Community Partnership: Safe Haven Family Shelter
The Office of Housing and Residential Education has established a community partnership with Safe Haven Family Shelter for the purpose of supporting the Shelter’s efforts and educating Vanderbilt students on issues of homelessness in Nashville. This partnership aims to:
- Develop long-standing participation of Vanderbilt’s residential students in Shelter activities and volunteer opportunities
- Engage residents in deliberative dialogues surrounding homelessness
- Empower residents to make a difference in the local Nashville community
It is our goal that students will be able to offer their time, knowledge, and skills to assist in helping homeless families become more self-sufficient while also developing compassion and understanding for the circumstances of others.
About Safe Haven Family Shelter
Safe Haven Family Shelter provides shelter and transitional services that empowers Middle Tennessee homeless families with children to achieve lasting self-sufficiency.
Facts about Safe Haven:
- Safe Haven Family Shelter is the only shelter program of its kind in Middle Tennessee that serves homeless families as a whole unit, with a comprehensive approach to address the underlying causes of homelessness and help each family regain self-sufficiency.
- The Shelter is able to serve 5 families at the emergency shelter and 8 families in transitional housing. Through the Rapid Re-Housing Program, up to 10 families can be served.
- Residents must be employed or in pursuit of a job, and receive budgeting, job training, individual/group counseling, and goal monitoring.
- The typical duration of stay for a family at the emergency shelter is 90-110 days.
- Families that stay at the facility must find full-time employment, deposit money into savings, receive therapy, meet regularly with their case managers, and participate in classes provided by SHFS.
- SHFS receives funding from foundations, businesses, faith communities, community organizations, individual donors, and fundraising events.
Facts about Homelessness:
- Some common causes of homelessness are: lack of affordable housing, evictions,
job lay-offs, loss of a spouse, the breakup of a relationship, and poor budgeting.
- In Nashville today, almost 1,600 children in the Metro school system will experience homelessness in the course of a year.
- Every day, more than 4,000 people are homeless in Nashville.
- Families with children comprise 30% of the homeless population and are the fastest growing segment of the population.
Get Involved and Volunteer
There are many ways for Vanderbilt community members to get involved. Here are some common ways you can participate in the partnership:
- 1-7 volunteers prepare and serve a family meal for 12-25 Safe Haven residents
- Dinner is served at 6pm and volunteers visit with the residents during and after the meal
Serve as an Overnight Volunteer
- Stay overnight from 5:45pm-6am in a private volunteer guest room
- Oversee the shelter, answer phones, and be a point of contact for the residents
Education for self-sufficiency
- Create an adult curriculum to teach computer literacy and familiarity with the Microsoft Office suite
- Contribute to workshops on financial management, budgeting, and other life skills
Childcare assistance and support
- Individual tutoring for a variety of subjects and grade levels, depending on the ages of the residents
- Plan a structured activity or craft time
- Read for story hour
- Develop a physical fitness and nutrition curriculum
- Play with the kids to keep them active
- Cleaning and organizing shelter donations
- Small repairs
- Helping families move out of the shelter
Fundraising and donations
- Commonly needed items: paper towels, toilet paper and other toiletries, paper products, linens, professional clothes and more
- Financial donations and contributions
- $3,000 will provide funding for a family of 4 for 45 days
- $6,000 will help take a family from homelessness to home owner
- Individual donations or group fundraising are welcome, regardless of the amount
If you or your group are interested in contributing to the Vanderbilt/Safe Haven partnership and would like to get involved, please fill out this form
For more information on volunteering, contact Stefanie Tinnell at 615-256-8195 or at email@example.com
For further information on Safe Haven Family shelter, visit www.safehaven.org or call 615-256-8195.
For assistance in coordinating service opportunities as a Vanderbilt community member, please contact Kari George at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-322-4691.