Saddle Up!

Community horseback riding has resumed on Wednesday evenings.  Open to persons with autism, age 4 and up, the one-hour lesson includes 20-30 minutes riding time, as well as time forming relationships with the horses before and after riding. 
If you are interested, contact us online or call 513-324-5226 for program information.

M. Kay Brown Joins the Safe Haven Board

 Safe Haven Farms is delighted to welcome M. Kay Brown to our Board of Directors.  Kay has over 45 years of experience working with children and families within the child welfare, juvenile justice, developmental disabilities and mental health community. 

Kay brings both personal commitment and professional expertise to the Safe Haven Board. Her son Jason, who had high levels of needs with multiple disabilities, died a year ago at age 42.  Kay and her family have over four decades of firsthand knowledge of issues specific to supporting individuals and families with disabilities.

On a professional level, Kay is a social worker who has many years working in the area of program services— the last being Regional Coordinator for the Regional Autism Advisory Council (RAAC.)  She has good knowledge of systems and resources. As her son grew into an adult, she had particular interest in adult services, including how to build a system of adult care to support a full range of needs.  

Kay remains active on several local, state and national work groups and boards related to services for persons with developmental disabilities.  Her wisdom and knowledge will be a valuable addition to the deliberations of the Board.

 

Choices in Community Living is Our Choice!

We are excited to announce Choices in Community Living, Inc. as the new provider of residential and day services at Safe Haven Farms starting July 1.  Choices is a nonprofit agency that has provided person centered, value based services in southwest Ohio since 1985.  Their mission "to assist people with developmental disabilities to have access to opportunities to build safe, healthy and meaningful lives in the community" aligns very well with that of Safe Haven Farms.

Late last fall Bittersweet Farms, our current provider, made the difficult decision to focus their services on their sites in northern Ohio. Their 3 years of hard work improving the care and programming at Safe Haven have been invaluable. Bittersweet Farms was instrumental in guiding us during the founding of Safe Haven, and our long-standing relationship with them will continue as we collaborate at the state and national levels to assure that the needs of those with developmental disabilities and autism are voiced and addressed. Bittersweet very graciously provided us with more than adequate time to find the best replacement available and they are working with us and Choices to ensure a smooth transition.

The Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities supported our search for a new provider by inviting potential providers to apply if they had interest.  Fortunately, we had several excellent responses.  We were especially impressed with the staff we interviewed from Choices in Community Living and how they interacted with our Farmers.  Their director, Tom Weaver, has been with the organization for many years and has built a compassionate staff with a strong emphasis on support for the direct care professionals who interact with Safe Haven residents and program participants on a day-to-day basis.

Choices runs programs in conjunction with county boards of developmental disabilities and YMCAs.  They hope to expand day activities at the farm and are exploring other community integration options in Butler County for those served by the farm.  Visit their web-site at http://partnersohio.com/home/choices-in-community-living/

Autism Expo

Safe Haven and Bittersweet jointly participated in the 11th annual Autism & All Special Needs Expo at the Sharonville Convention Center on April 1st.  This all-day even attracts hundreds of families and professionals each year, offering informational booths from dozens of special needs organizations, service providers and product suppliers.  Our booth attracted a lot of interest, expanding awareness of Safe Haven Farms and generating interest in the day programs and employment opportunities at the farm.  Brandy Hinkle brought Jack, our mini horse, and our alpaca Dexter to the event.  Surrounded by kids all day long, they were the hit of the show and generated interest in our equestrian program.

Share the Love 2017 Had A Grand Finale

The third annual "Share the Love dinner at the Grand Finale restaurant on February 15 saw a record high number of guests who came out mid-week to support Safe Haven Farms.  Guests dined on their choice of delicious entrees and, of course, a decadent desert.

We are grateful to the staff of the Grand Finale and to our sponsors for contributing to the success of the event.  

Second annual Walk On for Autism

The second annual Walk On for Autism event was held on September 24 around the lake at Voice of America Park in West Chester.  The fundraiser benefits Safe Haven Farms and highlights the therapeutic equestrian program for participants with autism.  The event brought out 163 walkers on a beautiful Saturday morning.  Walkers, sponsors, and volunteers enjoyed miniature horses, pumpkin painting, balloon animals, and treats donated by the parents of SHF participants.  The event planning committee extends deep gratitude to our Gold, Silver, and Bronze sponsors! We look forward to seeing all our supporters at the walk next year.

Pendleton Art Center Studio

Safe Haven Farms is fortunate to be located in an area that offers expansive farmland as well as proximity to the city of Middletown, a few short miles away. The farm has recently become a part of the Pendleton Art Center in downtown Middletown, a collection of art studios/galleries where the artists and entrepreneurs work, and on scheduled days welcome the public to their studios.

According to Stephanie Stier, the farm’s director, having a studio at the center will provide an off-site opportunity for the individuals at Safe Haven to be involved in the city of Middletown’s arts and business district. The studio will provide a showcase for the farmers’ art work and offer resources, education, and events to expand awareness of autism and the farm among the Pendleton artists and the broader community. Safe Haven’s agricultural program will be showcased as well with the farm supplying produce to the onsite Café