Me and my son were here and it was by far the worst experience ever. I have heard such good things and it was a huge let down. They were not great to my son and his mental illnesses and then started unnecessary nonsense in my family caused me and my husband split up it was the worst and I am still homeless and will never return here period.
I have been a volunteer docent at Haven for Hope for 10 years. Haven for Hope is an amazing collaborative campus and I am proud to be part of the mission offering a place of Hope and New Beginnings. The cooperative spirit and compassion is amazing and the staff is the best!
Haven for Hope is a community of kind, caring people trying to make a difference in the lives of those who have exhausted all their resources and are homeless. Every time I lead a tour of visitors through the campus I leave Haven with a full heart. It’s a joy to share with others the good things the staff and partners accomplish with our members. I have never been associated with a more positive and supportive group of people.
I am a volunteer tour giver at Haven for Hope in San Antonio, Texas. It is a 22-acre facility providing emergency shelter and transformational services and resources to individuals , families and children experiencing homelessness in our county. It is a unique example of the city, county, state, business community and the non-profits collaborating to find REAL solutions to individuals who struggle to provide sustainable employment and housing.
Last month I gave a tour and on the tour was a San Antonio policeman who had been picking up people and dropping them off at Haven. He wanted to see what their experience would be like and what they could expect in the way of help from Haven. Often they are sick, confused, scared...he wanted to know how he could help them as he was bringing them to Haven.
I just thought it was a beautiful example of our humanity and by trying to put his shoes in someone else's and not judging was a class act by our super San Antonio Police Department!
Haven for Hope opened in 2010, and I joined the docent team a year later. Docents are volunteers who tell the story of Haven: its history, its mission, its clients, and how the organization serves them. The problem of homelessness in our country is a complex one that is ever-changing. That is one of the aspects of Haven that I appreciate the most. It is a dynamic organization, adapting to the needs of the homeless population as new and better approaches are identified. The hope of Haven is one of transformation, giving people the opportunity to identify the root cause of their homelessness and providing resources and services that address that root cause. In the absence of transformation, Haven still provides an abundance of services to meet the needs of those dealing with homelessness. Spreading the word about Haven is a very positive process. Visitors and new volunteers are amazed at what can be accomplished on a campus where organizations work together to meet the needs of those experiencing homelessness in our community. Haven for Hope is regarded as a national model for addressing homelessness, and the citizens of San Antonio should feel pride at our city's response to this issue.
August 17, 2018
On my first short visit to the Haven for Hope campus, I knew it was a very special place. The words “humane” and “amazing” are two that I often think of when imaging that which is Haven…
It would take pages for me to describe how Haven offers services and works toward helping those who find themselves experiencing homelessness. Haven uses methods of identifying the root causes, then working with the client, implement those services and programs that can help eliminate repeated episodes of homelessness. In addition, the Recovery and Wellness Program combines substance abuse and mental health into one treatment program, ITP, enabling those clients to further advance toward permanent housing.
Haven works with nearly 200 partner organizations, many who have offices on-site and provide various needed services. Volunteers play a big part with approximately 1000 working on the campus each month, both individually and in groups.
During my first visit, I noticed the members and guests gathered in what seemed to be friendly groups, talking and visiting with each other around the plaza and courtyard. I could see that it was a pretty relaxed environment. I didn’t feel any negativity or lost hope…everyone I said hello to returned the greeting with a smile.
I made the decision during that visit to volunteer here.
Now, after almost one year, I am as positive as ever about what I sometimes call “Hope”.
Of course, nothing is perfect, and sometimes it can be difficult as homelessness itself is a trying thing with associated trauma and uncertainties.
Shortly after I first came, I was assisting leading a discussion group about the topic “love”, not of the romantic kind, but In general. The subject lead to talking about a feeling that seemed to be pervasive at Haven… an incredible feeling of well-being. At the meeting we called it a Vortex. There were about 40 attendees, and for 20 minutes or so we discussed this and almost everyone there knew and agreed about it.
This is just a start as to how I see Haven. I feel that most here are working toward a common goal; fulfilment of the hopes of those who come to us for help. I believe that is part of what being human is all about.
