Youth Haven to Participate in Career Fair

Naples, FL (August 25, 2021) Youth Haven, Inc. will be participating in the following Career Fair hosted by Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc. on September 30, 2021 from 10am – 2pm at the Dr. Carrie Robinson Event Center at 2990 Edison Ave., Ft. Myers, FL 33916. For details, please click HERE.

About Youth Haven, Inc.
Youth Haven, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, is Collier County’s only emergency and residential emergency shelter for boys and girls ages 6 – 18 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. In continuous operation since 1972, Youth Haven’s 25-acre therapeutic campus houses over 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. Also situated on its campus is Rob’s Group Home, Youth Haven’s transitional living cottage, which provides comprehensive 24-hour care, with a longer average length of stay, for homeless unaccompanied teenagers ages 16 -19. Youth Haven is a COA nationally accredited organization, a member agency of the United Way of Collier County, a Naples Children & Education Foundation grant recipient, and holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Its mission is focused on protecting and empowering children and teens in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration. For more information, please visit youthhavenswfl.org or call 239-774-2904. Follow Youth Haven on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

YOUTH HAVEN, INC. AWARDED DONATION FROM ELIZABETH K. GALEANA CHARITABLE FOUNDATION, INC

Naples, FL (August 25, 2021) Youth Haven, Inc. is pleased to announce they are a recipient of a $27,000 donation from the Elizabeth K. Galeana Charitable Foundation, Inc. The funds will replace much-needed industrial kitchen appliances, including a double freezer, a refrigerator, and a commercial oven. In addition, the funding will allow the purchase of new washing machines and dryers to replace the existing machines for each of the cottages on its 25-acre therapeutic campus.

Youth Haven is Southwest Florida’s only residential shelter for children and teens ages 6 – 19 removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. With beds for up to 73 youth, Youth Haven accepts new residents 365 days a year, 24-hours a day, making its food nutrition services program and laundry services an instrumental part of its operations.

Youth Haven’s programming addresses the trauma the youth has experienced and helps them heal by providing them with innovative therapies, normalizing experiences, and therapeutic environments that assist with their healing journey. Youth Haven strives to achieve transformational life changes in a home-like setting.

“We’re grateful for the generous funding we have received from the Elizabeth K. Galeana Charitable Foundation, Inc.,” said Linda Goldfield, Youth Haven Executive Director. “Through their partnership, Youth Haven can continue to exceed the needs of our children and teens.”

About Youth Haven, Inc.
Youth Haven, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, is Collier County’s only emergency and residential emergency shelter for boys and girls ages 6 – 18 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. In continuous operation since 1972, Youth Haven’s 25-acre therapeutic campus houses over 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. Also situated on its campus is Rob’s Group Home, Youth Haven’s transitional living cottage, which provides comprehensive 24-hour care, with a longer average length of stay, for homeless unaccompanied teenagers ages 16 -19. Youth Haven is a COA nationally accredited organization, a member agency of the United Way of Collier County, a Naples Children & Education Foundation grant recipient, and holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Its mission is focused on protecting and empowering children and teens in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration. For more information, please visit youthhavenswfl.org or call 239-774-2904. Follow Youth Haven on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

YOUTH HAVEN, INC. AWARDED GRANT FROM PNC FOUNDATION

Naples, FL (August 10, 2021)

Youth Haven, Inc. is pleased to announce they are a recipient of a $5,000 grant from the PNC Foundation. The funds received will be used to assist with the purchase of a new industrial washing machine and dryer for its 25-acre therapeutic campus.

Youth Haven is Southwest Florida’s only residential shelter for children and teens ages 6 – 19 removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. With beds for up to 73 youth, Youth Haven accepts new residents 365 days a year, 24-hours a day, making its laundry services an instrumental part of its operations.

Youth Haven’s programming addresses the trauma the youth has experienced and helps them heal by providing them with innovative therapies, normalizing experiences, and therapeutic environments that assist with their healing journey. Youth Haven strives to achieve transformational life changes in a home-like setting.

“We’re grateful for the generous funding we have received from PNC Foundation,” said Linda Goldfield, Youth Haven Executive Director. “With their support, Youth Haven can continue to meet and exceed our vulnerable youth’s needs.”

