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The Safe Haven Shelter needs each of you

Last week, we reported to you, our readers, that the Safe Haven Homeless Shelter in Walterboro is closed. This shelter is for women and children only. In most cases, it’s the only safe spot for women who are fleeing in the middle of the night from an abusive relationship. In most cases, these women have their children in tow. In other cases, the shelter could just be the last resort for people having made a series of bad decisions. Regardless, this shelter is the only one of its kind in the region.
It is the only homeless shelter in Colleton County and in the City of Walterboro.
For years, this shelter has served as a safe place for people who need somewhere safe to stay. More than that, the shelter gives people a fresh start. It gives these women financial counseling. It gives them a chance at a new life. This chance comes with an apartment, dishes to eat off of, the first month of paid water and utilities. It gives these women and children safe walls, with a bed to call their own, complete with clean sheets. It is a place for their children to come home to. Home. That’s the keyword here: to some, this may be a shelter, but to others, it is a place to seek help and to start over.
This shelter is a launchpad for people who need help. The children in this shelter attend local schools. In most cases, the mothers of these children choose to stay in Colleton County and take on jobs in our community.
This shelter also gives people hope. It gives them pride in who they can be.
And, just to be clear, the shelter has never been a place of crime or problems. Local churches and residents often donate furniture to the shelter, clothing for the children who stay there, food and snacks and also provide a holiday experience.
Now, the shelter is closed. There is no definitive plan to reopen it because there are no definitive funds.
In an economy that is flourishing, and in a time of the year when we seek the “extras” of the world, we implore each of you to come together and open this shelter as soon as possible. If everyone in this county gave $1, the shelter could open tomorrow. That means the shelter would be a safe place for children to actually have a Christmas.
We are asking our elected leaders to sit down together and discuss funding resources and funding options. The shelter needs to open immediately, and it needs to stay open. It needs to managed by a plethora of local leaders and by people whose individual talents and skills can make it better.
Safe Haven is just that, and we are asking that the community pull together to open the doors. That’s what Colletonians do: we help each other.

Special to The Colletonian (3336 Posts)