Faith Haven provides safe haven for children in crisis
The nonprofit has lost some grants it relied on for day to day operations
TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – For more than 40 years, a Tupelo-based nonprofit has been rescuing children who are caught in crisis situations.
Faith Haven provides a compassionate setting for kids who have endured terrible ordeals, and while the need for their services is increasing, some of the funding has gone away.
Jackie Smith came on board as executive director of Faith Haven five years ago. Since then she has seen more than her share of heartbreaking stories involving innocent children.
“Very tough situations, most at the hands of their parents and that is the most traumatic part,” Smith said.
During a recent board meeting, Smith brought board members up to date on the number of cases referred to Faith Haven. Each case represents a family in crisis. The organization provides shelter for the children, along with clothes, meals, counseling, and tutoring.
Most of the kids referred to Faith Haven are in the custody of Child Protective Services. Board member Kevin Willoughby said the work done at Faith Haven impacts everyone.
“These children are going to grow up, have lives, they will mingle into the community and we need to provide them the kind of care, knowledge, and education to become active members in community and society,” Willoughby said.
The goal is always to reunite the child with his or her birth parents, when possible. But in the meantime, it’s important to provide a loving and caring home environment and that’s what Faith Haven strives to do. And it is not cheap, it costs about $250 per child per day and in recent years a lot of grants that helped make that happen have gone away.
“We get effects of inflation like everyone else, we give them three meals a day, snacks, and anything else they would probably want. We want to make sure we keep our doors open, we have been here 45 years and want to be here 45 more, the funds we get from donors, we appreciate them,” Smith said.
Smith says it is tough work, but also rewarding, especially when the former residents come back as volunteers.
A golf tournament scheduled for Friday to benefit Faith Haven has been canceled. It will be rescheduled and we will have that information on faithhaventupelo.com
For 24/7 news and updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter