Families with children or teens staying at the Safe Haven Family Shelter will have three new rooms where they can stay to learn, heal and have fun, thanks to an innovative Bright Spaces® partnership with the Nashville Predators Foundation and the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children.
Bright Spaces, the signature program of Bright Horizons Foundation, creates warm, enriching playrooms in community agencies that give children, teens and families in crisis a special place to gather as a family and have fun together. On July 12, we held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the three Bright Spaces that were included in our shelter renovation and expansion. While some visiting children checked out the new spaces, representatives of this collaborative partnership welcomed guests and talked about the importance of age-appropriate, safe spaces for children and teens to plan, learn and grow.
“These Bright Spaces will support the children’s needs to play, be safe, be creative and have supportive adult interaction while they are in this vulnerable time in their families’ lives,” said Becky Bowman, executive director for the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children. “We are excited to continue our longstanding partnership with Safe Haven, and welcomed the opportunity to create new Bright Spaces for the younger children, and the support of the Nashville Predators Foundation made a teen space possible for the first time.”
“Bright Spaces brings hope and comfort to families, teens and children during difficult times,” said Sean Henry, president and COO of the Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena. “This Bright Space partnership project was a chance for us to help families in our community who are struggling, and to positively affect the children and teens staying at Safe Haven.”
“The completion of this project enhances our ability to be a shelter where families in a housing/financial/homeless crisis can heal, rest, play and be supported while they take steps toward self-efficacy and future stability,” said Joyce Lavery, CEO and executive director of Safe Haven.
“These Bright Spaces will provide Safe Haven with wonderful tools and vision to enrich the lives of the more than 200 homeless children we serve each year.”
The Infant and Toddler Bright Space will be named “The Dave Gleason Bright Space” in honor of the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children’s longtime president Dave Gleason, who retired last year after a lifelong career spent working to improve children’s lives nationally and internationally. Mr. Gleason was in attendance for the ribbon-cutting with his beautiful family. He was tearful when talking about the legacy and impact of Bright Spaces. “You should walk in and know that children are important here,” said Gleason. “You can tell the children are important here at Safe Haven.”
The teen space features the Nashville Predators colors throughout, as well as special items from the Predators. The teen space also includes bookcases, a reading nook and space for tutoring sessions or to do homework.
About the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children
The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children was founded in 1999 to fulfill the mission of Bright Horizons Family Solutions to “make a difference in the lives of children and families.” Bright Horizons is the world’s leading provider of employer-sponsored child care, early education and work/life solutions. Through the Foundation, Bright Horizons supports nonprofit organizations with programs for children and families. Bright Spaces is a program of the Foundation, creating dedicated play areas in homeless shelters and community agencies. There are now more than 275 Bright Spaces located in shelters in more than 35 states around the country and Europe, serving thousands of children each year. More information is at brighthorizonsfoundation.org.
About the Nashville Predators Foundation
The Nashville Predators recognize they play an important role in the community beyond what takes place on the ice. Since its establishment in 1998, the Nashville Predators Foundation has awarded more than $3.5 million to the Greater Nashville community, benefiting thousands of people in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee community. In 2012-13, the Predators Foundation enjoyed its most successful season of giving as it awarded the largest single grant cycle in the organization’s history, totaling more than $405,000. Between grants and other charitable donations, such as player ticket programs and fund-raising efforts, the Foundation put more than $1 million back into the community during the 2012-13 season. To learn more, visit nashvillepredators.com/foundation.
About Safe Haven Family Shelter
Safe Haven Family Shelter provides shelter and transitional services that empower Middle Tennessee homeless families with children to achieve lasting self-sufficiency. Safe Haven is the only shelter program of its kind in Middle Tennessee that serves homeless families, with a comprehensive approach to address the underlying causes of homelessness and to achieve lasting self-sufficiency. Safe Haven Family Shelter is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has served the community for more than 29 years. For more information, please visit www.safehaven.org.