Pam Pike’s buoyant personality was much in evidence this morning as she showed a visitor around Haven Family House, which provides transitional housing for homeless families. “The apples from this tree are the best,” she said, standing in the facility’s organic fruit and vegetable garden.
She was also a bit apprehensive. Tonight (10/13) she’ll be speaking to long time donors and supporters at a party celebrating the shelter’s 10th anniversary. It was only a few short weeks ago that she and her two sons graduated from the shelter and moved into their own apartment.
After ending a rocky marriage in 2008 and staying with her mother, who is not in good health, Pam and the boys found themselves homeless this past May. They were one of the lucky ones; after being referred to Shelter Network, they learned there was an immediate opening at Haven Family House in Menlo Park, one of the organizations six shelter locations.
“Having the opportunity to come to Haven Family House and use all the resources available was exactly what I needed to create a plan for the future,” she says in her remarks prepared for this evening. “I had become so frustrated for the past two years that I was unable to find stable housing and a full time job. We have accomplished so much since coming here.”
10 years of making a positive impact on families lives
Haven Family House boasts impressive statistics. In the past 10 years the shelter, which opened in June, 2010 after the program was initially housed in the former Belle Haven Motel, has assisted 651 families (over 4,500 people) and provided over 200,000 nights of shelter. While staying at the shelter, clients saved approximately $833,300 – an average of $2,000 per family.
“Community support for our neighbors in need is what makes Shelter Network’s Haven Family House such a success,” said Amy Wright, Major Donor Program Director. “Thanks to ongoing donations of financial support, clothing, furniture and household items and volunteer time and talent we have the fuel to ensure that we will continue to have over 90% of the families who graduate from our program return to self-sufficiency and get into permanent housing in less than an average of 100 days.”
Pam Pike knows this first hand. She cites programmatic benefits such as nutrition and budgeting classes as well as the fact that her boys got new wardrobes from clothing donations and donated furniture fills their new apartment. “My family is grateful that there was a safe and encouraging place to go when we had nowhere else to turn,” she says.