More than a Children’s Shelter – Youth Haven

Youth-Haven-Dog-1Many people think of Youth Haven only as a shelter for neglected and abused young children. For 42 years, children have come to Youth Haven’s beautiful, wooded campus to stay in its brightly colored cottages.

Regrettably, the children come through court order. They have no other place to go; and, because of their horrific home life, they suffer from extreme psychological, emotional, and sometimes physical damage. For them, a happy childhood is a dream seen only on television.

But Youth Haven as a safe harbor for children is only half the story. What is not well known is that Youth Haven begins the process of mending those traumatized lives through comprehensive, innovative therapy programs that touch not only young children, but also teens and adults. It provides proactive family therapy and educational programs to create a comprehensive circle of support that produces real change.

Research demonstrates that today’s abused child from a dangerous home is tomorrow’s homeless teenager and adult criminal.

Personalized therapeutic care to all ages and ongoing family education and counseling are the answers that halt the spiral of despair and stops the damaging cycle of neglect and abuse. Youth Haven is providing those answers. The healing begins with the gifts given by Youth Haven’s talented team of specialists: extreme patience, sensitive therapy, and most of all, listening with unconditional love.

The counselors listen deeply to every child, every day. For many of Youth Haven’s children and young adults, it is the first time they have really been heard. It is the beginning of a long road “home” to a stable, emotionally grounded life. Youth Haven is there for the journey. In addition to one-on-one counseling, Youth Haven has created groundbryouth-haven-dog-2 youth-haven-dog-2eaking programs with proven results that include art, dance and movement, specialized early childhood counseling, and animal assisted therapy.

The most treasured friends at Youth Haven are Champ, and Houston trained therapy dogs which were also rescued from abandonment. Gentle “Champ” and “Houston” are part of the Youth Haven family, and their unfailing affection to all is a powerful expression of unconditional love.

Youth Haven’s staff lives the mission every day: To protect and empower children and strengthen families in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration. And, it has held fast to its vision for decades: To make sure every child in Southwest Florida will grow up in a safe and nurturing family environment.

Continued community support is critical to Youth Haven’s success, and a testimony to the compassion of our community.

Up Coming Event

Don’t miss inspirational speaker, Antwone Fisher, New York Times
bestselling author and subject of the popular Denzel Washington
feature film of the same name. Not unlike the children of Youth
Haven, Antwone’s life is a story of triumph over the scathing scars
of a deeply traumatic childhood, and the love and support that
made it possible.
Tickets are $300. For ticket and sponsorship information, visit or contact Aileen Carroll at 239.687.5155,

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