Susan Flores – Volunteer
Haven for Hope
Review from Guidestar
It violates thev13th amendment of the contution of the united States of America by abuse handed down by staffing the lack of following the by laws by the CEO who runs it
By not only labels the clients with a blue bag the must carry out side to bring anything in
Where staff can walk around drinking coffee
But the clients are even not allowed to bring coffee in so therefore coffe
Is not a drug
Plus some people has a partial condition to Handel a bag that size
The way staff changes rules on a daily bases
Needed to have a out side federal government justice depart to investigate it's non profit status
Which over looks the 13th d amendment
Which over rides the rules here
And the state of Texas must abide by in there contution to protect their citizen
Where homeless or not
I request a full review by the justice department
To show jus cause why have of hope does not follow the by laws of a nonprofit
right now "the court yard" is cleaner than ive seen in past year BUT there r certain staff members and "new" rules that just dont work FOR the homeless community.....wer is the compassion when me and 23 others have to go to work with huge bags that basically pronuonses your homeless with printed I.D. number on side....where is the hope when i see poor girl that was semi normal but now completely on another planet SLEEPING AND LIVING next to trash can infront of office.....where is the new beginnings when another woman i know is now picking cig butts out of facility ashtrays but wait 4 mths ago she was on her way to college with a grant and was coherant to conversation...wat makes this SAD is all this goes on infront of staff and security every day,and night...wat you folks need is a working suggestion box....Noneprofits?????why do you always need last four digits of social securuty number.....because thats how they receieve gov, state, city or even private grants and funds...every time u use your card or ur s.s number....in real life there is no commpassion for the homelesss...theses r my words and sentaments towards our community leaders....god bless and god speed to all my homeless bros. and sis.
Saving lives, changing perspectives, and leaders in compassionate excellence
Review from Guidestar
I am amazed at what Haven for Hope has accomplished in the short time (~4 years) they have been in existence. Their staff and volunteers are tirelessly dedicated to impacting homelessness in Bexar county. They continually seek to improve their processes and results, with a one-stop approach to identifying and treating the root causes of homelessness. They meet each person right where they are, loving them and providing them with case-specific help. That's exactly what Jesus did when he walked on this earth...He met each person's needs individually...and loved them right where they were. I am forever changed by what I have witnessed on this campus.
Making an investment in Haven for Hope was, and continues to be, the greatest decision for our family. To see the incomparable impact made on the individuals/families transforming at Haven for Hope truly redefines awe-inspiring.
My journey with Haven for Hope started on 6-11-2010 when I came to Haven for Hope in need of shelter. I had previously battled drug addiction and mental health issues and needed to separate myself from a situation that was going to draw me back into darkness. Haven for Hope allowed me to sever ties to my old life and start my life over. I utilized the services at Haven and got a better foundation for my recovery and got into my own apartment. I decided to give back to Haven by volunteering my time at Intake and found myself productive and firm in my recovery. On June 11, 2012 I was offered a job at Intake as an Intake Specialist and I have never been happier or more fulfilled. Not only am I stable mentally and free from substance abuse, but I am now married to an amazing woman and have three beautiful daughters. My experience with Haven for Hope has enriched my life and made it exponentially greater that I could have ever imagined.
I came to Haven for Hope a recovering alcoholic/addict with a fresh felony and severe major depression. A year prior to coming to Haven for Hope I felt so hopeless with life that I hung myself. After 20 years of addiction and no self esteem, self pride or self confidence I flat gave up. I lived through my suicide attempt, spent 9 months locked up and came out with a fresh felony, none of the things that I just described helped me believe in myself one bit. I end up at Haven for Hope's intake office and meet with an intake specialist that listens to what I have to say, gives me her card so that I can call her if I need someone to talk to if I get depressed and offers me clothes and hygiene products and sends me to Prospects Court Yard. Prospects Court Yard is an emergency outdoor shelter that provides you minimum services but provides the necessities(food shelter and clothing). While I was there I did a daily chore in the morning and then stayed active the rest of the day. Did bad things happen in Prospect Yard? I am sure they did. Did I see them? No because I was to busy trying to get on with my life that I didn't stick around to see them. I did see a lot of people in there battling addiction and mental illness and sadly that was inspiration for me to take better care of myself. After 32 days I was admitted onto the Haven for Hope Transformational Campus where I received a case manager. This is one person that believed in me no matter if I believed in myself. She got me linked to private counseling that Haven for Hope has on campus and I started working on my depression, She got me a dental appointment at the Christian Dental clinic that is on Haven for Hope's campus. The dental alone helped boost my self esteem because I can smile again without embarrassment. I had a fresh felony so she helped enroll me in an on the job training program that helped me build references and honestly I felt like a human being again. She also got me linked to Alamo Colleges where I gained part time employment and made the honor role. I am 3 years and 8 months sober living in my own apartment and helping others with the same struggles I went through and all of that is with the help of Haven for Hope.
