Veterans

Integral Care offers a solution for veterans experiencing homelessness and mental health challenges:  Safe Haven.

Safe Haven provides a safe living environment for veterans staffed by a team of professionals who inspire confidence and guidance to residents with mental illness.  The community offers semi-private rooms with capacity for up to 15 people a day. Individuals are provided with three daily meals, laundry facilities, meeting rooms, an address and a telephone number that can be used by residents. Safe Haven has a flexible and individualized approach to care and acknowledges that “successful outcomes” are unique to each veteran.

“It’s very peaceful here. The food they give you is substantial and has improved my health. They give you your medicine on time and make sure you get the correct amount. The staff here is very friendly.”

Safe Haven guarantees a living environment for veterans with qualified staff who inspire confidence and guidance to residents with mental illness. Individuals are provided with three daily meals, laundry facilities, meeting rooms, an address and a telephone number that can be used by residents. The facility also includes a common area with reading nook and TV, a space for perusing donated items, kitchen, community service assistance area, a backyard, which many use for daily meditation and yoga, and an arts and crafts space.

Safe Haven staff embrace the philosophy that residents shape their own unique recovery journeys. There is no mandated programming. The fundamental requirement of residents is that they keep themselves, peers and staff safe. Staff enjoy connecting the people who live there with their own personal interests, from practicing Tai Chi to karaoke. Developing individualized interests in this way helps link residents to activity communities which foster independence after graduation from the shelter.

Many of the residents are creative and engage in painting, writing, playing music and singing. One resident painted a colorful mural in a hallway depicting fifteen horses, which represented each of the 15 residents. Another resident, Jason, is in the process of writing a book and speaks fondly about his 6-month stay at Safe Haven.

“It’s very peaceful here,” says Jason. He continues, “The food they give you is substantial and has improved my health. They give you your medicine on time and make sure you get the correct amount. The staff here is very friendly, which encourages the veterans to be very talkative amongst themselves. I can drink coffee and write. I’ve been going to the gym. I’ve read much about my schizoaffective disorder while living here, which has improved my morale. The staff was able to increase my veteran benefits check, so I’m able to graduate and move into an apartment soon. I encourage anyone who is a homeless veteran to stay here.”

An individual graduates from Safe Haven once they have obtained a safe, stable place to call home. Most residents leave with increased health benefits and income, whether it’s increased social security benefits, VA pension or disability benefits. Former residents are always invited back to celebrate holidays.