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