Some people are getting help and that's good but I see lots of prostitution in their parking lot. Security won't do anything about it. I see lots of bums pissing and pulling there dicks put in front of people abandon cars that been there for years that people use to shoot up and get drunk and fight in. I seen many child sex offenders around kids. People selling cocaine in the lot and what do you all do about it nothing. Do something and fence up the damn lot and all problems would be solved. As a matter of fact I already seen to prostitutes having sex in cars today. So do something before I go to the FBI for help to shut you all down
Review from Guidestar
My name is Craig Dohrn.Haven For Hope is an awful place.They make you sleep outside on a dirty mat.Their idea of cleaning the mats is spraying them off with a water hose.See,the food is horrible.It is not enough food for a 5 year old kid.I do not know where the money goes but I sure would like to know the staff salaries?They have a wharehouse full of clothes and they decide who they give clothes too.I am on my feet again,working and I have spent the last year going downtown around Haven,passing out food,jackets 2-3 times a week.I allways run out and have to turn people away.It is so sad.They only let people in the courtyard sleep inside when it 32 degrees or colder.40,50.....you sleep outside.When they do sleep inside they kick them outside at 6:00 in whatever clothes they have on or not.Last time I checked it is still very cold at 6:00 in the morning.I spent 6 months at this so called 'Haven for the homeless'.I just wish someone would call me who can get this information out to the public so they know that their donations,money are really going into salaries while the homeless are abused everyday.My number is 1210-305-2170.
Review from Guidestar
I came to H4H in April of 2012. My health had deteriorated and I had no job, no access to health care and no where to live. Haven For Hope gave me a list of employers who were likely to hire me without an physical address (A huge barrier for many people who are homeless and seeking work). I landed a job that same day. I was told that I could stay in Prospects Courtyard or seeing how I was employed stay with the Salvation Army for a small fee until I could get into H4H's program/Transformational Campus.
Like clockwork, I was able to stay at Salvation Army until a bed opened up for me on the campus. While I was there they treated me, the whole person. I had a case manager, I received counseling, and I had a mental health evaluation. My health slowly became to a point where my health was being managed and not managing me. Although I had a lot of shame and regret for the choices I made that led to my homelessness H4H showed me that dwelling there and not moving forward would cost me more than learning from my mistakes and moving past the land of regret.
Shame turned to pride. Pride turned to me reaching out to anyone I could and encourage them as best I could. Although I did not graduate from the program, I am alive and well and employed and am remarried. My life has purpose and meaning and I have moved past hurts and regrets. I can truly say that H4H treats the entire person and finds the individual reasons that caused the person to become homeless.
My name is Tammy Meehan. I graduated from Haven for Hope in 2011. When I came to heaven for hope I was afraid and didn't know what my next step would be. There was no room in the dorm area when I first arrived. So I had to sleep in the courtyard side. That means that I had to sleep outside. It wasn't long before I begin volunteering and there became space on the member side. I was giving directions and told classes to take and soon I met my case manager. I could tell right off the bat that she truly cared about me and was listening to the words that I was saying. we set up a plan to try to restore my life we did this t
ogether she did not dictate to me what she thought that I should do. I was very inspired by this. while at Haven my spiritual needs we're
being met along with dental needs and I have people who I knew truly believed in Me
Hello my name is heidi i came to haven for hope on may of 2012 I was first at pcy for 2 months befoer coming to haven .once i was her i started ged classes and went through bridges to life which had helped me alot i had started volunteerin as a lab moniter in september in november 2012 I had moved into my apartment and im still volunteering at haven to give back what they have done for me
Raul Vela IV 06/20/2013
We are so happy for you, Heidi. Your story is an inspiration to everyone here at Haven - thank you for sharing it. We are also grateful to you and all our other volunteers, whose work is essential to our success. Thank you again, and please stay in touch!
I did my internship at this place in the intake department while I was getting my BSW. I love it. There is a focus on the person. Clients can get so many services right there, and everyday was new and different. This is a great place to volunteer or intern. You learn so much and it's such a good non profit.
Raul Vela IV 06/20/2013
Tara, thank you so much for the review. I'm so happy you had fun here, but I'm especially glad it was a rewarding experience. Hope to see you again!
I'm very thankful for Haven for Hope! I never, ever thought I would need a homeless shelter, yet I'm so glad that I did. I showed up very ashamed on February 21, 2011. The intake office was closed, so I was admitted into Prospects Courtyard (the emergency shelter portion). I was given a safe place to store my bags, a much needed shoulder to cry on, and a meal. Over the following 7 months, H4H gave me most everything that I needed to straighten my life out almost without having to leave the campus. For me this included: a lot of counseling, meals, courses in Family Violence Prevention & Intervention, a case manager, ID recovery assistance, medical aid, prescriptions, a mental health evaluation, 2 substance abuse evaluations (for court), mail services, computer use, clothing donations, and a safe place to sleep. If you're considering giving to help the homeless in Bexar County, look no further than Haven for Hope. I was able to quickly turn my life around because H4H had ALL of the help that I needed. Now I'm working on starting something similar in Houston. - Tyler Gleason
Raul Vela IV 06/20/2013
Tyler, thank you for the excellent feedback. We're always striving to be better - and I'd be happy to share your review with the right people. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences, and we are so moved that you were inspired to start your own nonprofit. Please stay in touch!
Review from Guidestar