#minorsextrafficking | Raising awareness in October Havenwood assists abuse victims

Havenwood backers teed off October 1 at Dogwood Hills Golf Course in Bella Vista to mark the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in support of the transitional housing program for single mothers and their children.

Havenwood’s mission is to “help single mothers move from crisis to self-sufficiency. The Havenwood program meets basic needs by providing a safe place to live, family, group and individual counseling, case management, goal setting, budgeting, coordinates with community support and resources to break down the barriers each family faces in order to move from homelessness to self-sufficiency.”

Havenwood provides transitional housing for single mothers and their children. Residents participate in the group’s life skills development program and are required to work or attend school full time and volunteer. The nonprofit organization has helped more than 600 families with more than 1,100 children in those families.

Organizers say the nonprofit group provides residents with services including individual case management, individual and family therapy, parenting and nutrition education, pre-job guidance, financial literacy training, child development and personal goal setting. Residents are also assisted with connections to transportation, community supports and public resources to help each family succeed in self-sufficiency. Programming for children includes the recent addition of a play therapist.

Debbie Martin, executive director, tells me the the group is adapting and expanding its offerings due to changing community needs, such as a sharp increase in nonresidents of Havenwood facing eviction and needing rental assistance.

“The Incredible Years” parenting program provides guidance in parents spending time with children, “just being together” safe from/outside of trauma. Plans are in the works to offer the program to the public via Zoom.

To help address that and other issues, the group is partnering with other similar agencies such as Oasis and Restoration Village to help provide assistance without duplication. By coordinating efforts, “We don’t have to be everything to everyone.”

The scourge of human trafficking is evidenced in victims coming to Havenwood. Martin says the trauma trafficking victims have is very different than others. Working with Hub of Hope NWA they have formed a trafficking survivor support group.

In the coming weeks, Havenwood will offer “Ending the Game” curriculum for trafficking survivors. Ending the Game is a “coercion resiliency curriculum that reduces feelings of attachment to traffickers and/or a lifestyle characterized by commercial sexual exploitation, thereby reducing the rate of recidivism among sex trafficking survivors.”

Martin says the program is survivor-written and survivor-focused and provides lessons such as understanding resulting paranoia.

“We want the program to grow and be solid. We’re dealing with lives with trauma that we don’t know will ever go away.”

For more event photos — nwadg.com/photos/society.

Columnist Carin Schoppmeyer can be reached by email at cschoppmeyer@nwadg.com.


Kyle May (left) and Steve Little play in the Havenwood tournament.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)

Ron Emedrana (from left), Jennifer Coxwell, Abby McAdory and Irene Emedrano welcome golfers on Oct. 1 for the Havenwood tournament in Bella Vista. 
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)
Ron Emedrana (from left), Jennifer Coxwell, Abby McAdory and Irene Emedrano welcome golfers on Oct. 1 for the Havenwood tournament in Bella Vista.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)

Casey Roberts (from left), James Ski, Khristian Kennedy, Hannah Roberts and Todd Reeves gather in support for Havenwood. 
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)
Casey Roberts (from left), James Ski, Khristian Kennedy, Hannah Roberts and Todd Reeves gather in support for Havenwood.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)

B.J. Keeter (from left), Aaron Webster, Chad McAdory and Mark Snodgrass play a round for Havenwood on Oct. 1.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)
B.J. Keeter (from left), Aaron Webster, Chad McAdory and Mark Snodgrass play a round for Havenwood on Oct. 1.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)

Bryan Ford (from left), Ryan Cochrane, Chris Mower and Tony Arnone gather at Dogwood Hills to support Havenwood.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)
Bryan Ford (from left), Ryan Cochrane, Chris Mower and Tony Arnone gather at Dogwood Hills to support Havenwood.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)

Eric Howerton of White Spider (left) and Andrew Haas of Tillamook play in support of Havenwood on Oct. 1. 
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)
Eric Howerton of White Spider (left) and Andrew Haas of Tillamook play in support of Havenwood on Oct. 1.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)

Havenwood Executive Director Debbie Martin (left) and Jessica Honeycutt, intern, welcome golfers for the Oct. 1 benefit tournament. 
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)
Havenwood Executive Director Debbie Martin (left) and Jessica Honeycutt, intern, welcome golfers for the Oct. 1 benefit tournament.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)

Travis Robinson and Mary Chambers help out at the Havenwood golf tournament Oct.1 in Bella Vista. 
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)
Travis Robinson and Mary Chambers help out at the Havenwood golf tournament Oct.1 in Bella Vista.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)

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At a Glance

Golf tournament

Who: Havenwood

What: Backers teed off to mark the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in support of the transitional housing program for single mothers and their children.

When: Oct. 1

Where: Dogwood Hills Golf Course in Bella Vista

Information: (479) 273-1060 or nwahavenwood.org


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