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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

My Safe Harbor Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Services, Neighborhood Centers

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 over 190 mothers from our Strong Families Institute (SFI) and 60% of them are still connected to us as leaders and volunteers in our programs.

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 13 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

71 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Few things are closer to my heart than strong families. Our world depends on them for so many of the good things in life. My Safe Harbor is that magical combination of great programs, committed staff and volunteers, a commitment to mission and true transformational outcomes. In a world that often seems to have lost its moorings, MSH is a connecting place that provides an anchor for safety, security and true hope for families to get stronger and make their community stronger.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with My Safe Harbor from its earliest days and I continue to marvel at the tremendous impact they have on families. Their mission of building stronger families by focusing on strengthening mothers, is not complicated, but it requires long term, patient focus and deep, trusting personal relationships to accomplish. This is where they excel. The board, the staff, the volunteers, the women themselves are all committed to transformational change and breaking generational family dysfunction. I don't know anyone who does it better. Giving my time as a volunteer and my financial support as a donor, is a distinct privilege. I've had a front row seat to witness an amazing return on my investment.

1 Chelsea G.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Safe Harbor is a place that is creating deep and lasting change for families. They work hard to equip moms, dads and children with the skills to totally alter negativity within the home. Mother's Clubs and enrichment classes provide a supportive environment for women to come and grow together. The work they do with other community organizations to further address the needs of the community is so amazing. I wish there were more places in the world like My Safe Harbor.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

A wonderful non-profit with a high rate of philanthropic return for our investment. Great leadership team as well. Impressive investment for any donor...

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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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1 T.Murray

Donor

Rating: 5

I can't say enough good things about My Safe Harbor and its impact on the community it serves. Moms who have been through the Strong Families Institute program are not only making a difference in their families but also at the PTA organizations in the local schools. I heartily recommend My Safe Harbor as a great non-profit.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

The vast majority of family social service agencies in Anaheim are focused on crisis intervention or other short-term projects. My Safe Harbor, however, occupies a special niche as it works with single moms over the long haul through electives, Mother's Clubs, Strong Families Institute and additional programs for alumni. My Safe Harbor empowers and equips these women to make changes in their own lives as well as their children's lives; it also expects women to participate both through finances and volunteer work in this challenging growth process.

I support My Safe Harbor financially and in as many other ways as possible; I encourage you to do the same. Your gifts will be carefully managed and put to the best possible use!

Michael G.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I especially appreciate the work My Safe Harbor is doing; so much so that I have volunteered at several events. I see first-hand in the smiles of the ladies and children that My Safe Harbor is making a huge difference in the community in which it serves and I am proud to be a small part of what they are doing. Keep up the great work!!

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Donor

Rating: 5

For almost 10 years, My Safe Harbor has made a significant difference in its community by helping families survive and thrive. Our family is an enthusiastic supporter of their important work!

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Robert P.5

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've volunteered for and donated to My Safe Harbor for two years now. Excellent non-profit that puts consumers first, and always works to better the lives of not only the consumer, but also their entire family.

Writer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great organization. I found it through my church and was working there almost immediately. It's been almost 10 years and I've done everything from finance record keeping and sewing to my current duties as keeper of statistics related to attending moms as well as all the volunteer hours. I also teach a quilting club 2 times per month. There is something for everyone to do no matter the level.

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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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization! So impactful and truly cares about the women of Anaheim!

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Board Member

Rating: 5

Incredible organization with the big picture in mind!

Donor

Rating: 5

My Safe Harbor is a great nonprofit! Strategically located in Anaheim, MSH caters to mothers who are in need of a little extra help: budgeting advice, self-confidence training, meal planning, disciplinary methods, etc. with a range of programs that are long-term and more formal to short-term/drop in, often with free childcare! Their curriculum is comprehensive, training mothers to embrace their role as parents while feeling empowered to change their own situations for the better. MSH works hard to keep transparent financial records, is good to their volunteers, and has a dedicated staff whose heart is in their program. As a donor and a volunteer, I strongly believe that MSH makes a world of difference, first with each individual mother, and then with her family, and then with the community. My family and I confidently support MSH's work and consider it one of the most stable, well-designed NPs we have worked with. Most importantly, the women who have participated in the program consistently testify to its value in their lives, and can show positive change due to their participation in My Safe Harbor programs.

