Scenes from a Hike

donate after the hike

November 2nd marked my 5th Hike as executive director of Safe Haven. I’ve attended four – missed last year when I was in Israel for a long-time planned trip. I knew then as I did now that the staff “had this.” Stacy, Rachael, Trey, Brandy and Stefanie knew how to recruit volunteers, set up logistics, [...]

Rattlers, Triggers, Brain Structure, Hope and World Class Services

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“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” – Helen Keller Last week the National Health Care for the Homeless Council and Safe Haven sponsored an all-day workshop in Trauma Informed Excellence. We have longed claimed we are a trauma-informed agency, but after the training, I realized [...]

A Sneak Peek: A Dream Realized

cupola and lobby

Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.~  Joel A Barker   At least once a week I have been visiting our new facility – usually to take a donor, potential donor or volunteer on a tour. Many people have passed by [...]

Motels are Homes for a Generation of Homeless Families

Paul Cho, co-founder of Illumination Foundation and Jena Kay, program director at IL program site

Orange County is one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, but it also has one of the highest homeless family populations (and homeless population). Five years ago two recent MBA graduates, Paul Cho and Paul Leon, observed this need but also observed no one else was addressing this in any coordinated way and [...]

Dynamic Duo

joyce and trey women of influence 2013

Recently I had the honor of being selected as part of the Nashville Business Journal’s Women of Influence Class of 2013. This is always a huge honor because the competition and the status of this award are great. After almost 20 years in the nonprofit arena as a nonprofit leader, I have prided myself as [...]

A Leap of Faith: Almost Home


“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”  – ~Martin Luther King, Jr. Our “Widening Our Welcome” project and campaign has been and remains an act of faith. I am very big picture, a strategic thinker and I tend to make decisions (at work [...]

MLK: “The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.”

MLK with Memphis Sanitation Workers

Reposted from January 2012. Still relevant January 2013. “Now is the time to make an adequate income a reality for all of God’s children, now is the time for city hall to take a position for that which is just and honest.”  — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today our nation and community celebrate Martin [...]

A Convocation on the State of Family Homelessness in Tennessee


On November 27th Safe Haven staff attended the 1st gathering of state and local agencies and organizations that are addressing and serving homeless families in the state of Tennessee through a Continuum of Care. The Continuum of Care “is a community plan to organize and deliver housing and services to meet the specific needs of [...]

Saying Goodbye


“Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever [...]

Safe Haven is More Than a Building

Executive Director Joyce Lavery with Board and Community Leaders at the Oct. 2 Groundbreaking.

For the past 18 months Safe Haven Family Shelter has been working behind the scenes on our capital campaign efforts. It has been a long-time dream to expand our facility and our capacity to serve more families. A large, unexpected gift enabled us to launch our efforts. With the wisdom of our Board and the [...]