A Word from Our Executive Director
September 7, 2017
Homelessness is a real crisis being experienced right here in our community. In a recent article in the Spartanburg Herald Journal, South Carolina was identified as having the 5th highest number of homeless individuals per capita in our nation. During the 2016 Homes Point in Contact count, conducted by HUD, Spartanburg County counted over 500 homeless individuals with our county borders. It is important for us to remember these are only those individuals willing to be identified.
Regardless of these numbers and the extent of the crisis, federal funding options for shelter services have consistently decreased over the last decade. This unfortunate trend shows no indication of changing. Funding for sheltering services is becoming a philanthropic endeavor. The Haven Shelter for Families is not immune to these funding cuts. Federal grant money previously relied upon over the years has seen a steady decrease. It is not inconceivable that within 5 years, all federal sheltering money will cease to exist.
The Haven is committed to continue expanding our outreach and homelessness prevention missions as we align our focus with the current policy and funding options available to combat this community crisis.
To meet the needs of the homeless population in our community, The Haven continues to expand our services beyond our walls. The community outreach program currently being conducted at the Spartanburg County Public Library Headquarters is showing great promise as we extend case management services to a previously underserved population. Extending the offering of services referral may not immediately end a person’s homelessness, but it does offer the potential of hope to those who have been forgotten.
-Dr. Mark George Bound, PhD
August 4, 2017
In 2017 The Haven Board of Trustees embraced a long term vision for expansion of services that are designed to address the homelessness crisis in our community. These programs, in cooperation with the Spartanburg Library Headquarters will offer the transient homeless population access to services that will offer the opportunity of mitigating the external issues which have contributed to their homeless condition.
This collaboration with the SCL will also present a series of programs, twice a month, that will bring information and referral services to families and individuals who are currently at risk of experiencing homelessness in the near future. The Haven is committed to designing and implementing proactive programs, with partner agencies in our area, that will end homelessness before it begins.
The Haven will continue its mission of offering shelter to families experiencing homelessness. At the start of this year, The Haven was allowed to extend its program length of stay from the previous 90 day limit, to its current length of stay estimate of 1 year. Extending the length of time a family can participate in our core case management services better prepares families to gain the skills necessary to achieve sustainable stable living skills. The result being better outcomes and less recidivism.
The staff of the Haven has embraced our new mission statement, “Our mission is to provide shelter and supportive services to homeless families through programs that promote sustainable living stability. The Haven advocates, creates opportunities, and engages, in collaborative locally driven solutions to end homelessness for families and individuals.” and are fully dedicated to “Creating and engaging solutions to end homelessness.”
2017 should be an exciting year of growth and development at The Haven!
-Dr. Mark George Bound, PH.D.
Executive Director of The Haven