New Haven Family Center came into being in 1993 through a series of miraculous events. I was driving around at the closed Fort Wolters complex in Mineral Wells noticing all of the old unused and decaying buildings, New Haven Home was full and I was getting calls for intact families that were homeless. I was complaining to myself as to the waste when there were so many families in need. It seems that I heard the Lord tell me not to complain if I was not willing to do anything about it. Shortly after that a building was to be donated to any charitable organization that showed need for it. I applied and was accepted to receive the building then the miraculous things started to happen. First the donation of the surplus building by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, then a change of zoning by the Mineral Wells City Council that would place a public service zoned building in the middle of an industrial district zoning, then a crew of skilled laborers was assigned to me from the County Probation Department to remodel the building, and finally several civic minded citizens donated needed items. The Family Center opened on a $0.00 budget after only 7 months from idea to completed facility.
New Haven Family Center is not a "SHELTER" in the accepted sense. Our mission is to take intact families that are homeless and educate, counsel, and help them to get housing. It does no good to shelter people and then place them back in to society the same as they came. In our program residents are encouraged to get an education in the area of interest and ability that they have. We can help you get your GED or if you have a a high school diploma we can help you get a scholarship at a local college which offers many academic programs or offer career fields in the following:
Truck Driving Academy for CDL
Fire Science Academy
EMT Technician Certification
Academic Courses for Associate Degree
They may stay at the Family Center for up to 2 years, as long as they are striving to achieve independence. Part of that independence is knowing how to budget their money. All residents are required to fill out and stay in a budget that is tailored to their family.
In 2018, New Haven Family Center provided 6577 shelter nights and 13,963 meals . 88.9% of the families that came to us in 2018 got a job and moved out within 6 months. Only 3 families started work at minimum wage (this was against our recommendation) and only 2% had to come back to the Family Center because they could not make it in society. They were re-trained and sent back out. The Lord has allowed us to take throw away buildings, surplus food, and people the world has given up on to help. We are very proud of our statistics, no other agency that I know of can boast of this success.
We are thankful for this great facility that has helped hundreds of families in the last 15 years. BUT, we need help. Last year I had to turn down 222 families containing over 620 children!! Moms in the front seat of their cars with two or three children in the back crying. They say their children are cold and hungry. I must tell them Sorry, we are full and will not have an opening for several weeks. Their reply, "where can I go?" All I can say is there is no other family facility for 5 counties, sorry. They hang up crying and I go home and cry. We can only house 6 families and 3 single women.