SAFE HAVEN LIGHT
More than 8,000 children are in state custody in Tennessee today through no fault of their own.
On November 1, 2013, Safe Haven Light officially opened its doors to service the youth of Rhea County. Directors Randy and Tricia Schmittendorf have been readying the home located at 540 Cemetery Road in Spring City. They have arranged and rearranged furniture, added doors, painted walls, and stocked kitchen cabinets with groceries all in anticipation of blessing children/youth under the age of 18 who through no act of their own find themselves homeless. As of Friday, November 22nd, the dream of having a safe haven for these temporarily displaced youth was realized when the first resident was received into this home.
Safe Haven Light will provide a safe home for several days while authorities seek permanent homes for them.
The rules at Safe Haven Light will be strict: Violence, drugs, alcohol and tobacco are strictly forbidden. House parents set a daily house schedule, providing transportation to school and appointments, and create a positive, nurturing environment for the children during their stay.
Safe Haven Light operates under the umbrella of We Care Community Services, Dayton. Its residents come by direct referral- some from the courts and others from child care organizations or institutions which have custodial responsibility. In its “Safe Zone” environment, residents may stay two days to two weeks while permanent placement is found.
We Care Community Services and Safe Haven Light do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, political beliefs or ability to pay.
The Safe Haven Light facility was made possible through a Tennessee Housing Developmental Agency. We anticipate that the annual operating budget will be about $150,000 per year. Therefore, most of the operating budget must come from private donations to support its mission.