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New Campaign To Raise Awareness for Domestic Abuse

We will soon be launching a new campaign to help everyone in our community be more aware of the signs of domestic abuse in their vicinity.

If we all know what to look out for, we can recognize the signs as early on as possible and hopefully get the victims help in breaking out from their roles and move to a better future.

Our Community Is Our Family

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Rotary Celebrates Unsung Heroine

Simpson Bay, St. Maarten — Staff team member of Safe Haven SXM, Shelley Gordon, was celebrated last night by Mid Isle Rotary Club St. Maarten at the Wasabi Charlie restaurant. Shelley was nominated by Rotarian Grace Linger for her leadership capabilities, professionalism and very big and warm heart and was given the “Vocational Award”.

Shelley is from England where she was a police and food inspection officer. Shelley’s story is quite remarkable: she was a former client at Safe Haven who worked and persevered to gain emotional and psychological strength after withstanding abuse from her ex-husband. She is the soon to be Care Coordinator of the client care program at Safe Haven, commencing March 1st of this year. She is currently the head house mother at the shelter.

Shelley is a fair but firm leader, encouraging members of her team to take initiative, inspiring growth, education and compassion and encourages her team of 5 fierce women to always learn and go the extra mile. She herself always goes the extra mile, coordinating services for Domestic Violence (DV) clients, organizing various aspects of the shelter, speaking out about DV in the community so that others can gain insight about DV and give them a sense of comfort that they need not feel alone.

rotarymbs-simple_rgbMs. Linger remarked to the audience of nearly 40, “Shelley, after hurricane Irma, gave up her own bed at the shelter so that a new incoming client could have refuge from a dangerous situation because Safe Haven had lost bedrooms due to the horrific storm.”
A humbled Shelley thanked Safe Haven for giving her the opportunity to provide a much needed service in the community and Rotary Mid Isle for the recognition. Shelley closed off by stating “I could not do it alone. I work with a great team of people”.

On behalf of Safe Haven Management and Staff, we would like to encourage the SXM community to help us celebrate the gift that is Shelley Gordon. Without her testimonials and personal life experiences where she spoke about the circumstances of domestic and intimate partner violence to SXM community members, Safe Haven Foundation SXM would not have been able to navigate the discussion of domestic violence with such depth and insight.

Congratulations on your award and thank you, Shelley, from the bottom of our hearts. We salute you…

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SXM Fire Brigade: More Than a Service

On Friday, January 12th, the SXM Fire Brigade presented the Safe Haven Foundation with much needed materials of mattresses, bed frames and fire alarms (among others). Shelley Gordon, Lead House Mother of Safe Haven, commented “What a magnificent gesture from our Firefighters, and not a moment too soon”. After hurricane Irma, Safe Haven had sustained much structural damage which left the shelter less two living quarters and the office. The unfortunate issue is that Safe Haven had to turn victims away from shelter, not without at least putting a safety plan in place for women that called.

Firefighter Swendi Angel started the initiative where firefighters coordinate relief efforts and community drives to garner materials and supplies and inject them back into the community. Mr. Elvin Lake, president of the Firefighters Foundation, is content and quite proud of his team that raised funds to purchase the materials given to Safe Haven depicted in the picture above. Mr. Lake proudly professes that all shifts contributed to this initiative and remarked that he looks forward to working with the Safe Haven Foundation SXM again.

Executive Director of Safe Haven, Cassandra Richardson, remarked “Domestic violence is truly an icky subject matter that causes much unnecessary emotional pain and societal degradation, but because of awesome community partners and persons with a generous nature who can empathize, acts like these are what instill hope back into community.

Safe Haven would like to send a heartfelt “thank you” to all the committed men and women at the Fire Brigade for their generosity and support.