News & Events

Timothy Longden joins Camp Haven Board of Directors.

Timothy Longden brings a unique perspective as he joins the Camp Haven Board of Directors. Having worked as an accountant for much of his career Longden’s view of Camp Haven is seen through the dollars and “sense” of supporting a grassroots program managed on a local level.

Longden and his wife Bernadette moved to Vero Beach in 2012 from Racine, Wis. and were drawn to Camp Haven’s mission to transform the lives of homeless men in Indian River County by providing a safe environment that will help them break free from destitution and despair. Camp Haven provides shelter, food, clothing, vocational training, and life skills classes that aid in the transitional process for each resident.

His degree in business administration and having worked extensively with the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee; the Justice Department, as the director of mental health at the Mental Health Complex in Milwaukee, and the Healthcare Administration at the Medical College of Wisconsin Longden has firsthand experience with the inner workings of institutions geared toward helping those with mental health issues.

For him, Camp Haven’s model is a breath of fresh air. “You’re helping one person at a time, and you’re actually making successes. They are building one-on-one relationships, and it’s these relationships that make the difference,” noted Longden. “But the biggest thing is that all the money spent goes directly to operations. Local organizations like this make the biggest difference.”

Grassroots organizations where local people are running the operation have the most impact, according to Longden. “This is a very lean organization and the money that they’re spending goes directly to the mission.”

Longden’s professional affiliations include the Medical Group Management Association, Certified Medical Practice Executive and he is a “Fellow” in the Healthcare Financial Management Association and a Medal of Honor recipient from the Health Care Management Association. He has also served on the Board of the American Cancer Society, Wisconsin Division; Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers board president; Homeowners Association president, and as a Volunteer-Special Deputy for the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.

“We are thrilled to have Tim join our Board. He and Bernadette have contributed to Camp Haven’s success by providing meals every month since our inception, in addition to providing substantial financial support. Tim’s background and history with Camp Haven make him a perfect addition to the Board,” said Brian Korkus, Camp Haven board president.

Diamonds in the Rough Gala 

Camp Haven celebrated their success at helping homeless men of Indian River County rebuild their lives during the 6th annual Diamonds in the Rough Gala at the Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club on January 26.

Brian Korkus, Camp Haven board president, noted that it all started on January 16, 2014, when Camp Haven opened up the former Citrus motel with five men as residents. “Over the coming years, the team learned and evolved in order to bring in more and more men and to improve the effectiveness of our program.”

Since that time Korkus continued, “We undertook a major overhaul of eight rooms which brought our capacity up to 26 beds. During 2018 we hit almost full capacity with 25 men in our program.” Since opening Camp Haven has helped 170 men recover their lives, served 60,000 meals and helped 95 percent of the men obtain employment. 

A big part of Camp Haven's success can be credited to the dedication of donors and volunteers who have given of their time, talent and treasure explained Diamonds in the Rough event chair Linda Teetz. “We're a very generous community, as evidenced by all of you here this evening. It's easy to write a check, but it's much harder to give your time and your talent.”

One couple stands out for their continued generosity. This couple brings meals for the men, prepares hygiene kits for new residents, brings clothing and supports the nonprofit financially, said Teetz before introducing the recipients of the inaugural Diamond Award: Bernadette and Timothy Longden.

“It is unbelievable what this organization is doing,” said Timothy Longden. “This is the way you solve problems.”

Adding his thanks to the Longdens and others for their support over the years, Chuck Bradley Camp Haven executive director said, “You've helped the men at Camp Haven with clothing, money, food and mostly love. We're about to show a video of one man's journey at Camp Haven. While watching this video keep in mind that the journey of homelessness is different for each individual. Sometimes it's people that end up at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Daniel struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, PTSD and mental health issues. He was a first responder at the Sandy Hook School shooting in 2012 after that tragedy his life spiraled out of control.

“Some of the motels I stayed in were horrible. They had bed bugs, hookers banging on the door at night, drug addicts and alcoholics walking around all night and roaches everywhere. I was tired of being a drunk. I was tired of being a drug addict,” he shared.

Finding himself homeless and alone Daniel knew the only way he would be able to regain his life would be with the support of others in a structured environment. That's when he made the call to Camp Haven.

“Knowing I had somewhere to be and knowing I had somebody wondering where I was kept me from even thinking about getting into trouble. Camp Haven offered that help to get everything together, especially when you have nothing and nowhere to go,” added Daniel.

Today, Daniel is back to being a full-time EMT/paramedic. He is saving money and supporting his children.  “Camp Haven gave me back my life” said Daniel.

