Safe Harbor’s mission is to provide shelter and therapeutic services to children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected; who are homeless or have run away from home, or who are otherwise at risk or feel threatened. That mission is powered by six programs:
1) Safe Place serves youth in crisis by maintaining Safe Place sites that offer access to immediate help and safety.
2) Safe Harbor Children’s Center serves children removed from dangerous situations and, as a long term residential shelter, provides nurturing care, medical and dental services, school support, and therapeutic counseling. This includes our Center on Norwich Avenue plus our Runaway Homeless Youth Program and our Transitional Living Program.
3) Street Beat program canvases neighborhoods reaching out to teens living on the streets. Staff build trusting relationships, provide nutrition and hygiene kits, sexual exploitation literature, and provide support for those youth who want to come off the streets. Young people receive help completing their education, planning for careers and maintaining housing.
4) Family Preservation provides intervention, reunification and support services to families in the community that are referred by Child Protective Services.
5) The Safe Harbor Children’s Advocacy Center serves victims of child abuse throughout the Brunswick Judicial Circuit. Safe Harbor provides rehabilitative care to more than 250 child victims of sexual and/or severe physical abuse every year.
6) The Connie Smith Rape Crisis Center has a mission to provide a location for prevention, intervention, support services and investigation of sexual assault. These services are used in effort to stabilize the lives of the victims and their families. We support their physical and emotional healing, and help the victim to return to healthy individual and family functioning, while assisting them through the judicial process.
The six programs each provide an important component of providing for the safety and well-being of youth to achieve the vision that all children live in a safe place.
Several roads lead to Safe Harbor. While most referrals come from the Division of Family and Children Services and the Department of Juvenile Justice, referrals also come through family members, the court and school systems, and members of the clergy. In addition, youth have even been known to self-refer in crisis situations.
With the majority of fundraising dollars coming from Georgia’s Glynn County and the immediately surrounding counties, children referred from these areas are given priority. However, Safe Harbor often accepts and takes placement of children from other counties within Georgia, and even for runaway youth from across the nation.
When receiving a referral, Safe Harbor seeks as much information as possible to determine how best to comfort and serve the young individual. Of most importance are the youth’s medical records and school placement information, so an easy transition into the local Glynn County school system can be accomplished.