About Youth Haven, Inc.
Youth Haven, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, is Collier County’s only emergency and residential emergency shelter for boys and girls ages 6 – 18 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. In continuous operation since 1972, Youth Haven’s 25-acre therapeutic campus houses over 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. Also situated on its campus is Rob’s Group Home, Youth Haven’s transitional living cottage, which provides comprehensive 24-hour care, with a longer average length of stay, for homeless unaccompanied teenagers ages 16 -19. Youth Haven is a COA nationally accredited organization, a member agency of the United Way of Collier County, a Naples Children & Education Foundation grant recipient, and holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Its mission is focused on protecting and empowering children and teens in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration. For more information, please visit youthhavenswfl.org or call 239-774-2904. Follow Youth Haven on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

YOUTH HAVEN, INC. ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS PRESIDENT, OFFICERS AND BOARD MEMBERS

Naples, FL (July 14, 2021) Youth Haven, Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Denise Murphy as President of their Board of Directors, effective July 1, 2021. Murphy fills the role previously held by Brenda O’Connor.

Murphy is the General Manager at The Players Club & Spa, an affiliate of Stock Development. An avid volunteer in the community and a strong supporter of education, Murphy also serves as Vice-Chair with the Champions for Learning program. She is a graduate of the 2015 GAIN program with the Chamber of Commerce, a Leadership Collier Alumni, and was honored by the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce Leadership Collier Foundation as the 2017 Volunteer of the Year. In addition, Murphy was recognized for being a Distinguished Volunteer from Youth Haven in 2018.

Youth Haven is pleased to welcome four new members to its Board of Directors: Allie Krider, Trina Mostyn, Jennifer Porter, and Lee Willis.

“We’re thrilled to announce the appointment of Denise Murphy as President of our Board of Directors and the addition of Allie Krider, Trina Mostyn, Jennifer Porter, and Lee Willis as members of our Board of Directors,” said Linda Goldfield, Youth Haven Executive Director. “Their commitment and visionary leadership will ensure we continue to meet the growing demands of our community. We’re also grateful for the inspired direction of our immediate past president, Brenda O’Connor and for her time and commitment to Youth Haven.”

Youth Haven 2021 – 2021 Board of Director Officers

  • Denise Murphy, President
  • Mike Prioletti, 1st Vice President
  • Christina Linaberry, 2nd Vice President
  • Patrick Arnall, Treasurer
  • Lynda Waterhouse, Secretary


Youth Haven 2021 – 2022 Board of Director Members 

  • Allie Krider
  • Pamela Lundborg
  • Trina Mostyn
  • Amy Novakovich
  • Brenda O’Connor, Immediate Past President
  • Andres Paz
  • Jennifer Porter
  • Lee Willis

Honorary Lifetime Trustees
Youth Haven’s Honorary Lifetime Trustees consist of Carol Boyd, Lamar Gable, Lavern N. Gaynor, Frances Pew Hayes, and Sheriff Kevin Rambosk.

 

About Youth Haven, Inc.
Youth Haven, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, is Collier County’s only emergency and residential emergency shelter for boys and girls ages 6 – 18 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. In continuous operation since 1972, Youth Haven’s 25-acre therapeutic campus houses over 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. Also situated on its campus is Rob’s Group Home, Youth Haven’s transitional living cottage, which provides comprehensive 24-hour care, with a longer average length of stay, for homeless unaccompanied teenagers ages 16 -19. Youth Haven is a COA nationally accredited organization, a member agency of the United Way of Collier County, a Naples Children & Education Foundation grant recipient, and holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Its mission is focused on protecting and empowering children and teens in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration. For more information, please visit youthhavenswfl.org or call 239-774-2904. Follow Youth Haven on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

YOUTH HAVEN, INC. AWARDED GRANT FROM FIFTH THIRD BANK

Naples, FL (July 6, 2021) Youth Haven, Inc. is pleased to announce they are a recipient of a $7,500 grant from Fifth Third Bank.

The funds received will be used to support Youth Haven’s Food & Nutrition Program. Youth Haven is Southwest Florida’s only residential shelter for boys and girls ages 6 – 19 removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or homelessness. Our programming addresses the trauma experienced and helps them heal by providing them with innovative therapies, normalizing experiences, and therapeutic environments that assist with their healing journey.

Many of the youth that resides on our campus have poor nutrition and food insecurity. Youth Haven’s in-house chef provides the child and teens with a consistent, professionally crafted menu focused on nutritional goals.

“Nutritious and bountiful portions of food are key components to our sanctuary philosophy and we are thankful for Fifth Third Bank’s funding,” said Linda Goldfield, Youth Haven Executive Director.

 

About Youth Haven, Inc.
Youth Haven, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, is Collier County’s only emergency and residential emergency shelter for boys and girls ages 6 – 18 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. In continuous operation since 1972, Youth Haven’s 25-acre therapeutic campus houses over 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. Also situated on its campus is Rob’s Group Home, Youth Haven’s transitional living cottage, which provides comprehensive 24-hour care, with a longer average length of stay, for homeless unaccompanied teenagers ages 16 -19. Youth Haven is a COA nationally accredited organization, a member agency of the United Way of Collier County, a Naples Children & Education Foundation grant recipient, and holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Its mission is focused on protecting and empowering children and teens in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration. For more information, please visit youthhavenswfl.org or call 239-774-2904. Follow Youth Haven on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

YOUTH HAVEN LAUNCHES ANNUAL BACK TO SCHOOL DRIVE

Naples, FL (July 1, 2021)

Please help the children and teens, ages 6 – 19, that reside on our campus begin the 2021-2022 school year with confidence by supporting our Back to School Drive. Many of them arrive at our campus with only the clothes they are wearing. Many also come from traumatic situations, having been abused, abandoned, neglected or homeless. They deserve the best in life; however, we need support from our community to do just that.

There are three different ways you can contribute.

  • Visit our Wish List on our website at YouthHavenSWFL.org and deliver the in-kind donations to our campus. Please only new school supplies or clothing. Donations can be dropped off Monday – Friday, between 9am – 3pm.
  • Access our Amazon Wish List, located on our website, to have items shipped directly to us or make a financial contribution.
  • Mail monetary donations or gift cards to:

Youth Haven
Attn: School Supply
5867 Whitaker Road
Naples, Florida 34112

All donations are kindly requested by August 2, 2021.  

“Community support of our School Supply Drive ensures the children residing at Youth Haven have all the necessary tools to start the school year on equal footing. Together we can create transformational change,” says Linda Goldfield, Executive Director.

Youth Haven is Southwest Florida’s only residential shelter for boys and girls ages 6-19 removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or homelessness. Founded in 1972, Youth Haven is an immediate lifeline of safety, love, and compassion for innocent children in crisis and the first step in a long journey back to trust, confidence, and joy.

If you have any questions or to arrange delivery, please contact Laura Lafakis at 239-774-2904 or Laura.Lafakis@youthhavenswfl.org.

About Youth Haven, Inc.
Youth Haven, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, is Collier County’s only emergency and residential emergency shelter for boys and girls ages 6 – 18 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. In continuous operation since 1972, Youth Haven’s 25-acre therapeutic campus houses over 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. Also situated on its campus is Rob’s Group Home, Youth Haven’s transitional living cottage, which provides comprehensive 24-hour care, with a longer average length of stay, for homeless unaccompanied teenagers ages 16 -19. Youth Haven is a COA nationally accredited organization, a member agency of the United Way of Collier County, a Naples Children & Education Foundation grant recipient, and holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Its mission is focused on protecting and empowering children and teens in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration. For more information, please visit youthhavenswfl.org or call 239-774-2904. Follow Youth Haven on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

UNITED WAY OF COLLIER AND THE KEYS AWARDS $48,750 GRANT TO YOUTH HAVEN

Naples, FL (June 7, 2021) Youth Haven, Inc. is pleased to announce they’re a recipient of a $48,750 grant from the United Way of Collier and the Keys.

The funds received were used to purchase two vehicles for its 25-acre therapeutic campus. The children and teens that arrive at our campus have been abused, abandoned, neglected, or experiencing homelessness. With beds for up to 73 children and teens ages 6 – 19, Youth Haven offers a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. The care of each youth often requires off-campus trips, including medical appointments, enrichment outings, school appointments, extracurricular activities, and more.

