To Lalita Janke, Camp Haven’s men are family
Observed on the second Sunday in May, Mother's Day was created to honor mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers for their contributions to family and society.
It is an annual opportunity to thank the women who should always be in our corner. Sadly, however, not everyone is fortunate enough to have a maternal ally.
But the men of Camp Haven are getting a second chance in life, thanks to a woman who has stepped in to be the supportive mother figure that some have lost or never known: Lalita Janke.
She has gathered these men, who share the common bond of homelessness, at this transitional shelter she founded and where she is board president. Most of the residents have experienced tragedy or difficulty, and found themselves on the streets with no help in sight.
While Janke has never been homeless, her journey has certainly been one of pain. Violated at the age of 6 and sent off to boarding school at age 7, Janke found herself in an arranged marriage at 17. She ended up living in a foreign country with a man she didn't know.
It took her years to get to a healthy place. Only through self-discovery and a lot of missteps along the way was she able to find peace with who she is.
"My mother gave me what she thought I needed, what her mother thought she needed. She thought she was doing her best by making sure I had the training to be a 'good wife' and arranging a marriage to the perfect husband," said Janke.
"That's why I can relate to what these men are experiencing. Their mothers weren't there for them emotionally, and I know what that's like. I accept them for who they are and tell them they have value."
Janke not only makes sure that the men at Camp Haven have food and shelter, she shows them respect and compassion. But she expects them to give of themselves, too.
"There are no handouts here. You have to do your part," she says of the facility's tough love environment.
Janke was a dutiful daughter. She attended boarding school, volunteered with the nuns, accepted the marriage her parents arranged for her and followed her husband to the United States.
"When I raised my children, I was still looking for who I was," she recalls. "I wanted a different life for my daughter. She picked her husband and career, and has a beautiful family. She's the first woman in five generations that is a happy mother — because it was her choice."
Always a woman of drive and passion, Janke threw herself into getting an education after having her two children. She wanted to be able to "take care of herself."
She graduated magna cum laude from Nova Southeastern University with a bachelor's degree in communication studies and began a career as a financial planner in Broward County. Later, she became the CEO of Medical Resources, Inc., an organization that provided primary health care to patients.
'Pain is pain'
It took Janke 25 years and a near-death experience to come to grips with the fact that she could not blame others for the course her life had taken.
"That's when I realized that I hadn't really lived," she says. "Living is experiencing things. You could read as many books as you want. You could be educated. But if you don't have the experience of loving and being loved, you can't know what you are looking for."
It wasn't until she was strong enough to defy generations of stigma that she ventured into the men's world.
Given her history and the growing women's rights culture of the 1960s, it's no wonder that Janke was initially drawn to women's organizations.
But she says that she eventually realized that "pain is pain. It knows no gender. I can empathize with the men's pain. When (husband) Walter and I were working with the Source, it became apparent there was a need for a men's transitional shelter. I wasn't looking for this — it found me."
During their 30 years together, the couple have shared their success through the Walter and Lalita Janke Charitable Foundation, which helps fund Camp Haven, the Substance Awareness Center of Indian River County, Hibiscus Children's Center, poor children in Bangladesh through Food Relief International and families in Peru through the Chincha Clinic.
Whether at cultural events, on field trips, or celebrating the holidays, Lalita Janke
is surrounded by the men she mentors and who in turn, love and appreciate her.
A believer in the power of education, Janke has served as a member of the Florida Atlantic University Board of Trustees, Advisory Council of the FAU Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and the Advisory Board of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters.
The Janke's also support education by funding scholarships and graduate assistantships for students in FAU's women's studies program; FAU's Peace, Justice and Human Rights Initiative; and the Walter and Lalita Janke Innovations in Sustainability Science Research Fund.
Janke founded the East Florida Chapter of United Nations Women and was recently voted in unanimously as president of the U.S. National Committee for U.N. Women, an organization that supports women's initiatives.
In 2014, she was named Woman of the Year by the Junior League of Indian River County.
While Janke has spent her life in search of her mission, it's clear that she has embraced the role of mother figure at Camp Haven — and been embraced in return. .
"I encourage them to be architects of their own lives instead of living as victims of circumstance," she said.
"When I came to Camp Haven I didn't have any hope. Mrs. Janke helped me find it again. She's always looking for ways to help us," said former resident and new Facilities Manager Louie Sutton.
Residents of Camp Haven are in and out of Janke's office. Asking her advice, seeking approval and looking for validation. She provides all that and more.
According to former resident David Moshier, "Mrs. Janke took me in under her wing, when all the world said I was a bad egg. She nurtured and supported me until my best self emerged."
"I feel here, among the poor in spirit, that I have found the joy in my life," says Janke with a peaceful smile.
If you are fortunate enough to have a mother in your life, be sure to tell her "Thank you!" — whether she's your biological provider of moral and emotional support, or someone who took the time to help you find your way.
Lalita Janke was named 2014 Woman of the Year by the Junior League of Indian River.
ORCHID ISLAND GOLF & BEACH CLUB HOLDS 5K WALK/RUN TO BENEFIT CAMP HAVEN
With a history of giving to local charities, Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club held their 14th Annual 5K Walk/Run on March 29. Each year the proceeds from the event benefit a local charity, which is determined earlier in the year by the Club's Tennis & Fitness Committee. The charity selected this year was Camp Haven. Due to the generosity of over 35 sponsorships from Orchid Island Club Members, and close to 60 participants, $6,000 was raised to help with Camp Haven’s new Capital Campaign. "Our annual 5K Walk/Run at Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club is a fun event that serves two purposes. It creates greater awareness of the benefits of fitness and its relationship to good health. It also provides an opportunity for our members, who feel very fortunate to be living at Orchid, to give back to the community by providing a lifting hand to others in need. This year we are delighted to partner with Camp Haven, a transitional home that provides supportive living opportunities and education to adults committed to rising out of homelessness," shared Bruce Morrison, Orchid Island Board of Governors Tennis & Fitness Committee Chair.
"I am grateful for Orchid Island’s support of men who come to us financially broke, emotionally broken and disengaged from family or community. We reach out to those who have the drive and determination to change their lives from addictions, victimization and pain from their past. As we are approaching the summer months, the money raised by the community of Orchid Island is a welcome relief to our program, especially since we are working on building eight (8) additional rooms at a cost of $25,000 per room. This generous donation check will go towards acquiring all the needed air conditioners,” expressed Lalita Janke, Board President of Camp Haven.
Orchid Island's annual 5K is open to Members, family and friends of the Club and also includes a one-mile fun run for children ages 13 and under. Following the race, an awards ceremony took place honoring the top male and female finishers of each age group. This year's top male and overall winner of the race was Rocky Kurita (OI Guest) with a time of 23.19 and the top female finisher was Jen Gallant (OI Guest) with a time of 25.29. Bill Badia & Laurie McGrath were the top male and female Orchid Island Members who finished respectively
Pictured from left to right: Rob Tench (General Manager), Micki Weilbaker (Fitness Center Manager), Lalita Janke (Camp Haven Board President), Denise Duda (Director of Fitness & Wellness) and Bruce Morrison (Orchid Island Board of Governors Tennis & Fitness Committee Chair)
Great Article in Latest Issue of City Guide of Sebastian and Vero Beach:
Camp Haven Expansion Project to Help More Area Homeless
achieve a Life of Self-Sufficiency
More than 85% of the homeless men who have participated in Camp Haven’s transitional shelter-program have successfully graduated with a steady job, a place of their own and a new purpose driven outlook on life. To build upon this success, the non-profit organization is seeking community support to expand its shelter capacity with 8 additional efficiencies. This will allow them to accept more homeless participants into its shelter-program that provides basic needs, job skills training, counseling and more.
$200,000 is needed to bring the expansion project to fruition. “We are asking churches, individuals and businesses to support us in this capital campaign effort, as it is vital to the transformational process of the homeless men we are helping, and our community will be positively impacted as a result,” said Executive Director, Lalita Janke.
To learn more about Camp Haven, Indian River County’s transitional shelter-program for homeless men, visit www.camphaven.net.
To donate online, visit us at www.camphaven.net/donate
Make Checks Payable to Camp Haven, Inc: PO Box 2459, Vero Beach, FL 32961
Camp Haven, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit and your donations are tax deductible.
Orchid Island 14th Annual 5k Held to Benefit Camp Haven!
On March 29th, at 8:00 am about 50 residents of the Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club gathered to partake in a 5K run in support of the new Camp Haven Capital Campaign. Participants ranged in age from 8 to 80.
Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program Awards Grant to Camp Haven!
March 31, 2016: A BIG thank you to Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program for their generous $11,000 grant award to support our
Pathway to a Purposeful Life program that allows are participants to continue receiving professional on-site counseling to help them make progress in their journey of transformation!
Pictured Below: "Haven" An oil painting done by Richard, one of our program participants.
What awesome talent and great potential each of these men have! Let's celebrate Richard and the progress he's
making every day to transform his life for the better.
Community makes Camp Haven's Christmas a Merry one to remember!
Construction has Begun - New expansion to help more men!
Our "Pathway to Self-Sufficiency: Transition Phase" project is on its way to becoming a reality! The construction process has begun...Thank you to the clean-up crew who came out today! You deserved every bite of that pizza.
So many MORE of Indian River County's homeless & at-risk men will be able to be helped through our transitional program because of this new expansion. We thank all of you out there for your ongoing support. Stay tuned for more details and updates.
Mark your Calendars! Camp Haven's Annual Dinner Gala Feb 4, 2016
Youth in Action Transforms Camp Haven's Campus
Vero Beach, FL - October 3, 2015
Under the guided supervision of Al Sammartino and Richard Schlitt of the Kiwanis Club-Vero Beach, the children of Youth in Action pulled together recently to beautify Camp Haven’s campus for area homeless and at-risk men, who are working to transition out of homelessness and into a life of self-sufficiency.
Ages 15-17, the volunteer group included kids from Vero Beach High School, St. Edward’s School, St. Helens High School, Indian River Charter High School, Christ by the Sea youth group and Community Church. Other volunteers included Carl Fetzer, Staffan Lundberg, Gene Cravens of Kiwanis Club Vero Beach and Bill Motta, head coach of the St. Edward’s football team.
Community Church of Vero Beach and the Kiwanis Club of Vero Beach each donated $1000 of materials that were used in the landscaping project.
“These kids are truly remarkable,” said board president, Lalita Janke. “We are so grateful to them and the members of Kiwanis for volunteering their time on a Saturday to make our campus beautiful and lift the spirits of our participants who are in the challenging process of transforming their lives for the better.”
Six Camp Haven Men Transformed into College Hopefuls!