Wesley Davis did an outstanding job as our auctioneer raising $22k with the live auction and call to the heart.  All proceeds from the evening will fund program and provide for facility renovations at Camp Haven to rebuild the lives of homeless men in Indian River County.

Korkus shared exciting news about the nonprofit's plan to convert the current office space to three housing units and relocating the administrative offices, meeting, training, counseling and dining area to a new building on the south side of the property. 

To learn more about Camp Haven, visit www.camphaven.net or call (772) 999-3625 for an appointment to tour the Campus.

Executive Director Chuck Bradley and Brenda Bradley

Adam and Sarah Logemann with Linda and Gordon Stewart

Brian Korkus, Bernadette and Tim Longden, Linda Teetz and Chuck Bradley

Mel and Linda Teetz

Diana Stark and Louise Hubbard

Dale and Betty Jacobs

Pat Rogers, Marcia and Gavin Ruotulo

Greg and Angela Nelson; Bernadette and Mike Emerick

Camp Haven announces new Executive Director

Camp Haven announced Chuck Bradley as the new executive director of the nonprofit. Bradley was selected as executive director of Camp Haven by the nonprofit’s board of directors and took over operation of the men's homeless transitional shelter in early July.

“We are thrilled to have Chuck join our organization,” said Brian Korkus, Camp Haven board president. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help us build upon the great foundation established during Camp Haven’s first five years.”

Bradley comes to Camp Haven after serving more than a decade as the Executive Director for the Arc of Indian River County.  Bradley managed a $3 million budget and was accountable for more than 200 developmentally disabled clients. Under his leadership services grew exponentially through decisive community outreach efforts.

“I am honored to bring my years of nonprofit work to this organization and look forward to continuing the mission of Camp Haven. Building upon the existing foundation with Program Director Jermey Gable and the board to work with the men and take Camp Haven to the next level,” Bradley said.

Bradley's previous experience as a chief financial officer in the financial industry has served him well during his time working with nonprofits. His expertise in budgeting, strategic planning, and investment strategies have been invaluable. Additionally, his unique skill set has been instrumental in the development of funder relations creating a stable environment from which to support financial needs. Bradley holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and finance from the University of Akron.

“We feel very blessed that we had the opportunity to take Camp Haven from the ground floor to where it is today. We are so glad that Chuck was available at this critical time. We've grown so much and with Chuck at the helm he will take it to another level. The Janke family will always support Camp Haven,” said Dr. Walter and Lalita Janke.

Bradley is humbled by the opportunity to continue with Camp Haven’s mission to transform the lives of homeless men in Indian River County by providing a safe environment while they re-establish themselves and reconnect with their children, families and society.

Camp Haven gets a fresh new look

TC Palm / Submitted by Camp Haven

Camp Haven got a fresh new look with a little help from some friends. More than 80 Publix employees donned work gloves and rolled up their sleeves in support of the 22 residents working to improve their lives through Camp Haven’s program as part of Publix Serves Day.

Greg Rogolino, Publix Supermarket area manager, visited Camp Haven the day before the community service work day and congratulated the residents for their decision to make better lives for themselves. Rogolino spoke of John Maxwell’s Five Levels of Leadership and how they helped him grow through the Publix culture of passion for customer service and values.

Rogolino suggested the men find their purpose in life, stretch their maximum potential and sow seeds that benefit others. Publix Serves Day is an example of how the supermarket's employees put their words into actions.

Publix associates from Indian River County spent the day volunteering at various locations in the community, helping with projects to further the initiatives promoted by Publix: feeding and housing the homeless, children and families.

At Camp Haven, Publix employees painted, built a pagoda/meditation center, trimmed bushes, cleaned up the grounds and even brightened things up by painting a Publix green runner on the sidewalk.

“There was a big difference after our friends from Publix worked to make Camp Haven a home,” said Lalita Janke, Camp Haven executive director. “I was amazed at how the Publix staff gave up their time and how well-coordinated they were as they helped us to give Camp Haven a facelift.” “They functioned like a well-oiled machine. Each group focused on a different area of the property.” Said Camp Haven board chair Brian Korkus.

“A clean and pleasant environment influences one’s mood, impacts behavior and the motivation to act, facilitates positive interactions, and reduces stress and promotes healing. The work done by Publix associates will have far-reaching benefits. Thank you Publix!” said Lalita Janke, Camp Haven executive director.

Grand Harbor Community Outreach continues generous support of Camp Haven

Submitted by Camp Haven


Grand Harbor Community Outreach helps the men of Camp Haven pave the way to a better life with a $13,000 grant to support the nonprofit's Pathways to a Purposeful Life Program, which offers on-site professional mental health and life skills counseling for residents.