 

“The purchase of two safe and reliable vehicles as a result of the United Way of Collier and the Key’s grant funding allows us to continue to provide the exemplary care that our children and teens deserve,” said Linda Goldfield, Youth Haven’s Executive Director. “We’re extremely grateful for this donation and thank the United Way of Collier and the Keys for their continued support.”

If you have any questions, please contact Laura Lafakis at 239-687-5175 or Laura.Lafakis@youthhavenswfl.org.

 

About Youth Haven, Inc.
Youth Haven, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, is Collier County’s only emergency and residential emergency shelter for boys and girls ages 6 – 18 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. In continuous operation since 1972, Youth Haven’s 25-acre therapeutic campus houses over 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. Also situated on its campus is Rob’s Group Home, Youth Haven’s transitional living cottage, which provides comprehensive 24-hour care, with a longer average length of stay, for homeless unaccompanied teenagers ages 16 -19. Youth Haven is a COA nationally accredited organization, a member agency of the United Way of Collier County, a Naples Children & Education Foundation grant recipient, and holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Its mission is focused on protecting and empowering children and teens in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration. For more information, please visit youthhavenswfl.org or call 239-774-2904. Follow Youth Haven on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

YOUTH HAVEN RELEASES PSA ON UNACCOMPANIED HOMELESS TEENS

Naples, FL (June 2, 2021)

Youth Haven has released a Public Service Announcement (PSA) on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, raising awareness of its Homeless Teen Transitional Living Program. The PSA, which features Merci, a former Rob’s Group Home resident, promotes Youth Haven’s programs and services that support unaccompanied homeless teens.

If you or someone you know meet the following criteria, Youth Haven can help: 

  • Couch surfing or staying with friends.
  • Tired, hungry, alone, or afraid to go home.
  • Between the ages of 16 – 19. 

Youth Haven’s Homeless Teen Transitional Living Program (HTTLP) is the only program in Collier County for youth experiencing homelessness and in need of assistance in making a successful transition to self-sufficient and sustainable living. By helping them heal from their severe trauma and building skills that promote healthy growth into adulthood, we accomplish this.

The program addresses the various developmental, educational, emotional, social, physical, and mental health needs of homeless youth, utilize individual service plans and offers life skills classes that promote independence and housing readiness.

Youth Haven’s Transitional Living Cottage, Rob’s Group Home, provides comprehensive 24-hour care, with a longer average length of stay for homeless unaccompanied youth ages 16 to 19. Rob’s Group Home offers our homeless teens a safe and caring environment, a place to sleep, and access to intensive case management, educational support, nutritious meals, and medical and mental health services. The program focuses on high school graduation, job readiness, preparing for higher education, and strengthening community connections. Rob’s Group Home is a voluntary residential program with an extensive screening process. Referrals are accepted from our community partners, including local school guidance counselors, social workers, Youth Relations Deputies, and the Juveniles at Risk program. We provide structured Case Management with the expectation of working toward self-sufficiency. Goals are set at intake, and we have a weekly case review to monitor the progress of each plan and address behavior issues.

All of the children & teens that come to Youth Haven have been abused, abandoned, neglected, or homeless. Founded in 1972, Youth Haven was established to fulfill an immediate need for emergency shelter for children who had been removed suddenly from a traumatic home situation. Our 25-acre therapeutic campus houses over 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. Youth Haven views challenges as opportunities in helping each child gain confidence, independence, and success as they continue to strengthen the community they serve, laying the foundation for children and teens to have hope for a brighter, better future.

“It’s crucial that we raise awareness of the programs and services that Youth Haven has available for unaccompanied homeless teens in Collier County. These teens deserve a chance to have a happy and healthy future, and Youth Haven is here to support them in achieving their goals,” said Linda Goldfield, Youth Haven Executive Director.

If you are a teen that needs assistance, please call (239) 687-5157 or email info@youthhavenswfl. For media inquiries, please contact Laura Lafakis, Director of Development, at 239-687-5175 or Laura.Lafakis@youthhavenswfl.org.

To view the video, visit https://youtu.be/XQHL_1EDU6M

 

About Youth Haven, Inc.
Youth Haven, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, is Collier County’s only emergency and residential emergency shelter for boys and girls ages 6 – 18 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. In continuous operation since 1972, Youth Haven’s 25-acre therapeutic campus houses over 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. Also situated on its campus is Rob’s Group Home, Youth Haven’s transitional living cottage, which provides comprehensive 24-hour care, with a longer average length of stay, for homeless unaccompanied teenagers ages 16 -19. Youth Haven is a COA nationally accredited organization, a member agency of the United Way of Collier County, a Naples Children & Education Foundation grant recipient, and holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Its mission is focused on protecting and empowering children and teens in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration. For more information, please visit youthhavenswfl.org or call 239-774-2904. Follow Youth Haven on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

YOUTH HAVEN, INC. AWARDED $10,000 GRANT FROM SUNCOAST CREDIT UNION

Naples, FL (May 17, 2021) Youth Haven, Inc. is pleased to announce they are a recipient of a $10,000 grant from Suncoast Credit Union.

The funds received will be utilized to fund the expenses associated with Youth Haven’s educational initiative for the children and teens in both their foster care group home and homeless teen group home. At Youth Haven, we recognize the importance of education when it comes to our youth. Upon arrival to our 25-acre therapeutic campus located in Naples, Florida, each child’s education needs are prioritized. With these funds, we will be able to purchase personal computers and arrange for professional tutoring.

Youth Haven is Southwest Florida’s only residential shelter for boys and girls ages 6-19 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or homelessness. Our programming is designed to address the trauma experienced and help them heal by providing them with innovative therapies, normalizing experiences, and therapeutic environments that assist with their healing journey.

“We’re grateful for the generous support we have received from Suncoast Credit Union,” said Linda Goldfield, Youth Haven Executive Director. “With their support, Youth Haven can continue to meet and exceed our vulnerable youth’s educational needs.”

About Youth Haven, Inc.
Youth Haven, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, is Collier County’s only emergency and residential emergency shelter for boys and girls ages 6 – 18 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. In continuous operation since 1972, Youth Haven’s 25-acre therapeutic campus houses over 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. Also situated on its campus is Rob’s Group Home, Youth Haven’s transitional living cottage, which provides comprehensive 24-hour care, with a longer average length of stay, for homeless unaccompanied teenagers ages 16 -19. Youth Haven is a COA nationally accredited organization, a member agency of the United Way of Collier County, a Naples Children & Education Foundation grant recipient, and holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Its mission is focused on protecting and empowering children and teens in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration. For more information, please visit youthhavenswfl.org or call 239-774-2904. Follow Youth Haven on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

MAY IS NATIONAL FOSTER CARE MONTH

Naples, FL (May 11, 2021) On April 27, 2021, the Board of County Commissioners of Collier County, Florida, proclaimed that May 2021 be designated as National Foster Care Month in Collier County. The proclamation, submitted by Youth Haven, Inc. states that:

WHEREAS,         children are key to our community’s future success, prosperity and quality of life and have a right to thrive, learn and grow in a safe and loving environment; and,

WHEREAS,          there are 50 licensed foster homes in Collier County with a bed capacity of 84 children, currently there are 300 children under care and supervision in Collier County, and in the past 12 months 40 Collier County children were adopted into permanent, loving homes; and,

WHEREAS,         we must come together as a community to recognize the importance of caring for children who have experienced abuse and neglect, supporting family reunification and building strong communities; and,

WHEREAS,         the primary reasons for children being removed from the parents and entering foster care are parental substance abuse, inability to cope and care for the child, and inadequate supervision; and,

WHEREAS,         there are numerous individuals, nonprofit organizations and public servants who are dedicated to raising awareness about the needs of children and teens in foster care; and,

WHEREAS,         through partnerships, nonprofit organizations, child welfare staff, and public and private agencies, there is a collaborative effort to ensure that children in the foster care system are supported and successful.

According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, National Foster Care Month is an initiative led and promoted by the Children’s Bureau. Each May, foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections are acknowledged. It is also dedicated to ensuring a bright future for the more than 423,000 children and youth in foster care nationwide.1

The children & teens that come to Youth Haven, located in Naples, Florida, have been abused, abandoned, neglected or are homeless. Founded in 1972, Youth Haven was established to fulfill an immediate need for emergency shelter for children who had been removed suddenly from a traumatic home situation. Its 25-acre therapeutic campus houses over 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care.