Vero Beach, FL - May 15, 2015:
Through Camp Haven’s transitional shelter-program, area homeless and at-risk men learn important life skills, including how to attain a job, keep it and manage their personal finances to achieve a life of self-sufficiency and break the cycle of homelessness.
Taking these lessons to heart, six of the current participants have gone above and beyond by adding college to their list of goals - in order to maximize their individual skill sets and secure long-term positions in their respective field of work. These men managed to study for the P.E.R.T. (Postsecondary Education Readiness Test for entry-level college credit coursework), pass it and get accepted to IRSC (Indian River State College) – all while working.
One participant, whose goal is to become an electrical engineer, recently expressed his love of math while trying to explain to a Camp Haven staff member the importance of the mathematical functions, “Sine,” and “Cosine” and how they are applicable to engineering. “I’m fascinated by it all,” he smiled. “Math just makes sense to me.”
“It is truly exciting for the board and myself to see these men, who were once lost and without hope, transform themselves and their outlook on life to achieve a better one,” said Board President, Lalita Janke.
*Some of Camp Haven's college attendees with Board President, Lalita Janke and Program Director, Jermey Gable
Ballet Vero Beach Dances for Camp Haven Audience
Vero Beach, FL - Aug 11, 2015: Dance for many is an art form that can lift one’s spirit and inspire creativity from within. For a group of the homeless and at-risk men at Camp Haven, it did just that, after seeing a private dress rehearsal of a dynamic performance put on by the Chicago Repertory Ballet - compliments of Ballet Vero Beach.
When Ballet Vero Beach’s CEO/Artistic Director, Adam Schnell, was asked why he invited Camp Haven’s men to this viewing, he said, “ For me, dance has always inspired me to dream big. I hope that Ballet Vero Beach can help these guys see human potential exploited to its fullest and are inspired to dream even bigger than I do.”
Camp Haven’s Board President, Lalita Janke, concurred by adding, “These men are working hard every day to get back on track and change their lives for the better. It’s nice to be able to expose them to the world of dance and arts in general. Creativity is a great asset to have no matter what line of work one chooses to be in.”
To learn more about Ballet Vero Beach and their upcoming performances, visit BalletVeroBeach.org.
LEFT PHOTO: Adam (blue sweater) and Lalita (right) with Camp Haven’s participants
RIGHT PHOTO: (L-R Center) Camp Haven’s Board President, Lalita Janke, and Communications Director, Sherry Todd-Green with a group of Camp Haven program participants.
Breaking free from the cycle of homelessness: Click to read story @ TCPalm.com
Decorated Veteran Joins Camp Haven Executive Board: Along with Real Estate Business Owner
Vero Beach, FL – June 24, 2015: As community support continues to grow for Camp Haven’s transitional shelter-program for area homeless and at-risk men, so does its Board of Directors.
Marine Corp Purple Heart recipient (World War II), 1st Lt. Claude Hessee, and real estate business owner and broker, Connie Bishop, have joined the board to each contribute valuable knowledge and expertise gained from their respective backgrounds.
Having supported the organization’s efforts since its inception, both Claude and Connie have contributed in their own special ways.
Claude and his wife, Pat, have tirelessly brought hot meals for Camp Haven’s program participants every week and Connie has chaired and volunteered for the organization’s various fund raising events in the past.
“Both Claude and Connie have been instrumental to us in many ways. To have them join the board is an honor. We are excited for the expertise each now brings to our organization, as we grow to take and provide for additional men who need help,” said board president, Lalita Janke.
1st Field Trip, Compliments of Bok Tower: Men Rewarded For Making Progress
Vero Beach, FL – June 26, 2015: Most of the men who participate in Camp Haven’s transitional shelter-program for area homeless and at-risk, have either never been on a field trip or haven’t been on one for quite some time. So when the executive director, Lalita Janke, announced they were going to be visiting a national historic landmark (Bok Tower Gardens), the sense of excitement among the program participants was palpable.
“The management team at Bok Tower Gardens was extremely generous in providing us with free tickets,” said Lalita. “After learning of our mission and the progress these men have made, they jumped at the opportunity to gift them with this great experience.”
Professional Counseling for Camp Haven Residents: Grand Harbor Community Continues to Show Support
Vero Beach, FL – April 14, 2015: “We are so grateful to Grand Harbor Community Outreach for recognizing that in order for Camp Haven residents to achieve long term success following their participation in our transitional program, we must provide them with counseling that addresses the emotional, behavioral and life skills challenges that may have led them to their current situation,” said executive director, Lalita Janke.
“It’s not enough to provide these men with shelter, food and clothing. Our mission is to ensure every single participant takes the necessary steps to truly transform their lives for the better and ultimately become stable, self-sufficient, contributing members of our community,” said board member, Sheila Connors.
In support of Camp Haven’s ongoing mission, the board of Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program, Inc. and its Philanthropy Committee has awarded the organization $10,000 to help fund an on-site professional counselor who will work closely with residents as they participate in Camp Haven’s shelter-program for area homeless and at-risk men.
“Grand Harbor Community Outreach is pleased to support Camp Haven’s work to provide counseling and housing for unemployed men trying to get their life back together. As our neighbor at Grand Harbor, we are proud to partner with Camp Haven in their important mission,” said GHCOP Site Captain, Dale Jacobs.
Laundry Room Project: Grant a part of Ongoing Support by John's Island Foundation
Vero Beach, FL – May 16, 2015: Known for generously helping non-profit organizations in Indian River County via grant money raised from the John’s Island community, the John’s Island Foundation continues to show its support to Camp Haven, a transitional shelter-program for area homeless and at-risk men.
