Guest Writer; Skyla Claxton
Christ's Haven for Children began as a dream. In the early 1950s, Homer and Lilian Steadman became acutely aware of the incredible need many children in the Dallas/Fort Worth area had for a safe and loving home. Just one week after opening their home to foster children, the couple found themselves surrounded by ten children and teens. In the months that followed, Homer and Lilian called upon their friends and fellow church members to share in their dream and in 1958, the first children’s home was opened on an expansive property in Keller, Texas. Surrounded by dirt roads and fields as far as the eye could see, a community began to emerge. This community was based on love for children and the belief that everyone deserves a safe place to call home. Since 1954, Christ's Haven has been home to nearly 6,000 abused, neglected, and abandoned children.
Although the property has changed over the past sixty-five years, the heart of the mission has remained steadfast and unwavering: Christ's Haven for Children provides a warm and loving home where children in need of basic care can grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually to become productive citizens in society. Christ’s Haven is passionate about using homes as an avenue to healing and restoration.
If you were to visit the Christ’s Haven campus you would find a neighborhood with homes, playgrounds, fields, a chapel and more. Christ’s Haven offers unique programs that model a stable family life for children in need. Programs are designed to help families who are unable to care for their children. Parents or legal guardians voluntarily place children in the care of Christ’s Haven and maintain guardianship of their children while trusting the support system of the community. Each cottage on campus is home to a married couple whose primary role is to provide daily structure, guidance, and support for the children.
Christ’s Haven also has a transition program, Life Path, that provides a stable platform for teenage youth to launch into adulthood. Young adults begin the Life Path program as juniors and seniors in high school and attend classes focused on life skills. Following graduation, Life Path offers the opportunity to pursue education and employment while remaining a part of the community in duplex-style transition homes. Beyond these programs, Christ’s Haven also offers options for teen moms and has a counseling center with professional staff which offers trauma-informed counseling, wisdom, insight, and understanding to help each child in care. Youth in the Christ’s Haven programs are given the support they need to grow into healthy adults who break the cycle of abuse, poverty, and addiction. Christ’s Haven children become productive citizens that care about the world around them.
When asked what they like most about being in Christ’s Haven, this is what youth had to say:
“Being with family.”
“The people and the love.”
“I am safe here.”
Christ’s Haven relies on donations to help provide children with a stable and loving home. The important work and programs are fully funded by individual and private donations. These donations make a lifelong impact on the youth in our community.