Donor

Rating: 5

I volunteered with kids and moms here for years, so I got to observe firsthand the nurturing, empowering support provided to struggling families. These are life-changing programs, and our city is better for them!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love everything about MSH: The mission to help mothers build strong families; the Strong Families Institute that provides tools and support for women to become the women and mothers they want to be; the caring and commitment of the amazaing staff; the volunteers who do so much to support the women; and the courageous women themselves as they become the best version of themselves and help their families to thrive. I am happy to be a volunteer and donor, the best things I can do to make a difference.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

The long term work My Safe Harbor does with these mothers is changing their lives and the lives of their children. Amazing experience to be a volunteer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization. Its a place for moms to meet with other moms. A place to share experiences and grow. This is a place to share sadness, to grow and to encourage one another. Mostly this is a place where you can be loved and excepted.

Advisor

Rating: 5

As a member of the Anaheim City Council for 4 years I had the opportunity to visit and learn about many non-profits operating in Anaheim, very few if any can boast the level of long term results as My Safe Harbor.
The vision to create real change in the lives of children in the community through educating and equipping mothers to be mothers has proven it's self key to long term change in the lives of children and families in Anaheim.
I simply couldn't not support this organization given their record of contribution to the betterment of the community through the impact they make in women's lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience has allowed me to meet new and interesting people, and has given me the oportunity to discover gifts and talents within me, as well as to provide me with the chance to serve and help others.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have always passed by the building. I never knew it was going to change my life as soon as I walked in. For me it all started at mother's club. I loved the feeling that I was not the only one struggling and that I needed a break because being a mom is hard work. I was then referred to the Strong Families Institute by all of my amazing frieinds where, I learned to be the best version of myself. Thanks to all the members and volunteers of my Safe Harbor, I have the tools I needed to be a great leader for my family and my community.

Dorcan De T.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Now I am a woman sure of myself. I learned the value that I have and the love of God, I am blessed to know My Safe Harbor.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have consistently given to My Safe Harbor for the past 3 years and fully support their mission of building up families. We are inspired by their commitment to the surrounding community; they are there in the trenches making a difference!

Donor

Rating: 5

Every charity has it's story. The personal stories being made by Safe Harbor touch so many hearts. The ladies this organization helps are not receiving charity, they are becoming model Mothers and exemplary citizens. Giving back to the community and helping in schools. These ladies are learning, giving and stepping up. We need more programs like this.

Board Member

Rating: 5

What a wonderful and transformative organization. I have personally seen the transformation in the lives of the mothers who participate in the MSH programs.

The staff is kind, caring and committed to the Anaheim community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The accomplishments of the "My Safe Harbor" are nothing short of spectacular, especially considering its relatively small budget. I have never been associated with a non-profit who comes as close to being as good stewards of donors' gifts than MSH. One of the reasons it is so productive is its ability to inspire the help of an impressive number of volunteers. We gladly serve, not simply because we believe in its mission, but because we see such inspiring results from its ministry. MSH does what it says it will do. Can't say enough good things about "My Safe Harbor." The testimony of the transformed lives of those it serves says it all.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

My Safe Harbor takes the time to establish significant, long term relationships with mothers who are doing the hard work to change themselves and I love hearing how their lives have changed!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been working for My Safe Harbor for the last 3 years and have had a front row seat to the work they are doing in the community. I have seen the transformations in the women who have been served here and am inspired by the work those women are now doing to transform their community. Many are now leaders in their children's schools and the community at large. Its a great place to work!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with My Safe Harbor has given me the opportunity to affect my community at the source. Working alongside these mothers striving to make a difference in their lives and getting to see the result of changed lives makes this project so satisfying for me. I know that my time is directly translated to making my neighborhood stronger. Go My Safe Harbor!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I began serving on the advisory board for My Safe Harbor this past January, and it has been an amazing experience so far! As a financial donor and event volunteer I have definitely gained a great deal in return on my investment. Of particular personal significance are the several graduation ceremonies I have attended for women who have completed the Strong Families Institute program. I leave each of these events with a tear in my eye and inspiration in my heart after witnessing the tremendous transformation of mothers and families. Much is asked of these women when they sign up for the program, and it is a difficult journey to be sure. But as the saying goes, if it's not challenging, it's not worth doing. There are no easy or quick fixes when it comes to changing the culture of a family from one of desperation and hopelessness to empowered leadership and renewed vision for a brighter future. My Safe Harbor is a wonderful asset to its community. Its staff does a great deal of good through efficient use of resources and creating deep level change for lasting individual, family, and community growth.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization does amazing work transforming the lives of single (mostly Hispanic) moms. My Safe Harbor teaches them life skills, parenting and discipline, but most importantly, gives them HOPE! The ladies in the program go on to significant leadership roles in our community - of the four local elementary school, all for PTA's are chaired by an Strong Families Institute graduate. And the SFI Alumni have over 85% participation.
One of the main results of this program is that the women realized they are not alone in dealing with their problems. This is one of the things that gives them hope!

