Open Haven started in 2013, when founder & CEO Sabeel Burgess felt there was a gap missing for women on their journey to find empowerment and independence in an effort to start their new lives after leaving a Domestic Violence relationship.
After starting as a small local community support group, to gaining official Charitable status in 2017, Open Haven has quickly established itself as a trusted name within the local community, working alongside other local, National Government and Non-For-Profit Domestic Violence agencies in the pursuit of supporting and empowering women who have experience Domestic Violence.
When women come to us, where ever they come from, usually frightened, lonely and no idea what their next step is, we sit with them, get to know them, understand their journey and develop a supportive and practical personalised plan that sets them on the path of empowerment, and towards a new life.
A coffee morning for local mothers and their children was established. During the course of the year, it was discovered that some of the attendees needed emotional and practical support. Eight cases of domestic violence were identified. The survivors did not have anywhere to turn. They did not know how to access existing services. They required more hands on, practical support to lead them in the right direction. Three volunteers supported these women and their children.
High Tower's Heart
A support group led by Sabeel was established under the name High Tower's Heart. A weekly open house was started that allowed survivors of domestic violence to attend, have their needs assessed and relevant support provided. The number of volunteers supporting this group increased to six. The assessment became formalised and the services increased. Other agencies began to refer individuals to High Tower's Heart because longer term support was being provided.
Open Haven Ltd
An independent charity (public benevolent institution) was established to increase financial support, establish formalised referral programs and improve governance.
Open Haven was selected as the new name to reflect the cost support service of the open house. Volunteers have increased to twelve, community support has increase as have referrals from other agencies. Over 250 women have now been assisted through Open Haven.
and the future
Open Haven delivers its core service, "Open House" on a weekly basis. Through this, we create practical and personalised restoration plans and support women on their journey to finding empowerment. Now offering a multitude of core services and programs to assist women to achieve long term goals, Open Haven successfully provides support to women who are seeking guidance and companionship as they work towards becoming more financially, emotionally and physically independent.