Special guest speaker Norma Hagan, Outreach Coordinator/Advocate of The Haven, delivered troubling news to Mason Bluebonnet Study Club at their October 19 meeting. She told the group that due to a past associate’s mishandling of the State grant application, no funds had been allocated for the ongoing expanses of keeping the shelter operations. At the present time, Mrs. Hagan is the only employee, and with some volunteer help, is desperately trying to keep this vital refuge for victims of domestic violence and abuse open.
A grant application for any remaining funds available is currently working its way through the system, but until it is approved, the only way the shelter can keep operating is with community support. Donations can be mailed to The Haven, P. O. Box 310, Brady, TX 76825. A donation jar will be placed at Hemphill Insurance also.
Bluebonnet Study Club members had designated the October meeting as a shelter shower for The Haven and brought a good sized stock pile of needed items which were delivered to Mrs. Hagan at the meeting. She praised the club’s ongoing efforts of support.
The Haven’s mission statement is “to reduce the incidence and impact of domestic violence and/or sexual assault in McCulloch, Mason, and Menard Counties, Texas and surrounding areas by providing services and support that empower victims to rebuild their lives and regain their dignity within a safe and caring community.” The shelter is open 24 hours a day and operates a hotline 325-597-7644 for victims to call. Since it opened its doors, an estimated 1500 victims have been helped to escape their abuser. The shelter has five bedrooms, one of which is for handicapped, a kitchen, and a laundry. Donated food, clothing, bedding, and other necessities are provided free of charge to victims.
In addition, counseling and medical help is provided. Transportation to job applications and help with resumes have also been done by volunteers and staff. Helping a victim of domestic abuse to escape their circumstances and to begin to build a new life is the purpose that drives the “angels” who devote their lives to this program.
Hostess for the meeting, Mary Hemphill, served refreshments to Norma Hagan, Tommie Luckenbach, Mary Ellen Merkel, Julie Harrison, Betty Meyer, Cindy Powell, Maudi Bergmann, Brinda Pape, Mary Carlman, Tonya Lamoreaux, Sabin Nelson, and Sherry Estes.
A business meeting followed.