Youth Haven’s mission, to protect and empower children and teens in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration, is only possible with the help of the community. Its partners, including the Collier County Sheriff’s Office; Collier County Public Schools; Children’s Network of Southwest Florida, and Friends of Foster Children, among many others, helps create a circle of support for the children and teens who rely on Youth Haven. With the shortage of foster care homes in Collier County, the need for care is critical, now more than ever.

“I welcome the day when I wake up and places like Youth Haven are no longer needed” said Linda Goldfield, Youth Haven’s Executive Director. “However, we are a long way from that vision, and our youth need help now. Your support is more important than ever. Together, we can make transformational changes in the lives of our youth, one child at a time.”

Visit www.myflfamilies.com to learn more about becoming a foster parent, or consider a financial gift to the organizations in Collier working to better the lives of children in foster care. To learn more about Youth Haven, please call (239) 774-2904 or visit youthhavenswfl.org.

1.Child Welfare Information Gateway https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/about/

About Youth Haven, Inc.
Youth Haven, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, is Collier County’s only emergency and residential emergency shelter for boys and girls ages 6 – 18 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. In continuous operation since 1972, Youth Haven’s 25-acre therapeutic campus houses over 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. Also situated on its campus is Rob’s Group Home, Youth Haven’s transitional living cottage, which provides comprehensive 24-hour care, with a longer average length of stay, for homeless unaccompanied teenagers ages 16 -19. Youth Haven is a COA nationally accredited organization, a member agency of the United Way of Collier County, a Naples Children & Education Foundation grant recipient, and holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Its mission is focused on protecting and empowering children and teens in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration. For more information, please visit youthhavenswfl.org or call 239-774-2904. Follow Youth Haven on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

Full Bellies, Fuller Hearts – “Morning Mom” helps vulnerable kids start the day off right

The following article was written by eBella Magazine

Naples, FL (May 9, 2021) What happens first thing in the morning when parents have kids in school? They get them up, make sure they’re dressed, have their backpacks filled with the right stuff and make sure they have a good breakfast.

But what happens when school kids live in an emergency shelter because they’ve been removed from a traumatic home situation? Who gives them breakfast, timed to coordinate with their individual bus schedules?

The answer at Youth Haven in Naples is Terri Robert.

For seven years, Robert has served as Youth Haven’s Morning Mom, getting the boys of its emergency shelter and Homeless Teen Shelter ready for school in the morning with a proper breakfast. “Morning Mom was an idea that started around seven years ago,” says Youth Haven’s Associate Director of Development, Laura Lafakis. “When the children would wake up for school, the staff on duty were working to get kids properly dressed, teeth brushed, backpacks checked and together,” she explains.

“It was difficult adding ‘cooking a nutritious and healthy breakfast’ to that every morning, as well. In the boy’s cottage, we have beds for up to 29 kids, and at the time, we were almost always full. When we met Terri, she was a perfect fit and … we hired her to be our permanent Morning Mom.”

Robert enhances the quality of care so that each child has a positive start to the day.

“I nurture. I’m at that age. I’ve had kids, grandkids … I love to cook …” But it doesn’t take long for her to express the underlying reason a full belly means so much to Youth Haven’s boys. “These kids are all different. Some are traumatized. Some are sad. Some are rascals,” she says. Seeing them in the morning gives them a familiar face, breakfast and a chance to talk. “And that’s good for them,” she emphasizes. She was making scrambled eggs and toast one day when a boy commented, “I never had breakfast. I lived in a car.” And then there was the 8-year-old — one of nine children in his family — who came to her while she was cooking and said, “My mom doesn’t want me anymore.” Despite the anguish, Robert knew she had to lighten the moment. “I told him, ‘Well, I love you! I’ll make you breakfast!’ I can do a lot of talking while I’m cooking breakfast,” she adds.

Each boy is different and has different needs, and “Ms. Terri” knows their likes and dislikes. There are Muffin Mondays and Waffle Wednesdays, fun things the boys can count on and look forward to. “They still miss their moms or grandmothers,” Robert says. “I can’t save the world, but I can do this,” she says.

