SAFE HARBOR CHILDREN'S CENTER
WINTER NEWSLETTER 2018
Safe Harbor is our community’s home for children in need of a safe, loving environment; a place where they are treated like family. We offer shelter, aid, counsel and comfort.
CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS
We had a wonderful Christmas this year at Safe Harbor. The giving spirit began to bloom in the late fall and blossomed for the kids in all of our various programs on Christmas Day. Gifts and donations came from companies, churches, country clubs, sororities, groups and individuals. If you ever want to feel the true spirit of Christmas, work at Safe Harbor during the month of December!

In addition to using these gifts for presents on Christmas day, we save some for use throughout the year at our Children's Advocacy Center. Children come to our CAC due to suspected abuse. After a child goes through a forensic interview, we give them a new toy. Our Christmas blessings allow us to have toys for these children throughout the year! Thanks to all of you who made our Christmas so memorable!
CHRISTMAS FUN
On December 14th, we held our annual Christmas party, the first to be held in our new home. Between the yummy food, the ugly Christmas sweater contest and the amazing sing-off between the CAC staff and shelter staff, the kids and adults had a blast! Check out the video below!
CHRISTMAS GIVING
On December 22nd, Safe Harbor's Children's Advocacy Center partnered with Jesup Healthcare and Gilead Ministry to give the clients of Jesup Healthcare a Christmas party. This is the fourth year that the CAC participated in the event. In addition to preparing meals, our staff helped set up and break down for the event. They also provided teddy bears and gave hugs to everyone at the Healthcare Center. 
GRAND OPENING:
Children's Advocacy Center in Jesup
In November, we held an Open House for our new Children's Advocacy Center in Jesup, Georgia. Prior to opening, people in this area had to drive for over an hour to receive any such services. In the short time that our new center has been open, we have conducted eleven forensic interviews and three medical exams. Thanks to all of you who came out to support our Open House!
Brunswick Lyons Club Donation
Jack McConnell, John Jones, Leslie Hartman and Richard Parker.
In December, the members of the Brunswick Lyons Club presented Safe Harbor Children’s Runaway and Homeless Program (Zach’s Place) with a $2,500 check from the Lyons Foundation to purchase new computers for the study room. The program had been using computers donated by the Glynn County School system that used outdated software. Safe Harbor has housed 25 runaway and homeless children and youth since July.
STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Jeff Clark
Jeff Clark is the program director of our street outreach program, Street Beat. He is a dedicated family man, Bulldog fan and community-minded person. Jeff holds many positions throughout our community. He is on the executive board of the Georgia VOAD (disaster relief), chairman of the Community First Planning Commission (a group of 20-25 African American pastors & leaders focusing on assisting the community) and chairman of Roosevelt Lawrence Community Center (a city-based program geared for kids that he attended as a child).

Jeff's career path started straight out of college in 1992 when he developed a social services program for the HIV clinic at the Coastal Health Unit. In charge of testing and results for HIV patients, he trained nurses and taught a course on HIV & AIDS at CCGA (our local college). He worked at Gateway, Morningstar and UPS before coming to Safe Harbor.

What does your job entail? Managing the street outreach program, engaging our homeless youth and adults and collaborating with our RHY (Runaway & Homeless Youth) Program, our CAC (Children's Advocacy Center) and our Safe Place program.

What is the best part of your job? The kids.
 
What’s the hardest part of your job? When some of the kids fall back into old patterns where we can't help them. We try to gear these kids into a different mindset, making new choices, but that doesn't always happen. It's hard when kids are stuck on being unproductive and you see them backslide. Sometimes they choose fast money rather than doing the work to make the right choice.

What is your current wish/hope for your program? Total expansion. I wish we could serve every child that needs assistance and mentoring in Glynn County.

What is one of your talents? Cooking. I do low country boils/catering on the weekends.
 
What do you value most about your co-workers? We are a conversational family unit -- no one is pushed back. It's OK to be who you are. Safe Harbor is a huge support system for its kids AND its employees!

Who is your hero? Medgar Evers, a prominent civil rights leader in Mississippi.

What is your motto? Live life & learn.
PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT: Street Beat
Safe Harbor's Street Outreach Program (Street Beat) reaches out to homeless youth by canvassing neighborhoods. Our staff and volunteers (pictured left) build trusting relationships with these at-risk youth and provide tutoring, counseling, food, hygiene kits, sexual exploitation literature and overall support. Our mission is to increase young people’s safety, well-being and self-sufficiency to help them build permanent connections with caring adults in the hopes of getting them off the streets.

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 3pm to 6pm, kids come to our location on Jekyll Avenue to get tutoring, career counseling and help with housing. We typically have 12-19 kids in attendance. They get a hot meal which they eat family-style with the staff. None of this would be possible without our volunteers who tutor and help prepare the meals. In the last three years, 90% of our kids have graduated high school and 60% of those have gone to college. Of our prior kids, 25% have come back to help the program after graduation.

With Brunswick's ever-growing homeless population, Street Beat is a busy program! We reach 60 to 70 homeless youth and adults each year, providing vital resources such as connections for housing, referrals to Job Corp programs, dental assistance, tutoring, blankets, hygiene kits, food and clothing from our Donation Center. Street Outreach Director, Jeff Clark , along with Emergency Shelter Director, Sharron Atkinson , and Executive Director, Leslie Hartman , have attended the National Alliance to End Homelessness Learning Collaborative Training to fully implement the Housing First Model. Safe Harbor is also part of the Southern Learning Collaborative to change agency policies, adjust intake procedures and fully train staff on the Housing First model.

If you'd like to volunteer your time by tutoring or preparing meals for Street Beat's Tuesday and Thursday sessions, please contact volunteer coordinator Hillary Johnston at hjohnston@safeharborcenterinc.org or call 912.267.6000 x104.
POINT IN TIME COUNT
Safe Harbor, along with other community agencies, will be conducting the Point In Time Count on Monday, January 22nd. This count provides vital information about Glynn County’s growing homeless population and helps the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) determine how to allocate funding to Glynn County and the state of Georgia. This will be our third time participating in this count.

Safe Harbor’s programs serve the homeless in many ways. In addition to Street Beat, we house homeless youth in our Runaway & Homeless Youth program. Our Safe Place Program protects children and youth from harm. During the last three years, Safe Harbor has worked with 175 homeless and runaway youth.

On October 1 st , 2017, Safe Harbor received funding for a Transitional Living Program to support a new effort: a residence that will provide housing for homeless girls, ages 16 to 21. This service was previously unavailable outside of Atlanta. Here, our residents will be supervised while having more flexibility to dictate their own lives as they work or study at local colleges. This additional program transforms Safe Harbor into a truly comprehensive children’s service center, offering a continuum of support to guide young people from abuse, neglect and homelessness toward independent lives as self-sufficient adults.
WISH-LIST
We love your donations! Here is a list of our current needs. Please visit our registry on Amazon to purchase. Thank you!
  1. Twin sheets (8 sets total for Zach's Place, our RHY program)
  2. Feminine hygiene products
  3. Vaseline lip balm
  4. Alcohol-free mouthwash
  5. Unscented body lotion
  6. Shaving cream/razors
SAFE HARBOR CHILDREN'S CENTER
1526 Norwich Street
Brunswick, GA 31521
912.267.6000
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