Playing Santa | Volunteer Blog

Playing Santa | Volunteer Blog

So why is Homes and Havens like Santa Claus? Their work is not just practical and giving; it is amazing. It deserves superlatives. They do not create a pretty good home, they work miracles. When women enter their new homes, they are not politely appreciative rather they are gleeful like children at Christmas or a mega bucks lottery winner.  Never in their wildest dreams…

Expectations Thwarted | A Volunteer's Perspective from Robin Howe

Expectations Thwarted | A Volunteer's Perspective from Robin Howe

When I walked into Homes and Havens on McCallie Ave, I wasn’t just surprised, I actually instantly felt good…really good. Large open space, freshly painted white walls, calming neutrals and plants filled the work space.   An assortment of teas and a new electric kettle were on the side table. A visual person welcoming calm tones and light, I was in not a haven but a kind of heaven. If this place was to use a shoestring budget to create comforting homes for women, they clearly knew what they were doing.

100 Rooms

100 Rooms

Since that first consultation in September 2016, I’ve entered a lot of front doors with that same Voice whispering courage to me along the way. I’ve seen homes that were lifeless come alive, homes that were barren become filled, homes that were dark become bright with light, homes that felt cluttered and heavy become unburdened and brightened. I’ve seen miracles happen inside those front doors.

And today, we finished our 100th room.

"My home is soothing and soft, a fortress of solitude." = [ Tracy's Story ]

"My home is soothing and soft, a fortress of solitude." = [ Tracy's Story ]

As I went through my second divorce, God told me to let it all go: house, cabin, boat, car, things, stuff, I gave it all to my husband. Soon after that, I filed bankruptcy on the home I'd given him. It's true the less you have, the less you have to worry about.

I lived within my means in a two bedroom apartment giving the bedrooms to my three children. I had a place on the sunporch. I followed my counsel to reestablish my credit, which took about three years.

"This was once just a space. Now it is a sanctuary." - [ Ashlee's Story ]

"This was once just a space. Now it is a sanctuary." - [ Ashlee's Story ]

I was arrested at the age of 17 due to inaction during a crime. My inability to deal with my own pain, let alone others’ pain, created a storm that ultimately lead me to spend over 21 years of my life in prison. I wasn’t ever an adult, yet, was treated, in the justice system, as one.

In March 2017, I was released and blessed with my own “space”. While I was extremely grateful for a roof, I felt isolated. I was use to steel and concrete but this was different. How can a plush environment feel cold?

"God knew having a warm inviting room would help me thrive..." - [ Katie's Story ]

"God knew having a warm inviting room would help me thrive..." - [ Katie's Story ]

In September 2016 I found myself struggling with depression and alcohol and an ungodly marriage. Everyday I wished for death and drank more and more to numb the pain. I tried to take my own life thinking there was no way to escape the pain of the depression. Fortunately, my attempt failed and I knew I had to turn back to God.