The Drop In Center at CBHC Will Give Hope for the Charlotte County:
In recent years, The Haven Drop-In Center provided services for the Charlotte County (Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda) community since 1992. It ran as peer to peer and clubhouse model type facility that accommodated to the wellness and recovery of the mentally challenged residents living in our Charlotte County community. Everyone visiting “The Haven” had an opportunity to socialize, mingle, and make friends while associating with those who share similar experiences. Not only was it about the socialization, but members got to participate and get involved in results-based group programs. The Haven was there to support you when you needed it. The system of support was not just helping you, you soon found out you could be part of the help of each other’s recovery for a healthy and lasting life experience.
Over the years, there have been many hands in the success of the “The Haven” and yes, along with any success there will be times of failures. I came to The Haven in 2007, I was fresh in the area and in need of support. I walked in filled out a basic paperwork for membership. The director at that time read that I ran and facilitated support groups in Sarasota for the depression, bipolar support alliance organization as a chapter leader. He asked if I would mind facilitating that bipolar group that day. Of course, I could not say no! So that was how I started my association with the Haven. I developed a very simple bipolar support group format that anyone could follow and lead their group for about a year. My blogging was starting to take off so, I had to part ways. I kept in contact with the Haven from the outside. Once in a while dropping in, although every time I would drop-in there would be new changes. Some for the better, some not so good.
The Haven Drop-In Center provided
services for the Charlotte County for over 22 Years!
But at last count, talking to the director a few months back, The Haven Drop-in Center was averaging 40+ people a day and had some days nearing 60 in our community receiving hands-on services and help. I think that’s incredible! I applaud them for their efforts and all their services to the community over the years.
All the hard work of all the volunteers over the last 22 years needs to have an award ceremony for all their incredible sacrifice and service to members of our community! They are the unsung heroes, but alas, like all good stories that come, this one unfortunately, is a bit sour. You see, at the end of June 2014, the Haven drop-in center lost its funding and had to close its doors. No money -no play. I am not privy to the type of funding that was lost, why it was lost, and how it happened. I’m not tied up in the red tape nor am I on any side other than my peers who are caught up in not having a place to go…
Don’t let the hard work go waste
With all the hard work of the last 22 years dangling over the edge of infinity, ready to be lost, what should be done? If we wait too long, all could be lost, then any organization coming in, or trying to start up will be starting from scratch. No, that’s not what CBHC wanted to see happen. It is my firm belief that Charlotte Behavioral Health Care had only our peers in mind as they have taken over what would’ve been lost. They are saving the Drop-In CenterOn Wednesday, July 9th, 2014, CBHC’s Drop In Center opened its doors from 11 o’clock to three(3:00 PM). Located in the in building B on 1700 Education Avenue…for the time being until property can be secured.
Over-sighted by Gina Wynn, BA Dir. of Residence and Healthy Start & Adult Case Manager Service assisted by David Stone, LMHC, they plan to reorganize the Haven
I asked David how the first day went while visiting. He told me they had almost 30 participants and a well-planned out day. I saw some familiar faces, shook some hands and just chatted a little bit with some old friends when I “dropped-in.” Everyone seemed happy to have someplace to go. The fact that CBHC could put together this interim Drop In location (They NEED a new location – if you can share one let them know.) in such a short period of time is quite an amazing feat all on its own! Here is what they did today: (see image).
I look forward to helping out in any way possible.Consumer ambassador Chato Stewart