Welcome To Camp Haven
Rebuilding Men's Lives
Camp Haven is about providing services to homeless and at risk men. And our job is to rebuild their lives so that they can get reestablished in our community. And the way we accomplish rebuilding the men's lives is through a series of programs, which involves psychological counseling. We also bring in community leaders that work with the men to, for example, personal finances, when they graduate here they have sustainable employment, money in the bank, and they have stabilized community based housing. Tim became homeless because of there was psychological issues that build up within him. He had problems with the house that he owned. And there were different circumstances that surrounded that. And he felt crushed, was psychologically not equipped to deal with that. So what happened is Tim just said the heck with it. And he left from Pennsylvania. And he ended up down in Stuart, Florida, where we met him.
I got a pretty dysfunctional family, I ended up on the street, six days after high school graduation. I apparently I had this. Nobody knew what it was his brain disease when I was young, that OCD and you know, eventually got the best of me and I ended up in the woods for didn't eat for 30 days or more. Just got water out of a hog trough they had out there, put that in the childhood that kind of just caught up with me. And then that was it. I mean, you just sit in the woods and stared. That's about all you did.
I would say it was an immediate drawl to Tim, he had been hurt a lot in life. And your heart goes out to someone like that. And you want to give them an opportunity. And so you ask how can we invest in this person and what angle we're going to take this guy. And a lot of times at Camp Haven, we we go with basic sleeping, eating, showering, shaving, getting dressed for success, developing a daily schedule. In the beginning, Tim was very isolated. And so the opposite of isolation is connection. And so when he began to connect, that was one of the things in his behavioral contract is that we encouraged him to get out, make one conversation with a resident. So we've forced him out of his room.
one of the first things that we try to do is we try to get them to at least trust the system here, going over concepts and unpacking cause and effect of behaviors or, or developmental issues and hearing this group share. It's just as simple as if you don't know what you don't know, then you don't know what's wrong with you. And as soon as we labeled OCD, and I said, you know, congratulations, you have one of the most treatable mental illnesses that there there is really, people have wonderful lives with this particular cross to bear. And he would just be I can't believe this. And it was just like, I saw a twinkle in his eye. And then I saw the sadness at the same time. It's like, Why didn't anybody Why didn't anybody tell me?
Well, the main thing is, is is showing you explaining you, you know, this is a brain disease, this is what it's called. These are ways to deal with it, and go see in other people's stories between that and the medication, then it really makes a big difference. It doesn't shut me down anymore. You know, I I don't stare at the walls.
Day to day we saw a change and his how he carried himself, how he how he walked, how he spoke, how he started integrating with the other men who saw a difference in the anger. And the employment really, really was a big turning point for him. And the confidence has gotten better. He's got a little swag to a step where he used to walk around his head down on the campus now his head is up, shoulders are back. It's kind of walking with with some purpose and his whole disposition has changed.
It's definitely one step at a time I mean going there but it's but definitely I mean your your heads a lot clearer. You're not and you got you know, a lot of you know, whichever way I wanted to go. There was a lot of support. What like she says Shotsi says y'all, you got this many years left, you know, you go out there and make the most of what you got left. Don't look at all the years you lost.
Today, when you meet Tim, he is gregarious. He's actually friendly. He has a great sense of humor. And Tim set for himself some goals. From Camp Haven what Tim wants to do is go into some form of home ownership. Gotta plan, he's sticking to it. He's saving his money. And I have no doubt that Tim will succeed and become a homeowner. I can't emphasize enough it's 180 degree turn around.
Right now I got a good job, I'm saving up. That's a great thing about this place, they want you to put like 80% of your money into savings, I got enough to put 20% down on a condo I'm looking to I got the credit. It's it's a lot. It's improved a lot. Oh yeah, I'm very thankful for this place. If it wasn't I probably, I don't worry, maybe still in the woods. I mean, that people actually care enough to help somebody out, when they're down and out. And when they get people in, they can rehabilitate them, they can, you know, make them contributing to society, once they get whatever their issue is solved. Yeah, I mean, it's a real positive thing.
What I'd like the donors in the community to understand about Camp Haven, we don't deal with just part of the man we deal with the whole man, our staff, our board. And everybody that comes here to volunteers, takes a deep interest in each and every one. And to turn them into whole people that they're able to return to families are able to reestablish relationships with children that may have been strained or not, not there for years. And sometimes, sometimes we get to lead some of these guys to the Lord. And that's very, very satisfying.
It's a gift. It truly is a gift to see where we've come and to where we're at today. It's been a personal blessing of mine to be see the transformation what God has really done. From the very beginning. There was a group of individuals, and I was one of them. They came before the doors even opened, and we prayed over this property. And from the very beginning, the property was all God. And so because of that, I believe personally, that God has been a part of the process of restoration in these men's lives. It's such a blessing to be a part of an organization that truly changes people's lives.
More Testimonies from Camp Haven Graduates…
I had a place to go, a bed to sleep in, hot meals, and a shower. I participated in the counseling, programs, and support they offered me. I learned to stop making self-destructive choices and took responsibility for my life. Camp Haven saved my life.
Knowing I had somewhere to be and knowing I had somebody wondering where I was, kept me from even thinking about getting into trouble. Camp Haven gave me back my life.
Let’s work together and break the chains of bondage from homelessness and despair!
O Lord… you have freed me from my chains
To see our videos please subscribe to our YouTube channel
A Special Thank You To Our Corporate & Community Partners
Donate your Time, Talent or Treasure
Your support will help transform lives! It is financial contributions, donated goods and services that make it possible for Camp Haven to provide help and hope to the homeless in Indian River County. The following are ways you can make an impact today: