Written by Arkansas Real Estate
It’s a new year at Steve Fineberg & Associates and with a new year we resume our very popular Kibitz series. For those who may not be familiar, Kibitz is a word that means chat in Yiddish. This year our Kibitz series will cover places, events, organizations, and the people who make living in the Northwest Arkansas area something to chat – or Kibitz – about.
We are pleased to launch our 2016 series by highlighting two worthy nonprofit organizations which do great work for deserving people. We will highlight Open Avenues in Rogers and Havenwood in Bentonville. We begin our Kibitz with Debbie Martin, Havenwood Executive Director, and Robin Dorf, Director of Development at Havenwood.
[caption id="attachment_5074" align="alignleft" width="250"] Debbie Martin, Executive Director[/caption] [caption id="attachment_5079" align="alignright" width="250"] Robin Dorf, Director of Development[/caption]
Please tell us about Havenwood and its mission.
Havenwood is a transitional housing program for single mothers and their children under the age of 10. The residents at Havenwood come from situations including domestic violence, addiction and homelessness. Havenwood offers a two year program where they receive help in job training, life skills and acquiring the resources necessary in everyday life.
What is required of the residents in order to remain at Havenwood?
Residents are required to sign a lease for their apartments. The residents are expected to remain as residents for 24 months. Through the help of their case manager they are also required to set short term and long term goals. The ladies must attend group sessions and be either in school or working, or both, while at Havenwood.
Can you explain the case management program?
Havenwood is the only agency in the state of Arkansas that has as comprehensive case management program as Havenwood’s and is the single biggest expense at Havenwood. Our case managers walk hand in hand with the residents as they begin to meet their goals, from providing transportation, to help with getting into school or a job, to working with DHS in having reunification/custody of their children. Theirs is an intense involvement with the residents, without which the success of many of our residents would be impossible to attain.
Give us a couple of examples of success stories at Havenwood.
We had one resident who completed the program and moved to a small town nearby. Since completing the program she has been able to buy a home for her family and is giving back to the community. With her help we will be able to get a car to be donated to one of our residents in need. Another resident recently completed her stay at Havenwood and is now in her own apartment and attending NWACC. So yes, it is possible to overcome hardships with hard work and determination.
What about the children who come into Havenwood with their mothers?
The children are in crisis as well because of the stressful and uncertain situations they face. Many times they display behavioral and emotional issues. We have to work with the children as much as we work with their mothers. We want them to know that Havenwood is a safe place for them where they will receive proper care and attend school.
How does Havenwood get its funding and what is the approximate yearly budget?
The operating budget for Havenwood is approximately $202,000 a year. This may sound like a lot, but considering what Havenwood needs to accomplish, this is not a large sum. As for funding we rely heavily on our community for donations. Our other sources include grants and our fundraising events. Our main fundraiser is our Angel Gala which is held in February. This year the gala will be on February 20th. The theme of the Gala this year will be the Wizard of Oz . This theme was chosen because the moms at Havenwood, like Dorothy, need to know that they do have the COURAGE, HEART, and KNOWLEDGE to attain success. Gala attendees will learn about Havenwood and its residents through dramatic presentations, music, and videos. It should be an entertaining and worthwhile evening for all.
What are some of the things on the Havewood “Wish List?"
We are always in need for more funding for our case management program. We would love to establish a fund to help our residents as they come into Havenwood to help pay for their initial costs of renting their apartments. Along with that we always need furniture and basic household items for the Havenwood apartments. Of course as with most no profits the wish list is always extensive and our community can be of tremendous help.
So here you have a brief story of Havenwood in Bentonville. We invite you to get to know Havenwood and Robin and Debbie even more. Check them out on Facebook and even plan a visit to Havenwood to see it for yourself.
See you in April with our next Kibitz – Open Avenues.
To learn more about Havenwood and to get involved please visit: www.nwahavenwood.org
Or visit their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/havenwoodar