News, Press Release


Youth Haven SWFL Youth Shelter

Naples, Fl (June 14, 2023).

Imagine being a child and the person you look up to, the person you respect and admire the most, is also the person who is abusing and neglecting you. A mentor’s betrayal significantly impacts a child, creating feelings of fear, mistrust, and low self-esteem. Being removed from the abuse and placed in a safe foster care home removes the immediate threat of physical danger, but the long-lasting effects of the trauma endured by children and teens can be deadly if left untreated.

As Southwest Florida’s only emergency and residential shelter for boys and girls ages 10 – 20, Youth Haven is an immediate lifeline of safety, love, and compassion. The minute a child steps on Youth Haven’s campus, the staff begins the healing process and helps the child on their journey back to trust, confidence, and joy.

With Father’s Day upon us, we recognize and honor the strong male figures who have served as role models for the children and teens that rely on Youth Haven for Home, Hope, and Healing. These individuals, and so many more, have provided much-needed guidance, mentorship, and the stability they need while they heal.

Laquentin Cotton, also lovingly known as “Mr. Q,” serves as Director of Rob’s Group Home, Youth Haven’s shelter for unaccompanied homeless teens. 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. Laquentin has gone above and beyond, ensuring the teens’ successful transition to adulthood. He has supported them every step of the way – while they have resided on our campus, as well, as helping them relocate into homes of their own – both locally and out of state, purchasing vehicles and furnishings, and even sharing some of his famous barbeque cooking skills with the teens. One teen that moved out after completing our program shared with Laquentin, “I realize I’m one of the lucky ones. That without Youth Haven and Rob’s, I would be in jail or dead. I’ll make you all proud, I promise.”

Two individuals who have implemented their sports background to go nine yards for the youth are Culmer St. Jean and Spencer Adkins. Culmer, Residential Manager, is a graduate of Lely High School in Naples, Florida. He played football in college for the Wisconsin Badgers and has given back to his community for over 15 years by coaching local high school football. Spencer, a graduate of Naples High School, played football for the University of Miami and the Atlanta

Falcons. Both can often be found mentoring the youth, sharing with them their life experiences. They engage the youth both mentally and physically, organizing basketball and football pickup games on Youth Haven’s 18.5-acre therapeutic campus.

“Youth Haven is committed to making transformational changes in the lives of the youth that arrive at our campus. Laquentin, Culmer, and Spencer, are incredible male role models that our youth look up to during an extremely vulnerable period of their lives. Their positive outlooks and dependability make them strong male role models, and we’re grateful they are part of our team,” said Linda Goldfield, Youth Haven CEO.

Youth Haven views challenges as opportunities to help 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. To learn more, visit

For media inquiries, please contact Laura Lafakis, Youth Haven Director of Development, at 239-687-5175 or

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 children and teens removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. In continuous operation since 1972, Youth Haven’s therapeutic campus, located in Naples, Florida, houses 70 youth with a waking staff system that allows for around-the-clock specialized care. Youth Haven provides programs that create transformational change in its youth. Youth Haven is a COA nationally accredited organization, a member agency of the United Way of Collier and the Keys, and a Naples Children & Education Foundation grant recipient. It also holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Its mission is “To provide Home, Hope, and Healing to abused and neglected children and teens in Southwest Florida.” For more information, please visit or call 239-774-2904. Follow Youth Haven on social media: FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.

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