My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for My Safe Harbor Inc, Anaheim, CA, USA
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.