OLATHE, Colo. (KREX) — Haven House is where people can get a fresh start. This Olathe and faith-based facility is not a homeless shelter, it’s a safe haven where people learn everything they need to know to get back on their feet.
Families like Willow & Sam have been through hard times and homeless shelters but Haven House was the turnaround they were searching for.
“When you see families that are moving forward that have come out with violence domestic violence, drug addiction, homelessness, to see others in success, it gives yourself encouragement to do so as well,” Willow Echevarria reflects, “I think it’s a great place to reunite and to restabilize yourself. If you’re homeless, it gives you a second chance to be able to live again,” Proud Sam Sierawski adds.
The love that resides in Haven House creates a safe haven for adults and kids. One of the newest additions is a daycare and learning center so kids can be COVID-free and parents can go to work.
Education is a top priority after seeing some students two grades behind.
“They all definitely have had their setbacks,” Haven House Education and Youth Director Heather Melton shares, “Being able to have them here and being able to give them the focused one on one care and education that they need each step along the way makes it so they can thrive.”
Participants always have a home, once in Haven House. People who were once part of Haven House are now taking the healing and lessons and paying it forward as staff.
“I feel like I’ve grown a lot not only in this position but in life,” Haven House Assistant Teacher Sharon Dawson exclaims, it’s helped a lot it’s made me feel more confident and they would give me skills to help me with my family and to move forward here.”
Grants and fundraising cover 80 percent of Haven House’s resources. Residents take classes on finances, mental health and healing while earning and saving money.
During Rose’s six years as director, her greatest success has been watching residents become healthy and independent in two years or less.
“We have families when they’re ready to leave it that have the money to go out and be able to pay for first last and deposit,” Haven House Executive Director Rose Verheul informs, “I’m proud to say that we have five people five families that have gone from complete homelessness to owning their first home.”
Haven House expects to expand in 2022: a new wing & playground are on the way.