In an effort to enhance the functionality and flow of Camp Haven’s facility, the Foundation has awarded the organization approximately $18,000 to upgrade its laundry room, that currently struggles to serve 16 men. Lack of storage space and equipment that seemed to be working only part of the time, was proving to be a growing concern for the organization, and now it has the funds to rectify the problem.
“It’s difficult to put into words the gratitude I feel for the ongoing support John’s Island Foundation shows us,” said interim executive director, Lalita Janke. “With this grant, we will now be able to have a laundry room that can better serve the 16 plus residents that participate in our program.”
Camp Haven's Jermey Gable and Lalita Janke with John's Island Foundation's Executive Director, Jennifer Jones
IMPACT 100 GIFT TO CAMP HAVEN: Mens' Spirits lifted with newly renovated kitchen
Vero Beach, FL – May 15, 2015: Thanks to a grant awarded by Impact 100 of Indian River County, Camp Haven now has a fully renovated kitchen and dining room area (which also serves as the resident’s meeting room) for the homeless and at-risk individuals who participate in its transitional program.
“We are extremely grateful for the support Impact 100 continues to show us,” said Camp Haven board president, Lalita Janke. “This kitchen is an expression of hope and compassion - actualized.”
“Along with many others in the community, the members of Impact 100 truly believe in our mission to restore hope and transform the lives of Indian River County’s homeless and at-risk,” she continued.
Before and after pics of the kitchen/dining room area
L-R: Impact 100's Rebecca Emmons & Judy Peschio with Camp Haven's Lalita Janke
YARD SALE SUCCESS: Volunteers Kick Off National Volunteer Week
Vero Beach, FL - April 13, 2015: Camp Haven volunteers and staff pulled together to make our "Shop for Camp Haven" yard sale a success!
LOVE WAS IN THE AIR: Supporters Celebrated Camp Haven's One Year at IMAGiNE Gala
Vero Beach, FL – February 16, 2015: More than a hundred supporters attended Camp Haven’s Imagine themed gala to celebrate the organization’s first full year in service.
MC’d by Rhett Palmer, attendees danced with their significant others to music performed by Ryan & the Rockers and enjoyed cuisine catered by Culinary Capers.
The highlight of the evening was the surprise guest speaker, Chris Matera, a former Camp Haven resident and a successful graduate of its transitional program for the homeless and at-risk. Interviewed by Rhett Palmer, Chris expressed his deepest gratitude for the organization and detailed the tremendous impact it’s had in his life.
“Our supporters got to see, firsthand, how their ongoing generosity is changing the lives of the men who participate in our transitional program. Like Chris, others have successfully completed our program and now have jobs, a safe place to live and a brand new outlook on life,” said board president, Lalita Janke.
“The work is far from over however. So many more area homeless and at-risk men need the kind of help we provide. With the continuous support of the community at-large, the possibilities are endless.”
The Imagine gala was made possible by the following sponsors: The Walter & Lalita Janke Charitable Foundation, John & Sheila Connors, Dorothea Leonhardt Fund (Community Foundation of TX), Linda & Mel Teetz, George E. Warren Corporation, Jim & Milly Gummerson, and many more.
Camp Haven's Hydroponic Garden gets $3000 Boost from Grand Harbor Community Outreach
Vero Beach, FL – Jan 13, 2015: When people tour Camp Haven’s campus for the homeless and at-risk, they’re usually vocal about two things: how impressed they are with the program itself and the beautiful hydroponic garden that greets them as they drive in. Among the supporters is Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program, Inc., whose members visited the campus recently.
“We’re truly excited about the progress Camp Haven has made in such a short period of time. By transforming the lives of these men, they’re transforming the community as a whole,” said Philanthropy Chair, Doug Sweeny.
“We see their hydroponic garden as an important part of the men’s transitional process as they learn to nurture something that’s good for the earth and good for them.”
To show their support, the Outreach Program awarded Camp Haven a $3000 grant that will be used to expand the garden - allowing for the addition of fruit trees, irrigation, a shade structure and possibly a greenhouse.
“We’ve been tremendously blessed by the generosity and support of Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program,” said Camp Haven’s board president, Lalita Janke.
“In addition to this grant and ones they’ve awarded us in the past, they’ve also gone above and beyond to show their support for our residents. Recently, the members decided to surprise the men by gifting each with a Christmas gift bag filled with goodies and a generous gift card.” she smiled. “All of this helps them to successfully integrate into the community with a renewed sense of hope and purpose.”
Vero Beach Couple Surprises Homeless Community with a Memorable Holiday Gift
Vero Beach, FL – December 31, 2014: When you’re homeless, receiving a hot meal from a shelter or some spare change from a passerby is a good day. You certainly don’t expect to be celebrating the holidays in any traditional way, nor do you have the luxury of doing so. But one local couple wanted to change that this Christmas season and decided to give a gift that would be one to remember.
Dr. Walter Janke and his wife, Lalita, gave out Majestic Theatre movie tickets (that included a large privately booked room with free popcorn and drinks) to hundreds of homeless men, women and their children of local non-profit agencies such as Camp Haven, The Source, Samaritan Center, Homeless Family Center and Substance Awareness Center. “The look of surprise and gratitude on their faces was priceless.
My wife and I feel like we were the ones to really receive a gift that day. Many of these men and women are struggling to get back on their feet and restore some sense of normalcy. So for us to be able to give them that just for one night is a blessing,” smiled Dr. Janke.