Camp Haven is a residential setting where homeless men can regain financial independence and self-esteem. They do so through a structured program of counseling in the areas of social and relationship skills, acquiring and maintaining employment, educational opportunities and reconnecting with the community in a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

The Pathways to a Purposeful Life program supports the process of transformation from homelessness to community living by modifying life skills behaviors the men need to be successful before leaving Camp Haven.

Recent studies indicate that 94 percent of people living on the street have behavioral health or substance abuse challenges that are compounded by the lack of mental health and substance abuse services available. Education and counseling are the remedies for this dilemma. With on-site counseling and support, the men at Camp Haven can begin to identify their dysfunctional behaviors and pinpoint the underlying causes of their lifestyle choices. As they work one-on-one and in small groups, they learn coping skills and alternative behaviors that enable them to develop the social skills needed to maintain positive relationships, obtain and maintain employment, and eventually rejoin the community as productive citizens. 

“Having an in-house psychologist working with the men allows them to re-evaluate their lives under the guidance of a professional,” said Lalita Janke, Camp Haven executive director. “We're most grateful that Grand Harbor supports our psychological program because while at Camp Haven and their basic needs are met, residents can begin focusing on themselves; the men can change the way they look at themselves and their situations. Instead of looking from the rearview mirror of what they haven't accomplished, they start to look forward and can prepare themselves for a brighter future.”

“Camp Haven provides an opportunity for homeless men to regain employment, independence and dignity through their Pathways to a Purposeful Life program,” said Dale Jacobs, Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program, Inc. president. “The Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program has funded Camp Haven and this program since its founding in 2014, and we are pleased to be their partner supporting this important community organization. They provide a very valuable service to the homeless men in our county.”

To learn more about the great work the Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program does for the community, visit GHCOP.org. For more information about Camp Haven, visit CampHaven.net.

Grant Withers of Grand Harbor, Camp Haven Executive Director Lalita Janke, Fred Whittet of Grand Harbor with 2 Camp Haven residents, Paul Dutse and Ryan Spivak

John's Island helps Camp Haven get fit

TC Palm / Submitted by Camp Haven

The John's Island Foundation is helping the men of Camp Haven achieve their goals by supporting the nonprofit's Healthy Mind and Healthy Body project. A $16,250 grant has enabled Camp Haven to purchase the Apollo 12 Station MultiGym, an outdoor fitness system, which allows for a full body cardio and strength workout.

The Healthy Mind and Healthy Body program augments Camp Haven's core program and is designed to help residents speed up the process of finding gainful employment, build healthy responses and relationships.

According to experts, a regular exercise regimen is beneficial to people in transition and particularly for men who suffer from low self-esteem, lack mental clarity and have problems with consistency and follow through.  Today 22 men with an average age of 42 live at Camp Haven. The outdoor fitness stations will provide them with a positive outlet to interact as they build relationships through fitness, getting healthy and socialization. “Studies show that people who exercise regularly report increased physical comfort with sobriety and report more energy directed into productive ends,” explained Camp Haven executive director Lalita Janke. “We will document the progress of the men on a regular basis because, in the end, we want them to speed up the process of recovery for gainful employment, so they can help their families and the community.”

“People who follow a routine do much better,” according to Janke. “The equipment is here. If they can make it part of their routine to get up in the morning and exercise before they go to work or before they go to bed, the structure and discipline benefit the men by helping them to build a healthier lifestyle.

The Healthy Mind and Healthy Body project complements Camp Haven’s counseling program and helps to build a whole person as he develops new neuropaths through exercise. Better sleep, an increase in happiness levels, increased goal realization and decreased depression are all benefits of regular exercise.

“The grant by the JI Foundation is a perfect example of the generous foundation having a terrific impact on a wonderful charity,” said Gordon Stewart, Camp Haven board member and John’s Island resident. “It's a very appreciated gift. There are a lot of ways to good health, mental and physical; and I think the men have been through much mental anguish up to this point. I think that the ability to exercise with some decent equipment gives them a perfect outlet.”

“Camp Haven provides a thoughtful and effective solution to the community’s transitionally homeless men. The commitment and hard work of Lalita Janke and her team are true examples of what the JI Foundation seeks to support,” said Don Kittell, John's Island Community Foundation.

Camp Haven Executive Director Lalita Janke and Camp Haven board member and Johns Island resident Gordon Stewart (seated) with some of the residents of Camp Haven.

TC-Palm Your-News:

Stewart joins Camp Haven board of directors

VERO BEACH -- Gordon Stewart, who owns and operates Motor City Classic Cars, has joined the Camp Haven board of directors.

