordable housing.
From intake we create space for all girls to share who they are, what culture and community they connect with and what they would like to explore. We review their rights on a regular basis, regardless of how they self-identify and strongly believe that all young people should be given freedom and choice to connect with those supports that feel most comfortable to them.
Our Alumni Program ensures the youth continue to have a sense of belonging, community and familial supports which are essential in their journey to self-sufficiency. The other main program components, the Educational Bursary and Therapeutic Recreation Programs, provide the Haven’s Way and Haven’s Harbour youth and Alumni opportunities to pursue post-secondary education, explore their individual passions and participate in extra-curricular activities.
The youth will come to Haven’s Harbour through Haven’s Way and other like-minded programs and as such will not need intensive case management. The overall goal is creating space and time for youth to make the dual transition from homelessness to housed, from adolescent to adulthood, while being in a supportive environment where they can grow and reach their goals at their own individual pace. It is our expectation that these youth will be in the 16-26 age range which is more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule as some flexibility will be required based on individual needs.
An on-site Community Hub will have designated space to build community for positive youth through mentorship opportunities, life skills and employment training, food security, personal safety, and enhancing physical and mental health and overall wellbeing. The Community Hub will bring together Alumni, Haven’s Harbour and Haven’s Way youth as well as their families and natural supports, increasing our potential reach far beyond the number of individuals we are able to support through our Haven’s Way program. This inclusive space will also offer opportunities for youth and their families to explore and connect to their cultures and learn from Knowledge Keepers, Elders, and provide resources to those within the 2SLGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities.
We are currently embarking on a $2.4 million Capital Campaign for Haven’s Harbour. An apartment building has been purchased in the South Calgary area and will be undergoing renovations of the suites, as well as future plans for the Community Hub, patio space, community garden and other upgrades as funding allows. We welcome cash and in-kin donations and can offer meaningful naming recognition opportunities. Haven’s Harbour is scheduled to open in Fall 2022, and we invite you to invest in this important opportunity. Together we can build a better future and create a lasting impact for Calgary’s youth.
Learn more at: https://www.havensharbour.ca/
Community Engagement Officer
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