She started working at Youth Haven seven years ago, serving 26 boys in the cottage. The number of boys fluctuates, and currently the Morning Mom serves 13. The boys are all on different bus schedules, but she says it is manageable. She arrives at Youth Haven Monday through Friday at 5:45 a.m. (“I get up at 4, anyway,” she says.) She checks the boys’ appointments and schedules and starts cooking right away, catering to each request till about 8:30. “I take my time, get to the boys and try to not be rushed.” “Then I prep for lunch if anyone’s home or on break, and I leave by 11.” She helps other staff members from 9-10 a.m. with students who are studying remotely.

For years, Robert served as director of convention services in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. She and her husband later had their own wine business until 2008. In semiretirement, she says she wanted to do something she loves. “I love cooking and I love the kids. It can be a challenge sometimes,” she says of the behavioral complexities of the young people she serves, but she strives to leave the boys in a better emotional place than when she first met them. “You want to help them in their development before they go to foster care or go back home,” she says. “And I do love it. They’re so good to me at Youth Haven.”

And Youth Haven is lucky to have the perfect Morning Mom.

“Now the kids wake up to the smells of breakfast cooking in the kitchen,” Lafakis says. “They walk out of their bedrooms and are greeted with the bright, cheerful face and voice of Terri … such an important figure in the lives of our children.”

To read the article by eBella Magazine, click HERE.


About Youth Haven, Inc.
Youth Haven, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, is Collier County’s only emergency and residential emergency shelter for boys and girls ages 6 – 18 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. In continuous operation since 1972, Youth Haven’s 25-acre therapeutic campus houses over 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. Also situated on its campus is Rob’s Group Home, Youth Haven’s transitional living cottage, which provides comprehensive 24-hour care, with a longer average length of stay, for homeless unaccompanied teenagers ages 16 -19. Youth Haven is a COA nationally accredited organization, a member agency of the United Way of Collier County, a Naples Children & Education Foundation grant recipient, and holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Its mission is focused on protecting and empowering children and teens in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration. For more information, please visit youthhavenswfl.org or call 239-774-2904. Follow Youth Haven on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

YOUTH HAVEN, INC. AWARDED $4,000 GRANT FROM THE ZONTA CLUB OF NAPLES

Naples, FL (April 13, 2021) Youth Haven, Inc. is pleased to announce they’re a recipient of a $4,000 grant from the Zonta Club of Naples. The funds received will support the programs and services for the children and teens that depend on Youth Haven for Home, Hope & Healing.

Founded in 1972, Youth Haven supports children and teens ages 6 -19 that have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, abandonment or are homeless. Youth Haven is an immediate lifeline of safety, love and compassion for innocent children in crisis and the first step in a long journey back to trust, confidence and joy. Our 25-acre therapeutic campus houses over 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care.

The Zonta Club of Naples is part of the Zonta International which seeks to advance the status of women worldwide by improving the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women at the global and local levels through service and advocacy. Zontians all over the world volunteer their time, talents and support to local and international service projects, as well as scholarship programs aimed at fulfilling Zonta’s mission and objectives.

“Youth Haven is grateful to be a recipient of this grant from the Zonta Club of Naples. Our programs and services play a crucial part of our children and teen’s healing process and the funding received will allow us to continue to lay the foundation for a brighter future.” says Linda Goldfield, Youth Haven’s Executive Director.


About Youth Haven, Inc.
Youth Haven, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, is Collier County’s only emergency and residential emergency shelter for boys and girls ages 6 – 18 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. In continuous operation since 1972, Youth Haven’s 25-acre therapeutic campus houses over 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. Also situated on its campus is Rob’s Group Home, Youth Haven’s transitional living cottage, which provides comprehensive 24-hour care, with a longer average length of stay, for homeless unaccompanied teenagers ages 16 -19. Youth Haven is a COA nationally accredited organization, a member agency of the United Way of Collier County, a Naples Children & Education Foundation grant recipient, and holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Its mission is focused on protecting and empowering children and teens in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration. For more information, please visit youthhavenswfl.org or call 239-774-2904. Follow Youth Haven on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.