“We are fortunate to have someone with Gordon's experience join the Camp Haven board," said board president Lalita Janke. "I feel confident his knowledge will help Camp Haven forge ahead in our mission to give homeless and hopeless men the tools that give them a sustainable future so they can unite with their families, support their children and contribute to the community."

The local nonprofit works to transform the lives of homeless men in Indian River County by providing a safe environment that helps them break free from destitution and despair and become contributing members of society.

Stewart and his wife of 50 years, Linda, have owned a home in Vero Beach since 1994 and in 2007 became full-time residents. Originally from Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., the couple still spends summers in Michigan and Augusta, Ga. where they own automobile dealerships.

After making Vero home, Stewart opened Motor City Classic Cars, a classic car company. Stewart has a stable of about 50 cars in a 16,000-square-foot showroom on 42nd Place, turning his hobby of 30 years into a viable business.

The Stewarts became aware of the growing number of homeless men in Indian River County during their visits to the Majestic 11 to take in a movie. It seemed like every time they made the trek from their home in John's Island, the couple would see homeless people looking for handouts.

“You feel helpless when you drive by them on a regular basis. You can almost tell by looking the ones that have very little chance in their current state of rejoining society. It would be nice if they all could, but those that have the capability need a vehicle to help them get there,” said Stewart. “We realized there are a lot of homeless people that needed help. My wife said, 'Someone needs to do something to help these people.'”

The couple was intrigued by Camp Haven's mission to provide that help, and Stewart stopped by one day and chatted with Janke to learn more about their methods for running the nonprofit.

Stewart was impressed by the expectations of each man residing at Camp Haven. Child support has to be paid and volunteer work done. The men are required to attend group and individual counseling sessions as well as life skills classes and drug testing. Job training and education are provided.

Having three children and eight grandchildren, the couple connected deeply with the nonprofit's focus on repairing relationships and taking responsibility.

A co-founder of the North American International Auto Show, Stewart also served as president of the Board of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, The Greater Detroit Chevrolet Dealers Association and The Metro Detroit Chevrolet Dealers Advertising Association.

The couple has raised substantial funds for local charities at each of their dealerships, endowed scholarships at University Liggett School and St. Edward’s School, and provided college scholarship funding for students at Garden City High School in Garden City, Mich.

Gordon Stewart

Diamonds in the Rough

Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club sparkled with the success stories of program graduates last weekend during Camp Haven's 4th annual Diamonds In The Rough Gala.

More than 125 guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres as they mulled over which of the silent auction items they couldn't live without. After dining on a Floridan salad, salmon and crab au gratin or roasted beef tenderloin with roasted fingerling potatoes and tiramisu, attendees listened raptly to the success stories of two former residents that have completed the program at Camp Haven and moved on to live better lives.

Linda Teetz, event chair, had a surprise for Lalita Janke, executive director, and board member, by introducing U.S. Army Pvt. Vetson Derisse, who gave a testimonial in a heartfelt video message from his barracks in Fort Hood, Texas. It took Derisse two years of working Camp Haven’s Pathways to Success program with staff and through in-house counseling to get his life back on track, enabling him to enlist in the military.

Derisse was recently deployed to Kuwait, where he worked on BFVs (Bradley Fighting Vehicles), which is used by the army to provide covering fire to suppress enemy troops and armored vehicles while transporting soldiers.

“The Board and staff are so pleased that another one of our alumni has made an incredible turnaround and is serving our country. Vetson came to us when he was just 18, and in less than two years he matured, changed his worldview, gained self-esteem and confidence. He stuck with the program, turning his adversities into advantages,” said Janke.

Guest speaker and alumni, Wil Harris shared his story during a video presentation before joining the festivities to explain firsthand just how much of an impact his time at Camp Haven made, allowing him to succeed in his transformation from homelessness to that of a successful entrepreneur.

Harris grew up in a rough Miami neighborhood and made his way out after serving time in jail where he focused on his education. After his release he eventually worked as a congressional aide in Ohio, it was here that Harris learned just how easy it was to lose himself and everything he had worked hard to achieve.

With only $400 in his pocket, Harris shared that he moved to Vero Beach, to get to know his father better but ended up homeless. “I knew I needed help and two names were given to me. I called the first one, Mrs. Lalita Janke, who was so warm and gave me hope right away. After meeting with her, I knew I was no longer alone,” shared Harris.

Inspired by the stories shared, auctioneer Wesley Davis churned up the floor during a Call to the Heart and live auction. Funds raised will help to make repairs and refurbish 12 units at Camp Haven, making it possible to aide more men in need.

