Haven House seeks support

By Hank Lohmeyer


A unique private, non-profit social services organization based in Olathe and which serves Delta County residents asked the Board of County Commissioners for financial support on Monday.

Commissioners heard a presentation from two representatives of Haven House of Olathe. Haven House has two integrated programs -- transitional housing and child development -- that focus on helping homeless families learn the "path to self sufficiency." Haven House also works with individuals when space is available in its facility that houses around 50 to 55 people.

Larry Fredrickson and Rose Verheul of Haven House asked the commissioners to donate $5,000 to their organization in 2017. They are also asking the city and the county of Montrose for $10,000 each. The Haven House budget for 2016 was $196,900, of which almost 40 percent came from private foundation grants, Fredrickson told the BoCC. He said just over half of the current Haven House residents come from Delta County. The faith-based operation opened in 2011.

Fredrickson explained that Haven House differs from the Abraham Connection homeless shelter facility in Delta in several ways. Haven House does not take in homeless people for overnight sheltering. Rather, it takes in families with children, and also singles, who must abide by a set of established rules as they embark on a longer-term program of mastering life skills, obtaining employment, improving children's school performance, establishing a bank account, and finally moving into permanent housing of their own on a path to self-sufficiency.

"Unlike emergency shelters that are open from early evening to early morning, our families live at Haven House 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for up to two years or longer," states a program advisory provided to the commissioners.

"To achieve maximum impact of our two programs, [the] transitional housing and child development are significantly integrated," explains the advisory.

Commissioners made no decision on the funding request and will take it under consideration during budget hearings later this month.