Camp Haven, Inc. held its second annual fund raiser at Holy Cross Parish Hall on January 31st with 150 enthusiastic supporters in attendance.
Dennis Bartholomew, CEO of Camp Haven explained: “Camp Haven fills a critical need in our county; there is no overnight shelter for adults without dependent children in Indian River County. It is difficult for homeless men and women to work, save money and lift themselves out of the woods, when they are struggling with basic survival and security. Camp Haven will provide a foundation for transformative changes in their lives.”
Pat Geyer, Project Manager shared the status of Camp Haven and described the generosity of people “board members and other donors answered our prayers, emerging in a just-in-time manner to make the acquisition possible and fast start the clean up and renovation process”.
A year ago, the Camp Haven project was seeking wooded land to build a camp with tents and mobile trailers to initiate a program for the homeless. Land was leased in September 2012. However, it would be at least a year before they could open. Then the 20-unit Citrus Motel just north of Airport Blvd on US 1 became available. It was purchased on December 21, 2012 and work began on Dec.26th under the leadership of John Dean, Architect.
Lalita Janke, Camp Haven Board President said “People ask us when Camp Haven will open. It’s such a worthy cause they say. The answer lies with you …with our community. When will you give and what is your contribution? We need to continue building to get our occupational license and open….the homeless are waiting. Can you dig deep and give boldly?”
The response from the warm, generous attendees and donors was heartwarming and encouraging for the new non-profit! The Camp Haven financial appeal, to date has brought in $90,000 toward completion of Phase 1of property renovations.
The engaging performance of Broadway star Laurie Gayle Stephenson, singing some of her favorite pieces and along the way sharing fascinating professional and personal stories, kept the audience enthralled and wanting more. The evening ended with the dramatic appearance of The Phantom of the Opera (aka Rhett Palmer) presenting his Christine with a red rose.
The evening was a success. Donors gave and pledged their support, attendees enjoyed the evening and Camp Haven, a supportive living opportunity for those looking to rise out of homelessness is much closer to completion….