His journey was long and hard and according to Harris and if not for the “hand up” extended to him by Camp Haven, “I don't know where I'd be today.” Harris has his own Life Coaching business, is now a professional speaker, was featured in a TEDx Talks video and has written two books. “The Wicker Diary” his newest book was released late last year.

“Wil came to us depressed and dejected, needing a safe place to rebuild his life. At Camp Haven, Wil came to grips that because of the errors made in his youth he might never find a decent job. If he wanted the life of his dreams, he would have to reinvent himself. Teaching self-confidence to his peers he regained his own. Focused on his recovery and determined to succeed … he made it. This is a special Wil, but there are countless ‘Wils' waiting for us to take them in our program, all wanting to change their lives.”

Proceeds from the evening will fund programs at Camp Haven for Indian River County's situationally homeless men. Through the nonprofit's transformational educational program they provide the structure these men need to transform their lives. Stability, shelter, food, clothing, life skills counseling, employment assistance and mentoring are the components the residents are provided, and in return, they attend classes, follow guidelines and curfews on the Camp Haven campus, which helps them find their way back as contributing members of society.

Camp Haven has helped 175 men find their way out of chronic homelessness since opening four years ago. “They come to us in various stages of brokenness. They are financially, emotionally, mentally and spiritually broken. We help them find themselves through daily classes and psychological education,” shared Janke.

Janke introduced the newly elected board president, Brian Korkus and acknowledged board members present: Jim Schornor, Diana Stark, Jim Kerns and Connie Bishop.

“After moving to Vero Beach two years ago, I wanted to get involved in the community,” shared Korkus. “I was drawn to help Camp Haven after taking a tour and seeing potential and desire in the men wanting to change their lives. I could see that these struggling men in our community needed a Camp Haven.”

Korkus found that Camp Haven was doing fantastic work in this critically needed area, adding “They needed help to grow their program and increase the number of men they can help. I joined the board of directors last year and am honored to be voted in as the president of the board.”

Board Member Jim Schorner, Event Chair Linda Teetz, Board President Brian Korkus, and Executive Director Mrs. Lalita Janke & Sponsor Dr. Walter Janke

June Bercaw, Gerri Smith, Diana Stark, and John & Anita O'Neill

Mel Teez, Jan & Mike Harrell, and Jim Kelly

Brenda & Chuck Bradley

Walter Janke, Jr., Kaitlynn Zinda, Ash Mascarenhas, Executive Director Mrs. Lalita Janke, Sponsors Bernadette & Mike Emerick with Bernard Egan, and Sponsor Richard Schlitt  

Vetson Derisse

Camp Haven graduate Wil Harris with Sandra Robinson at book signing

Camp Haven Diamond in the Rough 2018 Gala Scheduled for January 27th at Grand Harbor!

Local Teen’s Labor of Love Helps the Homeless

Indian River Community Foundation

In 2012, as a sixth grade student, Lauren Weaver established “Lauren’s Way,” a project dedicated to helping people in our community at their most basic point of need.  Last week, Lauren, who is now a junior at Masters Academy, awarded a grant of $1,295 to Camp Haven from the Lauren’s Way Fund at Indian River Community Foundation.  The grant will be matched by the Community Foundation, and used to purchase a bike rack for the facility that provides housing and support services for men transitioning out of homelessness.

“It is extremely unique that a young woman like Lauren has such passion for helping the homeless,” said Lalita Janke, the organization’s President of the Board.  “Over the last six or seven years, Lauren’s generosity has gone beyond providing money.  It has included providing food at the holidays and gift cards with personal notes of encouragement to our residents.  Her empathy toward these men and their challenging life circumstances is very inspiring.”

“While Lauren is not a typical Community Foundation client, we think it is important to support young people in our community who take their philanthropy seriously,” said Scott Alexander, Chairman of Indian River Community Foundation.  “Lauren and her family have been dedicated to this project for a long time. Together, they have made life better for many homeless men in our community.”

Front Row: Jeff Pickering, Lalita Janke, Scott Alexander,
Back Row: Ryan, Lauren and Melissa Weaver

Philanthropy through social activism

Submitted by David Moshier

Dr. Walter and Lalita Janke have built a successful life through perseverance and hard work. Two immigrants who came to this country with nothing but their drive and social consciousness have worked tirelessly to create a better world.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals Indian River Chapter (AFPIR) honored the Jankes as this year's Outstanding Individual Philanthropists during the National Philanthropy Day celebration at the Vero Beach Museum of Art: Where Philanthropy Comes to Life.

The AFPIR promotes philanthropy by supporting the profession of fundraising through chapter membership scholarships for new and current members to attend professional development workshops. The Jankes were nominated for the honor by Camp Haven and selected by an independent judging panel from the First Coast Chapter of AFP in Jacksonville, Fla.

Many philanthropists write a check and some even call in personal favors to raise funds, but not many exhibit the personal devotion and sacrifice of the Jankes. Through both their foundation and individual good works, the two focus their energies on strengthening and sustaining organizations that make a difference in the lives of marginalized women and girls and abused children as well as the homeless. 

“Writing checks for thousands of dollars did not come easy for us as first-generation immigrants, but it became easier when we saw the impact that our contributions had on lives, and it spurred us on to give even more,” shared Lalita.

Over the years, the couple has supported nonprofit missions financially as well as through sweat equity of their time and expertise. Since Lalita and Dr. Janke, moved to Vero Beach in 1996, their philanthropy has touched countless people on local, regional and global levels. Working through the Walter and Lalita Janke Charitable Foundation, they have provided significant funding for a wide variety of humanitarian initiatives. They gave the Substance Awareness Center of Indian River County their first home for women recovering from drug and alcohol dependencies and provided a matching grant for the purchase of a second home.

The couple partnered with the Hibiscus Children’s Center to provide scholarships and address the needs of foster children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned, and who have aged out of the program. Ann Decker, Executive Director of the Indian River State College Foundation, wrote, “Dr. and Mrs. Janke have a keen ability for identifying those individuals to assist who may otherwise fall through the cracks. Students are blessed by the establishment of an endowed scholarship that will live on in perpetuity.”

In 2015, their million-dollar donation established the Walter and Lalita Janke Innovations in Sustainability Science Research Fund, inspiring other donors to establish similar grants. Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Dean of College of Arts and Letters Michael J. Horswell wrote, “Since 2006 the Jankes’ philanthropic support has included creating graduate fellowships within the FAU Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies; multi-year funding to launch FAU’s Peace, Justice and Human Rights Initiative, as well as many other program areas. We remain grateful to both Walter and Lalita for the impact their time, wisdom and financial support have had on our students, faculty and external community. Many lives have been touched by their generosity.”

Through her work as the US National Committee for UN Women president, Lalita is deeply committed to empowering women to take the necessary steps to effect change in themselves and their communities. These projects promote social, political and economic equality for women and girls spanning 100 countries around the globe.

Each year the pair volunteers with the Peruvian Medical Association and are part of their medical missions teams in Peru. After a devastating earthquake, Dr. Janke also helped open a medical clinic in Chincha, Peru. The couple supports five schools for children in Bangladesh. They founded a free medical center for women and children focusing on preventive care. Now over 1,000 people receive free medical care each month. For her community involvement, Lalita was named the 2014 Woman of the Year and Volunteer of the Year by the Junior League of Indian River County.

“Philanthropy starts from the heart and the more we gave, the more excited we got to give more to the charities that were in alignment with what we wanted to do. It is immensely satisfying to work with charities that touch our hearts and recharge our batteries,” shared Lalita.

The Jankes embody the characteristics of real philanthropists as they quietly go about the business of helping those less fortunate than themselves. Their desire to promote the welfare of others has set the bar high as they have donated large sums of money and gotten their hands “dirty” volunteering and raising money for the betterment of humanity.

They embody a love of humanity through both tangible and emotional means by improving the quality of life of others through physical and cerebral nourishment. Their approach is to relieve social problems by addressing the root cause.

Which is precisely what the Jankes do in their work with homeless men in Indian River County. Living at Camp Haven, these men are motivated to put in the work necessary to change the trajectory of their lives and have a safe haven to do so. The Jankes spearheaded and developed the unique program of transformation at Camp Haven. It’s not just a shelter or Band-Aid but a rigorous program demanding committed self-work in an environment of accountability and tough love.

More than 150 financially destitute, emotionally broken, desolate men have received shelter, security and stability in the transitional residential program since January 15, 2014. Thousands of hours of education, counseling and therapy have been invested in their future. The Jankes have changed the lives of not only these men but have also positively impacted the lives of their families and the community as a whole.

“Walter and Lalita Janke have poured their talent, treasure, strength, courage and an unmeasurable amount of time to assure the success of Camp Haven, caring for broken men in need of shelter, food, counseling, jobs, guidance and life skills training,” says Jim Kerns, Camp Haven board member. “They have established a new paradigm for giving and set an example for others to follow.

Besides donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to Camp Haven, the couple has logged thousands of hours of volunteer time, intimately involved in every facet of Camp Haven. Additionally, they reach into the community inviting and inspiring others to support and sustain Camp Haven as a community project.

