Story last updated at 1/15/2014 - 2:43 pm
JUNEAU - The Juneau Community Foundation approved a matching grant of up to $10,000 for Haven House, Inc., to be used to furnish its new home, a press release announced last week. This grant is from the Gaguine Fund of the Juneau Community Foundation.
According to the release, Haven House is seeking $10,000 to match the Gaguine grant by Feb. 28 to provide time to purchase and deliver furnishings before the anticipated mid-March opening.
On Christmas Eve an anonymous donor bought the residence that will house up to nine women at a time.
"The Christmas Eve purchase was a miracle; an answer to our prayers," Rachel Sanders said.
Sanders is the Haven House founding board member.
"For the past two years Haven House has been organizing, developing a budget, raising funds, and, most recently, searching for a house to call home," she said. "Our anonymous angel donor means Haven House will open its doors in a little over a month."
Haven House, Inc. is a faith-based organization that provides structured transitional housing and support for up to two years for women exiting the correctional system. The Haven House program will include referral to counseling, substance abuse treatment, life skills training and employment coaching. To foster self-sufficiency, the women living in the home will share in chores and responsibilities of communal living. Haven House offers an opportunity for women coming out of prison to help themselves, the release stated.
"Haven House will be the only housing in Southeast Alaska providing a transitional home for women exiting prison," Co-Director Kara Nelson said. "Women who choose to live at Haven House will be expected to find a job and pay rent."
One of Haven House's primary goals is to reduce the high rate of female recidivism by providing healthy alternatives to lifestyles that previously led to incarceration. According to the 2007 Alaska Judicial Council report on recidivism in Alaska, 66 percent of offenders return to the correction system within three years, and were particularly susceptible during the first six months after release. According to the release, this organization was established by members of several local churches to provide a safe and supportive living environment for women leaving the correction system.
"The Juneau Community Foundation is proud to be a partner in special projects like this one, that meet community needs and make a difference in the lives of Southeast Alaskans," Amy Skilbred, Juneau Community Foundation Executive Director, said.
The Haven House is currently accepting donations to an effor to raise the matching $10,000. Send donations to the Juneau Community Foundation, 350 N. Franklin St. #4, Juneau, AK 99801 or online at www.juneaucf.org.