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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

My Safe Harbor Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Investing in mothers is at the heart of the mission of My Safe Harbor. We do not provide crisis intervention. Instead, we provide a place for the "next step" for mothers who have weathered a crisis and are ready to do the long, hard work of changing their lives and the lives of their children. At MSH, we are literally mothering mothers -- many of whom have had little or no access to adequate role models. Our programs build trusting relationships and equip mothers with real, life changing tools that empower honest personal assessment and the dignity of self-reliance.

Results: We have graduated 81 from our Strong Families Institute (SFI) and 60% of them are still connected to us as leaders and volunteers in our programs. This fall we are running Mother's Clubs in 5 of our local elementary schools. All of these clubs are being facilitated by SFI graduates.

Target demographics: build strong families and break generational cycles of poverty and dysfunction

Direct beneficiaries per year: 188 mothers with over 450 children and have graduated 10 cohorts of the Strong Families Institute.

Geographic areas served: Long term support for low income mothers committed to changing their lives and the lives of their children.

Programs: The Mothers Clubs and Electives introduce women to the MSH culture, present new opportunities and begin the relationship building process. Enrichment Electives are 2-6 weeks sessions that are more in-depth and require pre-registration. Topics range from crocheting and cooking to computers and parenting. and there are expectations for attendance and commitment. The Strong Families Institute (SFI) is our intensive, year-long program where the real work of change begins. It It offers over 100 class hours over 32 weeks for in-depth information, participation and evaluation. Go to our website for more information. Our programs build trusting relationships and equip mothers with real, life changing tools that empower honest personal assessment and the dignity of self-reliance.

Community Stories

43 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Safe Harbor has impacted our community. I have met women that have been changed positively by participating in their Strong Family’s Institute and are very grateful to have had the opportunity to be in their program. Some of those women are active members in my church now along with their families. Their children are finding more positive role models and can have access to a broader support network.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered there and seen first hand the amazing transformation of lives. These women take responsibility for changing their own situations for the better by embracing the help given them, and they also find the confidence to take better care of their children. A wonderful ministry!

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I are always on the lookout for organizations that have a lot of bang for the buck and My Safe Harbor is that. We get a tremendous amount of value and many people are helped. We will continue to support My Safe Harbor for a long time.

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Donor

Rating: 5

I love giving to this organization - The value they offer far exceeds what I give. If you are looking for a great philanthropic ROI, call My Safe Harbor.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Safe Harbor does everything with excellence - and on a shoestring budget! The leaders truly care about each woman and each family who walks through the door, and they have built relationships with leaders across the city so they can make a real difference. Also they treat their volunteers very well!

Kristi M.1

Donor

Rating: 5

My Safe Harbor is one of the best non profits I have ever been involved with. I have been blessed to be a part of MSH from it's inception, to a graduate of the SFI program, and now as a donor. I know that the money I give is being used to change the lives of the women that go through this program and their families. MSH is a catalyst for the change we all want to see in this world. So proud of the staff and many volunteers that make this place run each day.

Donor

Rating: 5

At the inception of My Safe Harbor, I was a member of Anaheim First Christian Church and serving as an elder. We had for some time been casting about for the best use for the building where it is housed. After-school club, the Ethiopian language group of our church, several training agencies, had run their course and closed or found other facilities. Then an effort began to look outside the direct operation of the church to begin to better serve our immediate neighborhood and the city of Anaheim. An unusual approach was used. We asked around, the city, schools, and other agencies, “What do you need most? Who is hurting around here?” The answer was single mothers. With that focus, study and thought was addressed to answer “What can a small church do to change such a hard, problem.” It started small with the intention to build carefully and become a stable, secure place where women could find caring support to learn about themselves, their strengths and goals, and also learn useful skills. The curriculum was developed by competent educators who were also mothers. It looks to the long term, so that friendships and mutual support are ongoing. The place of faith in doing the self-evaluation is not neglected. It is exciting and rewarding to attend the graduation exercises and see these confident women express how they have changed to be better parents, better able to seek jobs, escape abusive relationships, experience seeing a child enter college, and know they can face a future where they are not alone. Now more women are seeking to enroll in a Strong Familes Institute cohort. Scaling up to meet that need is challenging. The staff and volunteers are giving their best. My Safe Harbor is a faith-based organization, so a lot of that faith goes into trusting resources will be available.

Michael G.1

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I first became acquainted with My Safe Harbor's ministry about 4 years ago and truly appreciate the difference they are making for mothers and families within their community. We continue to cheerfully support and pray for this ministry. We are excited for the future of My Safe Harbor and those who will be blessed by their work.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization has helped so many women and their families. The people working and leading there are among the finest people I know.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Safe Harbor gets the most bang for your buck of any non-profit I know. With only one full-time employee and 3 part-time employees, they use hundreds of hours of volunteer time (including graduates of their programs) to affect the lives of single mothers in some of the worst gang-affected neighborhoods of Anaheim. It's always easy to get sympathy for kids, but working with their moms is much more effective in the long run. My Safe Harbor gets that done! Graduates of their programs are involved in their kids lives, in their kids schools (several PTA chairwomen), and their communities.

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization, working with single (mostly Hispanic) moms. Their programs include Mother's Clubs, Learning Electives, and the Strong Families Institute, a 30-week program that helps moms be better parents and citizens of their communities. Several SFI grads have already made an impact on their local schools thru PTA and other activities.
MSH has very few staff, only one full-time, so they are using the donations they receive very efficiently. It's great to see the impact on families in their neighborhood, which has very high gang activity and lot's of single moms.