“When we’re young, we think that we will be rich if we have money. Now I feel that we are rich because we can give money that impacts and improves the conditions of people locally and globally,” shared Lalita. Summing up their belief in philanthropy as both a duty and honor, she shared an old proverb, “If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, create good fortune for others.”


Lalita Janke and Dr. Walter Janke (photo courtesy of TCCH)


David Moshier, Dr. Walter and Lalita Janke (photo by Maureen Nicolace)


2017 NPD Award recipients: (Front) Dale Sr. and Matilda Sorensen, Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist; Barbara Lowry, Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser; Dick and Chris Picken, Unsung Hero; (Back) Dr. Walter and Lalita Jenke, Outstanding Philanthropist; Denise Battaglini, Suzanne Carter, and Suzanne Bertman, representing Indian River IMPACT 100, Outstanding Group Supporting Philanthropy (photo by Maureen Nicolace)


Camp Haven Program Director Jermey Gable (far left) and Lalita Janke with some of the men of Camp Haven (Photo by David Moshier)

Fish on at Camp Haven's Catch and Release

The fact that it was Friday the 13th didn't scare folks away from Camp Haven's Second Annual Catch & Release. Local community leaders and volunteers were on hand to reel in donations to help cover operating costs for the homeless men living in transitional housing at Camp Haven.

 After emptying their nets, the haul totaled more than $13,000 and then supporters and donors enjoyed an afternoon of food and fellowship.

 “This year the hurricane was an unexpected expense,” shared Lalita Janke, Camp Haven executive director. “We are blessed that people were generous and helped us raise money to take in additional residents. While financial support is necessary and deeply appreciated knowing the community is behind them helps the men to make the journey out of poverty and addiction and back into society.”

 Camp Haven provides a transformative and educational process for letting go of an old lifestyle and moving toward empowerment. By creating living opportunities for men who are committed to rising out of homelessness the program is the only shelter of its kind in Indian River County. The men are committed to transitioning away from the trauma of homelessness to independent living. Residents in the program receive educational opportunities, counseling, and encouragement, as they move from homelessness to hopefulness, eventually becoming active, engaged, contributing members of our community.

Thank you to these big fish:

Connie Bishop

Christ Church

The Community Church

MaryAnn Eagan

First Presbyterian Church

Grand Harbor Community Outreach

Janke Charitable Foundation                                                 

Jim Kerns                                                                   

Lauren Weaver; Lauren's                                                                                                      

Thomas Nelson

Anna Nichols                                                                                                                        

Bill & Pam Proctor 

Madeleine & James Kerns, Brenda Bradley and Jermey Gable                                                                                         

To donate or learn more about Camp Haven, visit CampHaven.net.

Expressions of gratitude: Men of Camp Haven find new lease on life

Luminaries Cover Story

According to the Treasure Coast Homeless Council, there are a minimum of 1,700 homeless people living on the Treasure Coast. Homelessness occurs for a variety of reasons, everything from unemployment to lack of affordable housing, physical or mental health issues, self-medication and addictions. Whatever the reason for their isolation and homelessness, the men of Camp Haven, Inc. are thankful for the second chance at life they have been given through the generosity of Indian River County residents.

At Camp Haven, the men receive more than food and shelter, they become part of a family and bond over their choice to take responsibility for their lives. It's hard to imagine how difficult it is to return from the depths of despair and depression unless you've experienced it firsthand. Or to fathom the level of gratitude the residents feel when afforded the basic human necessities of acceptance, caring, sharing of food, shelter, clothing and healthcare.

Hand up, not handout

"There are no handouts here. The men have to do their part to turn their struggles into successes," said Camp Haven executive director Lalita Janke. “Without the overwhelming support received from the community, Camp Haven could not afford to provide all the services the men need to rebuild their lives. Kudos to all the agencies that collaborate with us, minimizing the cost of services to this group that is often bypassed and overlooked.

“Sure they have to put in the effort and work on themselves. Without the knowledge that the community believes in them, the miracles I see every day at Camp Haven wouldn't be possible.”

Common ground -- gratitude

Each of the men have a different story to tell as to how they find themselves where they are today, but the one thing they have in common is an undying feeling of gratitude for the kindnesses shown to them.

As David, a program graduate, says: "Camp Haven gave me the support and accountability I needed to change the direction my life was going and overcome obstacles I have been struggling with for many years."

Program director Jermey Gable outlines phases of the program.

