The Haven House initiative brings together caring residents who are willing to reach out to their neighbors in thoughtful and considerate ways. Identified by a We Care sign in their front yard, Haven House leaders are volunteers who turn strangers into friends on the block where they live. They may host block parties, take meals to a sick neighbor, help find a lost pet, share garden produce, mow a yard or just offer a listening ear. Through simple acts of kindness, Haven House leaders are changing the world – one neighbor at a time.
Neighbors in all communities have assumed that friendships and relationships naturally form and are self-sustaining. But at CRI, we believe that we must develop relationships and friendships on our block to produce social capital and social networks where neighbors interrelate and work together to build whole people and communities. Absence of these social structures produces unacceptable outcomes like social isolation and collapsed societies. Haven House is the antidote to arrest this trend in our neighborhoods and cities at the grassroots level.
The Haven House motto is: "We are dedicated to remaking our city by making friends on our street." Haven House is a concrete strategy to take a city back, systematically, block by block. We must rebuild the relational foundation at the grass-roots level. We can e-mail, text, call and fax our friends and family members around the world, but often we do not know our neighbors living a few doors down from us. We are disconnected on the blocks and streets where we live.
In the Haven House strategy, we:
- Enlist willing, private citizens in all communities to make friends with neighbors on their block and assist them in getting acquainted with each other.
- Equip citizens in a fun seminar, using pragmatic strategies to build friendships, communicate effectively and develop a lifestyle of caring friendships on their block. Residents are asked to place a Haven House “We Care” sign in the front yard of their home or apartment. After completing the seminar, new Haven House leaders are asked to commit to a one-year minimum of service. Volunteers are provided a comprehensive Haven House leaders training kit and are given support with administration and neighborhood activities.
- Encourage Haven House leaders to meet together on a monthly basis to deepen their relationships, share ideas, deal in solutions, network and just have fun. The transformational breakthrough occurs when dedicated Haven House leaders come together from different neighborhoods across our city to get solutions. They develop mutually enhancing relationships where neighbors seek the good of each other.
- Facilitate positive change between neighbors on a street from isolated strangers to caring friends – respecting, talking and walking together.
We welcome you to come and join with us from all neighborhoods in rebuilding community at the block level. There are countless stories on file from Haven House leaders telling of the positive changes that happen to them and their neighbors due to Haven House. All you have to do to get started is click here to e-mail me or call me at (318) 425-3222.
You can also go to our calendar to check the dates of our Haven House training meetings and register online for the training of your choice.