Dr. and Mrs. Janke support non-profits and philanthropic work done locally and internationally through their non-profit organization, The Walter & Lalita Janke Charitable Foundation. Camp Haven, Hibiscus Children’s Center, Substance Awareness Council, USNC for UN Women, Food Relief International are among the many organizations they actively support.
The Walter & Lalita Janke Charitable Foundation is dedicated to the education, empowerment and transformation of people and communities. It contributes to creating, strengthening and sustaining the good in people - advocating for the rights of women and youth & the eradication of violence and abuse to resolve conflicts. It supports people and projects that expand knowledge of spirit, mind and body through education and opportunities to perform compassionate acts of community service.
To learn more about The Walter & Lalita Janke Charitable Foundation, visit www.walterandlalitajankecharitablefoundation.org
Rhett Palmer "Talk Live" radio interview with Camp Haven's Executive Director, Lalita Janke
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
Home Depot Delivers Christmas to Camp Haven!
Vero Beach - November 2014: Camp Haven residents receive an unexpected Christmas surprise from Home Depot. Thank you for bringing joy to men who are working every day to transform their lives for the better!
Holy Cross Church Brings Camp Haven a Thanksgiving Surprise!
(Pictured): Camp Haven staff with members of Holy Cross Church
On November 27, 2014, members of Holy Cross Catholic Church surprised Camp Haven
with over a hundred bags of much needed items. Thank you for your ongoing generosity and for thinking of our residents this holiday season!
Camp Haven Resident Awarded "2014 Student Entrepreneur of the Year"
December 1, 2014: We have a lot to be thankful for this year! Many of our residents are making great progress & this young man continues to break the mold! Wil recently received the "2014 Student Entrepreneur of the Year" award from Indian River State College. Your continuous support is making dreams like this a reality! Thank you.
Shop for a Cause Yard Sale - Nov 22, 2014
In spite of the rain, the "Shop for a Cause" yard sale on Saturday was a success! We couldn't have done it without the help of these six fabulous women who worked tirelessly to sort, organize, set-up and sell on the big day! And many thanks to those who stopped by to donate items specifically for the event. Hooray for teamwork!
Camp Haven's Art Show a Great Success!
Pictured (L-R): Dr. Walter Janke, Barbara Petrillo, Elke Brockway, Lalita Janke (Camp Haven's Board President), Wil Harris, Barry Shapiro (owner of Lighthouse Art & Framing)
Oct 18, 2014 - Vero Beach, FL: A BIG Thank You from all of us here at Camp Haven!! The Art Show was a great success!! More than a 100 people (unfamiliar and familiar faces) stopped by to show their support for Wil Harris on Saturday and we appreciate every one of you! The following is a list of people who went above and beyond to make this event possible: Lighthouse Art & Framing, Barbara Petrillo, Chelsea's Market, Elke Brockway, Slice of Paris, Wild Thyme Catering and Lee G. Smith.
Restoring Hope ART SHOW October 18th
Join us on Saturday, October 18, 2014, to support one of our talented residents who will be showcasing his artwork alongside the well-known jewelry designer, Barbara Petrillo, of The Petrillo Collection! FREE admission. Food and Drinks. Raffle tickets to win one piece from each artist. 20% of proceeds (from artwork sales) will be donated to Camp Haven.
CLICK here to read the full article on Wil Harris: http://www.vb32963online.com/ebooks/Online%20Issues%202014/VB32963_OEI41_09October2014/
Your attendance will surely help to restore hope and transform lives!
Camp Haven receives an Industry Appreciation Award for "best re-use of property!"
From Habitat Volunteer to Employee!
CAMP HAVEN RESIDENT BENEFITS FROM HARD WORK AND GREAT ATTITUDE
Vero Beach, FL – Aug 6, 2014: One of the program requirements at Camp Haven, IRC’s transitional shelter for homeless men, is for its residents to give back to the community. “To truly change one’s life, one’s attitude towards life must also change. Part of this journey for our residents is to do for others with the expectation of getting nothing in return – just as many in the community do for us. In doing so, they themselves will be transformed,” said board president, Lalita Janke.
A resident of Camp Haven for 4 months, Jonathan took this lesson to heart, applying it every single time he volunteered at the Indian River Habitat For Humanity Home Center Restore on US 1. Whether it was moving furniture, stocking or loading trucks, he did so with a sense of urgency and a positive attitude. Whenever Jonathan was asked about his day, he’d simply express how happy he was to have an opportunity to work – even if it was unpaid.
Unbeknownst to him, Jonathan’s work ethics and great attitude would soon pay off. Just recently, Habitat For Humanity officially offered him a job. Having become homeless after recently losing his job due to summer cutbacks, he looked shocked when receiving the news. “All he could do for a few minutes was smile from ear to ear!” exclaimed board member, Sue Rux.
Starbucks’ Coffee Covered Heart for Camp Haven
LOCAL STORE HELPS TO RESTORE HOPE IN RESIDENTS
Vero Beach, FL – June 27, 2014: Thanks to Starbucks (located at 1235 US Hwy 1) and its manager, Dave Nardi, Camp Haven residents are now starting their work / training day fueled by a cup of great coffee. Taken back by the news, one resident asked in disbelief, “We’re really getting Starbucks?”
“This goes way beyond coffee,” said Board President, Lalita Janke. “When organizations and individuals support us in their way, they are literally helping us to restore hope in people who need it most,” she continued.
Since Camp Haven’s doors opened earlier this year, individuals, churches and organizations have been supporting its mission in various ways. Some donate clothes, furniture and money, while others bring prepared meals on a consistent basis.
In order for Camp Haven to be able to continue transforming the lives of area homeless men, it needs the ongoing support of the community at large. Its most recent and urgent need for example is a van that can passenger up to 12 people. It will be used to take residents to and from job interviews, medical screenings and other places directly related to getting them prepped and ready to join the workforce.
Click on link to view article in TCPalm: http://m.tcpalm.com/news/2014/jul/02/starbucks-coffee-covered-heart-helps-restore-hope-/
Shopping Transforms 14 Lives
HUNDREDS POURED IN TO CAMP HAVEN’S “SHOP FOR A CAUSE” EVENT
Vero Beach, FL – May 20, 2014: Every dollar made at Saturday’s “Shop For a Cause” yard sale event benefits the fourteen residents now residing at Camp Haven. A transitional home for area homeless, Camp Haven’s program works to transform the lives of men who have been lost, destitute and hopeless into healthy, contributing members of our community. “To see a person go from being homeless to becoming a responsible and dedicated working individual is nothing short of a miracle,” said Board President, Lalita Janke. “We are so grateful for our volunteers and to everyone who came to buy something. When the community shows up as they did this weekend, they participate in the transformational process of each of our residents,” she continued.
Camp Haven's Volunteer Board President WINS 2014 Woman of the Year!
Vero Beach, FL - April 30,2014: Once a year, the Junior League of Indian River recognizes local women who have made outstanding contributions to their community. This year, Lalita Janke, volunteer Board President of Camp Haven, was nominated in the "Volunteer" category for her tireless dedication to non-profit organizations such as Camp Haven, Hibiscus Children's Center, UN Women East FL Chapter, Substance Abuse Awareness Center, The Source and many others.
A look of shock came over Lalita when her named was called as the winner of her category. "I can't believe it. What an honor to even be nominated. My husband would be surprised to see that for the first time ever, I'm at a lost for words. Thank you so much," she smiled as she received her award.
After other nominees were announced the winners of their respective categories, the time came to announce the final award, Woman of the Year. Lalita Janke's name was then called out and the audience gave a standing ovation. "This is for all the women out there who have struggles, but still manage to dedicate themselves to helping others. Women are often paid less and underappreciated for what they do for their families and communities. I thank the Junior League of Indian River and every one of the nominees today for bringing women the recognition they deserve."
Camp Haven Serves Special Lunch On Earth Day
GUESTS ENJOYED HYDROPONIC SALADS MADE BY RESIDENTS
Vero Beach, FL – March 22, 2014: In honor of Earth Day, community guests arrived for a special lunch gathering, eager to be updated on Camp Haven’s progress and to take a tour of its Hydroponic garden. One patron excitedly remarked, “This garden is seriously amazing!” Following the tour, guests entered Camp Haven’s lunchroom, greeted by residents and a table decorated with cheeses, fruits and bread - donated by Fresh Market and Einstein’s Bagels respectively. Accompanying these foods was a large salad bowl filled with a variety of lettuces and herbs, picked directly from Camp Haven’s earth- friendly garden.
While they dined, guests listened as residents shared their stories one by one. Moved by the experience, one later wrote, “Thank you for inviting me to tour Camp Haven and be introduced to your residents. It was an inspiration to hear their stories. You have created a safe place for them.”
“I encourage more of the community to also take a site tour of Camp Haven. It’ll allow them to see firsthand the positive changes being made in the lives of these individuals,” said Camp Haven’s Board President, Lalita Janke.
Our Savior Lutheran Church Donates 4 Truck Loads
Vero Beach, FL - April 2014: Camp Haven's residents received a big treat for Easter! Pastor Shelly Satran and members of Our Savior Lutheran Church donated 4 large truck loads of clothing, tools, paper goods and other items that are much needed. Thank you!
Grand Harbor Community Reaches Out To Help Camp Haven
CAMP HAVEN AWARDED GRANT TO GET RESIDENTS BACK TO WORK
Vero Beach, FL – May 16, 2014: “We are grateful and thrilled to receive the Grand Harbor Community Grant!” exclaimed Board President, Lalita Janke. “Grants like this are crucial to Camp Haven’s residents, as they are encouraged to work on themselves and transition from homelessness to being a part of the workforce,” said Board member, Sue Rux.
With the growing number of men being accepted into Camp Haven’s program every month, the need for community support drastically increases. This grant award of $10,000 addresses a vital part of their need by funding the areas directly related to life skills education, job search, case management; transportation and access to community resource services for residents.
“Through these training programs, Camp Haven residents learn to overcome the cyclical nature of homelessness. We see them taking responsibility; setting educational and job goals for themselves. One of our residents has a job, was encouraged to reenroll and is taking a summer course at IR State College. This motivates the others to reach up to better themselves. Changing the course of a life is invaluable,” said Lalita Janke.
The Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program has become a significant charitable force over the past decade, providing about $2.4 million to the underprivileged of Indian River County. This year alone, residents and members of Grand Harbor have distributed over $300,000 to about 27 local non-profit agencies, according to Susanne and Doug Sweeny, VP's and Co-Chairs of Philanthropy.
Camp Haven's Organic Veggies a Big Hit!
