Haven House’s mission supports the prevention of violence before it ever occurs. Prevention at Haven House consists of several evidence-based strategies that serve multiple settings and populations across individual, relationship, and community levels of change. Haven House often partners with other nonprofits, schools, coalitions and community groups to carry out these strategies most effectively. These strategies include Girls on the Run, Lead On! PhotoVoice, Alaska Men Choose Respect, and bystander intervention. Prevention staff also offers community education to 8th and 9th grade Health classes and groups who request it. They give engaging and interactive classes on subjects ranging from healthy relationships, consent, recognizing and addressing warning signs of abuse, resiliency, coping skills and communication.
Girls on the Run (GOTR) International is an empowerment program for girls in 3rd-5th grade. The program combines training for a 5K running event with healthy living and self-esteem curricula. GOTR instills self-respect through physical training, health education, life skills development, and mentoring relationships. The 12 week, 24-lesson afterschool program creatively integrates life lessons, discussions, and running-based games in a fun environment where girls are free to express themselves. Haven House is a community partner under the Girls on the Run of Greater Alaska Council. Prevention staff manages two GOTR teams, one at West Homer Elementary/Fireweed Academy and one at the Kachemak Selo School. More information at www.gotrgreateralaska.org.
Lead On! in Homer is a Partnership between Haven House and the Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic’s R.E.C. Room. A team of teens travel to a conference each year to plan a community service project. Haven House, the R.E.C. Room, and adult volunteers support the Lead On! team in carrying out the project. Most recently, teens created and premiered the short film “Homeless in Homer” to an audience of 100 Homer locals. [YouTube link]
PhotoVoice builds photography skills in teens while using the assignments to talk about difficult subjects. Using guest speakers, peer critiques and thought-provoking prompts, students in 8th-12th grade prepare collections based on a social justice issue.
Alaska Men Choose Respect offers mini-grants through the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA). In Homer, this funds Youth on Record Alaska, a music production class that allows teens to find their voice. Haven House also hosts training for male mentors of young men, recognizing men’s integral role in violence prevention. The training, called Compass: A Guide for Men, was developed by the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
Haven House serves as the fiscal agent for a grassroots bystander education group called Green Dot Homer. Homer is one of many communities across the state of Alaska using the Green Dot violence prevention strategy to educate influential adults in the community about ways to recognize warning signs of violence and safe, realistic strategies to both proactively and re-actively prevent them. For more information about Green Dot Homer, visit www.greendothomer.org. For more information about Green Dot across the state, visit www.greendotalaska.com.
Haven House is also a participating agency in the Southern Kenai Peninsula Resiliency Coalition. The vision of the Resiliency Coalition is: Communities on the Southern Kenai Peninsula support healthy relationships and resilient families, free from violence and substance abuse. The coalition has two over-arching goals:
1. To be a trauma-informed community. Develop a trauma-informed community that recognizes the effects of trauma with a shared understanding and responds in an empathic and helpful way.
2. To work collaboratively to increase family resiliency and prevent substance abuse, violence and trauma in our community.
For more information about the Southern Kenai Peninsula Resiliency Coalition, visit http://mappofskp.net/projects/skpresilience/