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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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Lyn B.

Donor

Rating: 5

This program has helped dozens of women in their quest for personal growth
And their desire to be better partners/wives and more effective parents to their children. Graduates of the year long program usually come back to volunteer
their time and energy to teach and support the next group of women. Life
long friendships are forged. It is truly a unique and amazing program in Orange County!

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Board Member

Rating: 5

My Safe Harbor has one of the most unique programs in Orange County for underprivileged, sometimes undereducated, single mothers who are struggling. After preparing for the year long program through attendance at Mother's Club, these mothers are ready to work very hard to look at how they are interacting and communicating with their family members, how they were parented and how they are currently parenting, how they handle their finances, and taking a good long look at their heart/soul/mind. The graduates come back (part of the requirements of the program is to give back) and help the new cohort prepare for the year long journey. It is a truly transforming program with many alumni now. We need volunteers and donations. As a Board member for a few years, I am proud to ask. It is a program very worth supporting!!

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!

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.

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 Connie93

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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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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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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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.

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My Safe Harbor changes lives. It is a great place for women to get valuable skills for parenting.

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Donor

Rating: 5

My Safe Harbor has made an important contribution to strengthening families in Anaheim. I have had many students in my ESL class participate in the programs and they find a safe place to learn skills that benefit themselves as well as their children. My Safe Harbor educates mothers over a wide spectrum of relevant topics. This is an organization that has had many successes in equipping women to change their lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

So great to see all the work MSH is doing in my community. I've seen huge transformations in the lives of single moms.

Donor

Rating: 5

It is great to find an organization that makes a permanent positive change in the lives it influences. My Safe Harbor is an asset to its community and I look forward to continued results. I'm picky about where I give, My Safe Harbor passes the test.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with them since the beginning and am always encouraged to see the change in the families lives.

1 Jose Juan P.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The people are what make this non-profit, GreatNonprofits-worthy!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

This is one of the most unique non profits in California. No other agency has this type of tier service delivery that allows clients a range of services. The year long program is affordable, well structured, and life changing for participants. Strong leadership at the top filters down in this agency. Wonderful programming by wonderful people.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is transforming the lives of single moms in Anaheim, CA. Moms who have been thru their programs are getting involved in their local schools, changing the lives of their children, and positively affecting their neighborhoods. Lots of non-profits work with kids, how many work with their moms?

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This nonprofit helps families in need. I see the children and the women, and how they are being helped.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love working at my safe harbor. They're serving a critical need in our community (serving single moms) and they're really effective at it!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to serve as a visitor, mentor, elective facilitator and ultimately a donor for this wonderful organization. I observed first-hand, the journeys these women embarked upon. It was heartwarming to see how they gathered together, welcomed new members into the good, and encouraged and supported each other.

Most importantly, it was the increased faith, knowledge, and confidence that were their building blocks. The program structure and resources MSH offers women allows them to grow personally, professionally, and spiritually

It's a beautiful transition that begins with trepidation and ends in confidence. And the most amazing part is that the graduates become the volunteers, facilitators, and mentors.

This is a wonderful program that needs to grow and be replicated in every community. Stop by for a visit and see for yourself.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization. They truly care for each of the women they serve and treat then like family. I had a great experience volunteering for them and plan to continue my involvement. I have seen many women's lives (and their children's) dramatically changed through this organization.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

This organizatin is doing wonderful work with single mothers in the Anaheim, CA area. Children of single mothers represent the highest percentage of gang members, and My Safe Harbor is helping to reduce gang membership by providing single moms with skills and attitudes to be better parents. They hold Mother's Clubs (to get women together to learn skills and crafts), Electives (to teach specific skills), and the Stong Families Institute, which is a certificate program that deal with all elements of raising a family. In just three years, they have already graduated 22 women from SFI. These graduates have then been able to mentor following classes. All in all, over 150 women and 300 children have been positively affected by the programs of My Safe Harbor.