Vero Beach, FL – March 15, 2014: An hour before the Whale of a Sale event ended on Saturday, Camp Haven had already sold out of its organically grown herbs and varieties of lettuce. People lined up from 7am to 1pm to grab their bag of these goodies that have been grown in Camp Haven’s hydroponic garden. One patron excitedly remarked, “You’d pay an arm and a leg for organic food like this at the local grocery store!"
Donated by Lauren’s Way and maintained daily by its residents, Camp Haven’s hydroponic garden is an environmentally friendly and sustainable method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without the need for soil.
“Our residents are enjoying the fruits of their labor and excited to share them with the community,” said Camp Haven’s Board President, Lalita Janke.
Impact 100 members tour partner facilities
Impact 100 board president Linda Knoll with Camp Haven board president Lalita Janke. Staff photo: Benjamin Hager
VeroNews.com: Saturday, February 8, 2014 8:24 am |by Mary Schenkel
VERO BEACH — “This is an exciting day. It’s the first ever panel discussion with our community partners; this year’s grant winners,” said Carolyn Antenen, Impact Week chairwoman.
Earlier in the week, current and future members of Impact 100 had an opportunity to tour the facilities of the four organizations which had each been awarded $100,000 grants in April.
Impact Week culminated Thursday afternoon with a panel discussion and cocktail reception at the Quail Valley Boat House, where representatives from the organizations described how the grants had impacted the services they provide to the community.
Impact 100 was formed locally in December 2008, with an initial goal of recruiting 100 women to each donate $1,000 toward a “transformational and impactful” grant of $100,000 to local nonprofits.
Surpassing their goals every year, the women recruited 429 members last year, providing four $100,000 grants, and splitting the remaining $29,000 between two other finalists.
Impact 100 president Linda Knoll moderated the discussion which included Karen Deigl, Senior Resource Association president/CEO; Vicki Soulé, Treasure Coast Community Health CEO; Lalita Janke, Camp Haven board president; and Jenni Palm, Big Brothers Big Sisters vice president of programs, who all thanked Impact 100 members for their generosity, before explaining how the grant money had been spent.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is developing a Mentor Training Collaborative, and has hired a dedicated mentor trainer to develop a curriculum for comprehensive mentor and staff training for organizations with mentorship programs, build a resource library, and facilitate mentor roundtables with other organizations.
Camp Haven is reconstructing, bringing up to code and outfitting the former Citrus Motel, transforming it into the only shelter in Indian River County to house homeless men.
The facility required extensive repairs, including a new roof. The facility has just opened its doors to its first residents, and hopes to purchase equipment to help train the men for future employment.
Treasure Coast Community Health, which provides health and dental care to individuals regardless of their economic circumstances, reconfigured its Oslo Road Center, adding two additional dental exam spaces and equipment, to reduce their waiting lists and treat an increased number of patients.
The Senior Resource Association transformed its Schumann Center, previously utilized as a Senior Center, into an Adult Day Care Center, through the purchase of healthcare-related furniture and safety elements and retrofitted the bathrooms with showers and handicap accessibility.
Panelists spoke to the group about the transformational aspects of the grants for the clients they serve, and also spoke to the future, how they will sustain their programs once the grant moneys are expended and the challenges they face.
Several also mentioned the credibility and awareness these grants have brought to their organizations, and Knoll noted that even those who didn’t receive grants this time, were able to benefit from the experience.
“You can see from hearing from these four different community partners what a wide range of needs there are in this community,” said Knoll.
Knoll said the group hopes to again reach 400 members this year, which would meet their goal of providing $2 million in grants over the past six years.
“I was fortunate to stand on the shoulders of the women who came before me,” said Knoll with a smile.
New 2014 memberships will be accepted until Feb. 28, and members will vote on this year’s recipients on April 10.
Camp Haven Supporters Gather for Gala
Vero Beach, FL – 1/24/2014 - Homeless men in Indian River County received support from area residents who turned out Thursday for CAMP HAVEN's 1st fund raising event since the facility opened last week. Guests enjoyed an exciting night of great music, entertainment, food and drinks, all made possible by Camp Haven volunteers and supporters.
Public Defender Diamond Litty and Camp Haven President, Lalita Janke, joined the guest of honor, Richard A. Stark, in welcoming over 150 guests who were there to join the fight against homelessness in Indian River County. They were not alone in their support of the homeless in Indian River County, as The George E. Warren Corporation, Sheila and John Connors, Warren Schwerin and Mrs. Thomas Chiarenza, Jim Beckley, Jim Schorner, Republican Women Aware, Mr. and Mrs. Mel Teetz, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Schlitt, Mr. and Mrs. John Hardy, Mrs. Herman Becker, the McCabe Foundation, Carwill Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Lynch were also among those who were event sponsors and supporters.
“The plight of the homeless is nearly incomprehensible to most of us,” said Mr. Stark, the night's honoree. “In fact, homelessness touches all segments of our community and all walks of life. It is not limited to just those who are highly visible to us. It touches many more who are hidden from sight, suffering from a disability, mental illness, living on a fixed income, suffering a foreclosure and those who are literally one paycheck away from living in a car,” he continued.
“It is not enough to help the men and provide them shelter as they transition, we need to provide them jobs, support them while they change their thinking and behaviors, Janke added. “Change is the hard part for all of us," Board President, Lalita Janke said. “Can we give them an opportunity to gain back their self-respect – that is the question we need to ask,” she concluded.