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Donor

Rating: 5

This group does amazing work transforming the lives of mothers and their families. The volunteer staff are so dedicated and talented. Please support this great group.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have seen that MSH is a catalyst for long-term transformational impact in the lives, homes, families, and communities of the women who participate in their classes and programs.

While many organizations talk about networking and collaboration for greater impact, MSH is truly collaborative, partnering with many other stakeholders in the community. Currently, I am teaching a university class on social service and non-profit work in the urban context. My class meets at MSH each week this semester because it is a great place for my students to see collaboration and partnership at work.

MSH should be a model that is reproduced in other communities around the country. I'd love to see that happen!

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2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My Safe Harbor is one of the rare few organizations in the urban context that is focused on the longer term goals of life skills development, which is a much greater need in communities stuck in poverty and dependency cycles than additional relief and aid organizations. Their work with single mothers and and children is not only improving the lives and opportunities of those enrolled in their programs in quantifiable ways, but has a qualitative multigenerational impact that is needed in a community where gangs are recruiting the next generation.

I've brought students from my urban studies classes to learn from the leadership of My Safe Harbor and had students work as interns in their programs. The My Safe Harbor leadership and staff excel at what they do. I highly recommend My Safe Harbor to donors and volunteers as a place to invest their resources. The city of Anaheim is fortunate to have such an organization in their urban center.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

My Safe Harbor uses every penny wisely to bring about amazing transformation in the lives of the women and families that the organization serves. A great investment!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is making a huge impact in the city of Anaheim. They really understand the hard work and time it takes to create change within these families & their community. I am proud to volunteer with My Safe Harbor!

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3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Safe Harbor is exactly what their title describes: A safe, nurturing place for women in the storms of life. There really is no other program out there that takes such a holistic approach to empowering mothers to both realize and reach their life goals for themselves and their families. This small organization is making a big impact.

Donor

Rating: 5

All that you'd hope for in a non-profit -- amazing, committed staff, visionary, engaged board and results clearly seen in the actions of the lives changed through this program. Every community needs a My Safe Harbor!

Donor

Rating: 5

MSH is quietly making a difference in the lives of women and their families in central Anaheim. It's a long term, on-going investment by MSH in the women who commit to the program, and a long term investment by the women in themselves and the future of their families.

Donor

Rating: 5

Though I wrote long ago about My Safe Harbor, couldn't miss the chance to give an annual update! MSH is getting the notice of those who know non-profits well! They are getting invaluable coaching from those who have "been there, done that" and are increasing their scope and vision! Mothers' Clubs, the prequel to the MSH Strong Families cohorts are blossoming! So nice to see the changed lives of the women who go through this program, to hear their children talk about the changes they've seen in their own homes, and to see graduates of the program returning to assist and mentor new cohorts!

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We all want to MAKE A DIFFERENCE...contribute to something that effectively turns the tide of "bad" to "good" ... And to be useful in the process. My Safe Harbor's mission and method are tightly woven with strands that make a difference. I was privileged to watch as MSH took shape...I was exposed to the intention of the curriculum for those it was intended to teach. As a donor I was encouraged to invest more of myself than a check and was amazed to see a woman's life changed as she grappled with attitudes, habits, inner resources, and a new- found group of peers, mentors and friends. I was invited to her home to meet her family and heard their testimony of praise...her investment in the program made a difference for her family as well! She was not alone. Because I was a mentor I was invited to hear the stories of the women who were graduating alongside my mentee. Though every story was different, every story bore the mark of the process of taking responsibility, determining to change where change was needed, listening and learning from people who truly care and encouraging and being encouraged by others who are on the same journey. But it doesn't end there! Graduates of the program are invited to return, and many have, to form an encouraging host for those who will come after them. My Safe Harbor is WELL WORTH a DEEP LOOK if you or your club, church, or philanthropic organization are looking to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I continue to be amazed and uplifted by the women's stories at My Safe Harbor. The long range objective of changing society by changing mother's lives is being seen each year as women tell of the changes in their families, their children's behavior and values (including completing school and aspiring to college). The self-respect that has added confidence to women who had none is heart wrenchingly wonderful to observe. I am so grateful for the vision of the leadership and the dedication of the staff. It is an honor to share in their work by supporting them financially.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great organization. I have been working with them for about 6 years+ in all different capacities from accounting to record and statistics as well as teaching some elective classes in sewing. Yesterday we started the first ever MSH Quilting Club. Who ever thought I could teach what I love doing to a group of women who speak mostly Spanish. I speak very little and told them they are going to help me learn a little bit more. Thanks to great students in classes who can also help translate. Just love going to help here each Monday morning.

Debbie214

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization makes huge differences in the lives of women empowering them, helping them to achieve things they never thought they could in themselves, for their children, and for their families.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I remembered the day when my life changed completely, I was broken into so many pieces, I was afraid of even my own shadow. Someone talked to me about this Safe Heaven called My Safe Harbor.
I knew if I wanted positive changes I needed to change myself, I told myself to at least give it a try, so I did!
I participated in PEP classes, to empower myself as a victim of Domestic Violence.
I also graduated from "The Strong Families Institute."
After that my fears turned into blessings!
I am forever grateful to My Safe Harbor, Becky Alhberg and it's entire staff for showing me that there was Hope.