Through prevention, empowerment and the promotion of social justice, more than ever before, Safe Haven of Pike County Inc. is working to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and now crime in general. On July 18th, the Executive Director of Safe Haven, David Bever stood outside of the organization's new facility at 500 West Harford Street in Milford, to celebrate the organization's move with staff, members of the public, board members and Senator Lisa Baker to cut a ribbon that was, "symbolic to our group," said Diane Quintiliani the Director of Education and Outreach.
The ceremony, Bever said, was a "jumping off point to what we believe will be much greater things." Thursday, he said was, "the end of our adolescence as we enter the agency's adulthood with confidence." The special day, was about everyone who ever walked through the doors of Safe Haven or anyone who could not make the journey in its 20 plus years existence, he added.
With a new mission statement, Bever said Safe Haven is committed to providing the same services to domestic and sexual violence survivors, but now there will be services for other victims of crime in the county. Not always an easy journey, Bever thanked the many people who have helped and continue to make the agency a success. He presented Board President Susan Hines with a gift as she is, "the person in whom all points of Safe Haven means."
Moving Safe Haven forward as a comprehensive victims' service agency, to better serve the community, Hines said, the "courageous decision" to move the organization has "enabled the agency to deliver its cause more effectively in a much more inviting and professional environment." Despite difficult financial times, she said the relocation will reduce the agency's operating cost, but will expand its services. The new environment, she said, "is conducive in serving all victims of crime, treating them with dignity and confidentiality."
Senator Lisa Baker said what is done at Safe Haven is, "necessary, vital and so essential for not just women, children, but men and families." She thanked the staff of Safe Haven for their, "commitment to unity." She spoke about enhancement of funding for domestic violence and rape crisis services this year and a new legislation that will allow crime victims to speak directly to the parole board when a perpetrator is seeking to go back into the community. On behalf of Rosemary Brown and Michael Peifer, Baker accepted a Certificate of Recognition plaque.
There were tours given, which showed people that the building is larger than it seems with a basement area where children can be watched while their parents will receive help. Additionally, there are offices in the basement and space for privacy with a coffee station and computer. Baker said the facility is, "really spectacular."
For more information visit online at www.safehavenofpikecounty.org or call (570) 296-2827. Their emergency help line is (570)296-HELP(4357).
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