Camp Haven Opens Just in Time for Cold Weather
Vero Beach, FL - 1/16/14 - Camp Haven, the new supportive living campus for homeless men on US 1, has finally received its occupancy license and officially opened its doors on January 15, 2014. The timing couldn’t be more perfect as the unpredictable weather quickly crept to a rainy low on the same night. Men that have been sleeping in the woods for years, struggling to find a way to positively change the course of their lives, will now have a chance at starting a new life.
“Every single thing we have gone through to make this happen has been worth it. What we had to overcome doesn’t compare to the obstacles these men face daily,” said Lalita Janke, Camp Haven’s Board President.
To ensure the success of Camp Haven’s project for the homeless, it needs continuous support from the community. To find out how you can make a difference in someone’s life today, call (772) 999-3625 or visit www.CampHaven.net.
Our Savior Lutheran Church Donates to Camp Haven
Vero Beach, FL - 1/8/14 - As the grand opening approaches for Camp Haven's campus for the homeless, more support continues to pour in from the community. Our Savior Lutheran Church joins the rank of supporters by generously donating 100 hygeine kits, food supply and a monetary gift. "We heard what [Camp Haven] was doing [for the homeless] and wanted to help in any way that we could," said Associate Pastor, Shelly Satran.
Haven for Homeless Clearing Final Hurdles
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY - This year for Christmas, Lalita Janke asked for a home for local homeless, and it looks like her wish may be coming true.
On Jan. 6, Camp Haven, the nonprofit group renovating the old Citrus Motel on U.S. 1 in Vero Beach into temporary housing for homeless, is expecting to receive a certificate of occupancy for their buildings, and hope to have a couple people enrolled in their program and living on campus before the month is out.
"I'm so excited because we are on our last sprint to the finish, and this is the time when the most things need to get done," said Mrs. Janke, chairwoman of the nonprofit's board of directors.
"We have an urgency about this program and we've started to do in-depth interviews with potential residents," she said.
Word about the facility is spreading to the surrounding areas as well.
"I get at least two or three calls a day from people all over, from Broward to Palm Beach, asking about openings at Camp Haven. I have to tell them that ours is an Indian River-based program, but people are still calling," Mrs. Janke said.
By implementing a thoughtful intake procedure and a strict adherence to guidelines, the Camp Haven program will provide its residents with educationalopportunities, counseling and encouragement as they move from homelessness to hopefulness and eventually become active, engaged and contributing members of the community, a statement on the nonprofit's website said. "Residents have to be clean and sober before they come to us," Mrs. Janke said.
Even during the holidays, work was being done on the rooms, including renovations for electricity.
"The rooms are in the process of renovation, every wall will be new and be up to 2013 code," Mrs. Janke said.
Originally, the campus concept was to have one person to a room, but that has been modified to two or three people to a room, to foster community concepts and build relationships and accountability, she said.
The length of stay will vary on the individual's needs, Mrs. Janke said.
"Everyone heals at their own pace," she said. "Many times the homeless have given up on themselves. The community makes them feel invisible, and they want to be invisible because they are ashamed of some of the choices they have made," Mrs. Janke said.
For the ones that want to get out of a cycle of bad choices and homelessness, Camp Haven will provide a safe place to sleep and take care of personal hygiene needs, as well as have classes and search for employment, she said.
Mrs. Janke said the support of individual donors and contributions by organizations such as the Indian River Community Foundation have allowed the Camp Haven vision to progress as far as it has, and it is what will help it continue to grow and bear fruit.
The nonprofit's annual fundraiser will be held on Jan. 23 at the Vero Beach Elks Club on 26th Street in Vero Beach.
The evening of dining, dancing and entertainment will recognize Richard A. "Dick" Stark, who was instrumental in creating the Indian River County task force on the homeless in 1999, resulting in the establishment of the Treasure Coast Homeless Services Council.
Since that time, Mr. Stark has continued to help the homeless community by seeking grants for projects to prevent and end homelessness, amounting to about $22 million in the past 13 years. Mr. Stark joined Camp Haven's supporters in October 2013 and continues to help the homeless in the community.
The cost per person to the fundraiser is $150, and availability is limited.
For more information about Camp Haven or the fundraiser, call (772) 999-3625 or visit www.camphaven.net.
Richard A. Stark Joins Camp Haven Board
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The Camp Haven Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Richard A. Stark, Esq, has agreed to join the Board of Directors of Camp Haven. Mr. Stark is a long time resident of John's Island who is well known for his philanthropy and community involvement. He has always had a significant impact on Vero Beach and is particularly notable for his contributions to the arts and culture. Both the Stark Stage at Riverside Theater and The Stark Gallery at The Vero Beach Art Museum bear his name. Dick Stark is also the Founder and Chairman of the Treasure Coast Homeless Services Council, Inc. and has made significant contributions to homeless families with the construction of the Stark Family Center.
“Anyone who knows Mr. Stark knows that if he takes on a commitment to serve the community he does it with passion and compassion. We are so blessed, honored and delighted to have Mr. Stark join our Board.” said Lalita Janke, Camp Haven Inc. President. "This is just another example of Mr. Stark's dedication to building a true continuum of care to end homelessness" stated Louise Hubbard, Executive Director, Treasure Coast Homeless Services Council, Inc. "Mr. Stark cares. Homelessness is affecting people who never thought that someday they would have no permanent roof over their heads " she remarked. "We are still in the Capital Campaign stage and Mr. Stark's support brings us to the ribbon cutting date a lot sooner" said Board Treasurer, Jim Schorner.