Haven House FamiliesLast year you helped 141 families! Since 1983, Haven House has helped more than a thousand mothers, fathers and children leave homelessness behind. Read their stories below! Skip to video library.
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Meet the families you're helping...
Over three years ago, the Smiths were facing multiple crises: "We had a house fire...all the property was completely destroyed. The smoke destroyed it all," John remembers (names have been changed).
Other shelters could take Angela and the girls, "but not us together." Haven House welcomed the family, including John who at the time was also recovering from being struck by a car. "I had a traumatic brain injury. They were very open...it was remarkable, they worked with us really well." Angela says that while in shelter, our re-housing program became"the foundation for everything we have, as far as learning how to be better with money. Not just to budget, but to plan."
"There's been a rollercoaster of situations in our life," Angela explains. "The house we're in now, we've been there for two years, almost two-and-a-half." John added that our follow-up program contributed to the family gaining long-term stability after leaving shelter for a home of their own again. "There was continuous checking in, help managaing money, that was really helpful for us."
Angela says that successfully completing Haven House's shelter and re-housing programs required significant effort on their part, saying "the program works, if you actually work." Even though John and Angela have successfully completed our Partners in Progress program, they remain grateful for the skills they gained from our staff, which they use every day to organize and improve their own lives. So even now, more than two years after leaving shelter, Angela still says "Haven House--they're helping us." Donate now to help a family >>
In the spring of 2016, Demario and Sabrina were both seeking work, and were quickly falling behind on their bills. When they could no longer keep up with rent, the family found themselves seeking temporary shelter.
Haven House was the only shelter that allowed them to stay together with their children without having to separate. While in shelter, both parents worked hard to get a budget planned and seek housing options while still trying to secure employment.
As a result of their hard work and perseverance they were able to secure affordable housing in less than thirty days. With the guidance your support makes possible through our re-housing program, Sabrina quickly obtained employment at a local restaurant chain and Demario is also working, at a factory in Lansing. Since moving to their own home, both parents have been active participants in our Partners in Progress program which helps them set and achieve long-term goals.
They successfully maintain their housing by following the monthly budget they have identified and making sure their rent and utilities are paid on time every month before other expenses. Demario and Sabrina feel that the community in Lansing has been very supportive for them. Your support has helped them through this transition and they are very grateful.
It has been comforting for them to see their children make friends with their neighbors and hope to see these relationships continue over the years. Demario said this is the first time they have had the space of a home (instead of an apartment) in a quiet neighborhood.
Demario and Sabrina are proud that their children see them going to work every day and feel this teaches them how to be independent. Their advice for other families is to “stay focused and just do what you have to do.”
In the winter of 2015, Shelly moved her family into a home after saving for over a year to have the rent, security deposit and other move in costs covered. After just four months living there, Shelly found out her landlord had been renting her home illegally, with numerous health and safety violations. Due to unsafe conditions, Shelly and her kids had to leave home immediately. She did not have enough savings to secure a new rental so quickly.
Eventually sleeping on a relative’s floor in another county, Shelly was losing all hope for a normal life for her children. It was getting increasingly difficult to transport the children to and from school while Shelly continued to work. Shelly diligently called our shelter every morning for two weeks--every bed in our shelter was full—and eventually room became available. Shelly says each time she called to see if there was space for her family at Haven House, “the staff and volunteers who answered the phone were friendly and caring.” This gave Shelly hope that Haven House would be a positive environment for her kids during this difficult time.
They had never been to a shelter before and Shelly was concerned how her children would respond. Thanks to your support, from the day Shelly and her family entered Haven House she found relief and opportunity. Having other children there whose families were in similar homeless situations was relaxing for her children. Shelly shared information on local landlords and available rentals with the other parents in shelter. After viewing numerous rentals, Shelly found a landlord that she felt understood her situation and had a home that was perfect for her family. Shelly feels that the staff and volunteers at Haven House were extremely supportive with helping her move and very much appreciated the household items she received when she exited shelter to move into her new housing. These household items included dishes, pots and pans, cooking utensils, towels, blankets, sheets and general hygiene and cleaning supplies, which are all items made available to Haven House residents through the generosity of donors.
This April, Shelly and her kids celebrated one year in their new home. Shelly was impressed with all of the help that Haven House provided her family after they left shelter as well. They were invited back to Haven House for special events and her children really liked that. When Shelly’s extended family members saw how hard Shelly worked to get her family through this stressful situation and back into housing, and all the support she received from Haven House, they too became more supportive of her. Shelly has been an active participant in the Partners in Progress program and successfully maintained her housing for a year. We are so proud of Shelly!
Tony and Anna had been living a fairly typical life. Married for ten years, Tony was staying at home to take care of their children while Anna worked full time as a customer service representative. Things were going great until a terribly frigid day in February when the family came home to find a pipe had burst and flooded their home: everything they owned was destroyed.
They were lost as to what to do next. The renter’s insurance they carried didn’t cover a fraction of what they lost. Luckily they were able to connect with Red Cross, who put them in a hotel for three days. They were able to rely on their network of family and friends for a time, but bouncing from house to house became too stressful for the young family so they called Haven House. As soon as they hit our doors they showed their motivation! Declaring they wanted to be one of the quickest families to transition, they saved all of their money for move-in costs and found new housing just two weeks after joining Haven House’s program. In their thank you letter they say, “You have really made us feel at home and have made this a smooth transition, especially for our children. We have enjoyed the kindness and the care.” Tony and Anna’s family were superstars while they stayed here and will be sweetly missed. We congratulate their perseverance and enthusiasm, and wish them the best in all their future goals!
Haven House Video Library
Janet (above) is one of many success stories at Haven House.
Watch as she takes a look back at her journey and celebrates one
year in housing!
This informative video illustrates how we help and who we help!
This video, created by students at Haslett High School to show in the fund-raising telethon they organized
on behalf of Haven House, tells the story of Haven House through the eyes of two of our former residents.
It includes an interview with Angela Mayeaux, Executive Director.
Haven House Celebrates 30 Years!
WKAR conducted a video interview of Angela Mayeaux, Executive Director, and some residents of Haven
House as a pilot for a new series that they were exploring. This video provides a glimpse of the activities
in Haven House that are intended to make it possible for the residents to get back into a stable housing
Channel 6 Coverage of the Haven House Renovation Open House
Privacy Notice: All photos are of actual former clients of Haven House
. Names have been changed.