Safe Haven Family Shelter
Charity of the Month: January, 2018
Not to smack you with a Mother Teresa quote from the get-go, but the lady has some wisdom!
“Love is not patronizing and charity isn’t about pity. It is about love. Charity and love are the same—with charity you give love. So don’t just give money, but reach out your hand."
Homelessness in America increased last year for the first time since The Great Recession. With this, Safe Haven Family Shelter holds such a critical role in Nashville. A vital piece of our community for over 30 years, this non-profit has the only shelter-to-housing program in Middle Tennessee that houses the entire family. Many facilities only permit the mother to be sheltered with the children - not the father. This non-profit is concerned about maintaining the family unit, which is a key to ensuring success for these children.
In the summer of 2016 I traveled the country for months volunteering at food banks and shelters; personally simulating homelessness by living in my car and camping wherever I traveled.
When you don’t have a home, it is extraordinarily difficult to function as a normal human being in a society. It was uncomfortable and exhausting to find somewhere to shower daily, to find a bathroom to use (multiple times a day *gasp!*), a place to cook food, a place to change clothes, a place to sleep, or even just to sit without being questioned or disturbed (It became burdensome to exist). I quickly learned it would be complicated and almost impossible to find a job if you don't have a shower, a car, transportation, money, a computer or the clothes required for an interview. I learned that sometimes we just need a little help to pull ourselves out of a problematic and wearisome situation.
That’s what Safe Haven does for the city of Nashville.
My experiences on the road forced me to realize just how crucial organizations like Safe Haven Family Shelter are for our society, for our fellow humans, and for Nashvillians.
While most of us have friends and family who are able to help and support us in times of extreme need and difficulty, not all of us are able to fall back on others. Sometimes we make poor choices leading us down a road we never intended, and it’s often arduous to turn around and trudge back alone. Safe Haven provides a helping hand to people trying to get back home.
Ultimately bringing clients to self-sufficiency, Safe Haven Family Shelter has a myriad of programs forming a system which not only treats the symptoms of homelessness, but tackles the root causes. They accomplish this through: adult education, children’s after school programs and tutoring, budgeting, housing programs, daycare, resume building, financial counseling, health and wellness education and a whole host of other specific aids for their clients.
As seen in a recent survey, there are nearly 2,500 homeless people in Nashville each night. Though Safe Haven functions as optimally as possible, there are only so many individuals and families they can house and help each day. By donating money and time, we can help create more infrastructure to facilitate the rebuilding process of each person’s life. It’s enlivening to be a part of positive growth!
Visit my Safe Haven donation page, check out their official website, follow them on Facebook, set up a time to volunteer, or do all the above! Also, most obviously, come to our Nashville Offbeat event on January 31st at The 5 Spot where the door proceeds are going to our January Charity: Safe Haven Family Shelter.
Here’s some stuff to click on: