Safe Haven needs YOUR support!

Our Safe Haven program received the sad news that our federal grant was not renewed for this year. This means that the supervised visitation and exchange services we've provided for over a decade are in jeopardy, unless our community rallies around to help.

Can you support this vital service? Donate by clicking the button below or by calling Child & Family Services at (231) 946-8975. Checks may be mailed to Child & Family Services, 3785 Veterans Drive, Traverse City, MI 49684. Please indicate Safe Haven in the memo line.

Nonprofit Tax ID: 38-2534222

Click here to learn more about donating to the work of CFS.

What is Safe Haven?

Safe Haven is a supervised visitation and safe exchange program for families affected by domestic violence or high conflict. It is the only program of its kind in northern Michigan. 

Safe Haven's goal is to provide a safe, supervised, age-appropriate, and friendly environment for children to visit with their non-custodial parent or exchange between parents for visits.

When relationship problems between parents escalate into confrontations and violence that the children may witness the effect can be devastating, with long-term effects on the child. Safe Haven provides a safe, secure setting for children to visit with their parents.

Click here to learn more about Safe Haven.

Want to support Safe Haven? Click the button below or visit

Why We Need YOU

For 11 of the last 12 years, CFS’ Safe Haven program has relied on federal OVW grants to provide about 80% of the total funding for the program. From 2003 – 2014, the OVW awarded 25 three-year grants annually to Safe Haven programs across the country. Another program, the Justice for Families grant program, also awarded 25 grants nationwide. During the last funding cycle (2014), the Safe Haven grant program was merged with the Justice for Families grant program, reducing the number of total yearly grants available for both programs from 50 to 25 nationwide. For these reasons, this year’s grant process was particularly competitive. CFS’ Safe Haven program was competing with 129 other Safe Haven and non-Safe Haven programs for just 25 nationwide grants. We submitted a strong application, but ultimately were unsuccessful and did not receive funding for FY16.

It is not unusual for OVW to take a one-year break from funding existing programs in order to fund new programs. We have been in communication with OVW and intend to re-apply in January 2017. If received, FY17 funding would begin October 1, 2017.

Since learning of our loss of federal funding, we have secured some stop-gap funding from local courts in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Kalkaska, and Manistee Counties to help keep our program open and financially affordable to the families we serve until we can secure new grants and additional funding. We have also received donations from numerous individual donors and law firms, along with funding from 100 Women Who Care – Grand Traverse and Leelanau County, Forest Area Federal Credit Union, 4Front Credit Union, Team One Credit Union, and other community partners and businesses throughout northern Michigan. We continue to apply for other grants and to reach out to more individuals, local community groups, and businesses/law firms for financial support.

Despite the loss of federal funding, the need for Safe Haven services has not diminished and the ability of families to pay for the services has not increased. We continue to receive an average of 5-15 new referrals every month. We have been forced to begin charging fees for services to clients. Assistance from many of the courts that refer to our program helps to subsidize some of the cost to clients, but we also serve clients who are not eligible for financial assistance from the courts and others who struggle or are unable to pay their remaining cost of services after subsidization by the courts. In addition, the fees we charge for services to do not cover all of the expenses to run the program:  rent, security, program supervisor costs, office expenses for staff scheduling visits and exchanges, and communicating by phone with parents, among other expenses.

Can you help us raise $30,000 by January 1, 2017?

November 23 Update: We are overwhelmed by our community’s support over the last months as we have worked to keep our Safe Haven program viable. We’ve made it past our November 15 deadline but we still need your help to continue providing about 350 supervised visits and exchanges EACH MONTH. Our local courts, attorneys, businesses, nonprofits, and people just like you realize the importance of Safe Haven and have stepped up to help. Can you pitch in to help us raise our next $30,000 by January 1?

Safe Haven is the only program of its kind in all of northern Michigan. If Safe Haven closes, families will have to drive to Bay City or Grand Rapids to access similar services. These are not viable options. Over the next 4-6 weeks, we will be submitting grants to a number of local businesses and organizations. In January, we will submit our FY 2018 federal grant application. We will be speaking to local community groups to raise funds and spread the message about the impact of domestic violence on children, the need for Safe Haven in our community, and the risk to children and parents if Safe Haven closes its doors.

We know that, one donation at a time, we will be able to raise enough funds to keep this program viable. Can you help us make that a reality? Your donation will directly benefit battered women and children who use our services every day and desperately need this program to remain open. We have received 8 new referrals in just the last two weeks.

Here is a powerful story about the impact Safe Haven can have on a family:

"One never imagines finding oneself in the midst of serious domestic dysfunction. In fact, if you had asked me five years ago what I’d be doing at this moment in time, I would have never guessed that I would be a client of Safe Haven. Five years ago I didn’t even know Safe Haven existed. And, yet, here I find myself, a very grateful member of the often silent Safe Haven community.

"I bet you are wondering who I am. Who am I? I am really a lot like you. I am a mother. I am a daughter. I am a social worker. I am a local volunteer. I am a donor to several nonprofit organizations. I’m an active member of my church and our local school. I too am an advocate for many who cannot speak for themselves. I am you. I am your sister, your daughter, or maybe your mother. I am your neighbor. The most amazing thing is that, given any number of factors in your personal lives, you could be me.

"My children and I have survived our own hardship and Safe Haven has lent us shelter and strength… Safe Haven has provided my family with a predictable and secure location for parental exchanges. Without a doubt, Safe Haven has minimized our stress and conflict. Safe Haven has been a positive, consistent and routine force in our weekly schedule. In Safe Haven, I have found a network of support that empowers me to keep the focus on my beautiful children. My children have found a community of adults who believe in them and allow them to be just who they are…beautiful children…my children, who are really just like your children…and grandchildren…and neighborhood children. Children whose main focus should be growing, growing their minds, their bodies, and their spirits.

On behalf of my family, I thank you. I thank each and every one of you. We are grateful for your support and we have benefited from all of your unique contributions on so many levels. You and Safe Haven have made a healthy difference in our lives."

Read more stories like this.

Special THANK YOU to these supporters and the countless others, just like YOU.

100 Women Who Care
4Front Credit Union
David P. Sheetz Foundation

Forest Area Federal Credit Union
Smith, Haughey, Rice, & Roegge
Team One Credit Union
Traverse City State Bank