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 emotional support and practical advice. Three volunteers supported these women and their children.
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 ministry 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.
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 core support service of the open house. Volunteers have increased to twelve, community support has increased as have referrals from other agencies. Over 250 women have now been assisted through Open Haven.
Open Haven delivers its core service of the open house on a weekly basis. Through the open house we create restoration plans and support women to achieve them. To supplement these core services Open Haven delivers three key programs: Drive to Thrive, English for Employment and Restoration Hampers. These programs assist women to achieve their long term goals and support them practically if they encounter bumps along the way.