“During Phase I, Camp Haven provides shelter, food, clothing, vocational training, counseling and life skills classes for the men,” Gable said. “When a resident enters Phase II, they live in an on-site efficiency-style room, pay rent, have minimal curfews and submit to random drug testing all while having access to the support systems and psychological guidance they've utilized throughout their time at Camp Haven. This part of the program allows residents to gradually transition, ensuring long-term success. The renovations for Phase II programs will be complete by the end of the month.”

Resident Matt, a boat maintenance worker who will be entering Phase II, said he's overwhelmed to have been given an opportunity to refocus and redirect his life. By attending school, he is now able to pursue a career and be a better father to his son.

“It’s a new beginning to be the man that I never tapped into until now. I am so grateful that Camp Haven was here when I needed it,” shared Matt. 

Onward and upward

“Since Camp Haven opened its doors in 2014, 140 men have had their lives touched by their Camp Haven experience. For many of them, the trajectory of their lives was completely changed for the better. Currently, in our Phase I Program we can house up to 17 men and with the completion of the renovation eight men will get the opportunity to move into Phase II of their transition. That means that eight more men can commit to transforming themselves by the grace of God, through the support of our board members, the encouragement of community leaders, and the generous support of the community,” Janke said. “Camp Haven is a testament to the idea that when the right people come together with good intentions, they make miracles happen.”

Grand Harbor Continues to Support Camp Haven

NEWS RELEASE from Inside Vero https://insidevero.com/2017/04/25/grand-harbor-continues-to-support-camp-haven/

Camp Haven receives their fifth grant from the Grand Harbor Community Outreach Philanthropy Committee. After an in-depth interview process, Camp Haven received a $14,000 grant to provide professional counseling for clients in the Pathways to a Purposeful Life Program.

“We are pleased to partner with Camp Haven to help homeless men regain financial independence and self esteem through a structured program,” said Dale Jacobs, Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program, Inc. vice president.

Grand Harbor Community Outreach is dedicated to addressing the unmet needs of groups and individuals in Indian River County. The nonprofit commits 100 percent of member donations to support the disadvantaged of Indian River County.

The philanthropy committee works with community partners to ensure they are effective, impactful and of high quality. Since 2001, Grand Harbor, a philanthropic community, has raised and distributed nearly $3.5 million into the community to help in the areas of education, health, jobs and human services in Indian River County.

Agencies are evaluated based on the quality of their management/leader team and measurable impact on their client base, values, and efficiency in delivering services. Four times members of the philanthropy team have evaluated Camp Haven, and they have each concluded Camp Haven was worthy of continued financial support.

“If it were not for the generosity of donors like Grand Harbor, local nonprofits like ours would not be able to provide life-changing services. Our residents are encouraged as they restore themselves … making struggles into successes,” said Lalita Janke, Camp Haven executive director.

Camp Haven Inc., is a transitional shelter that provides supportive living opportunities and education to men committed to rising out of homelessness in Indian River County. For more information about Camp Haven Inc, visit CampHaven.net.

To learn more about the great work the Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program does in the community, visit GHCOP.org.

Camp Haven gets a facelift


It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to spruce up a tired, old building.

Thanks to the boys and girls working with Kiwanis Youth in Action, one of Camp Haven's buildings got a little TLC. The building is part of the Citrus Motel, which was built more than 60 years ago.

"This ministry is blessed and thankful for the hard work of these fine young women and men,” said Jim Kerns, Camp Haven board member. We now have the old south building looking respectable for all who visit us and pass us on the highway. We are also blessed by the paint donation from Gordon Stewart's Motor City Classic Cars."

About 25 students spent the morning adding a fresh coat of paint under the direction of Robi Robinson and Kevin Brown. It took about eight gallons of paint to give the building a whole new look, according to Robinson.

The Youth in Action students spent the morning at about four or five other sites around town. The volunteers work together as part of a collaborative effort overseen by the Kiwanis. Students from area high schools and teen youth groups work several times a year doing repairs, painting and yard work for local nonprofits and homeowners in need of a helping hand.

“It is so heartwarming that ever since we opened the Kiwanis Youth in Action team has supported us,” said Lalita Janke, Camp Haven executive director. “They lifted up our spirits as they lifted off old paint and gave Camp Haven a new look. It is through partnerships with community groups such as this that we are able to support the men of Camp Haven in their journey to self-sufficiency.”

For more information about the Kiwanis, visit VeroKiwanis.com.

Camp Haven offers a transformative shelter program to Indian River County's homeless men, helping them transition into a life of self-sufficiency through counseling, support and job training programs.


Former Coca-Cola Executive Joins Camp Haven Board of Directors.

Over the course of his 28-year career at the Coca-Cola Company, Brian Korkus served in numerous positions, including Vice President of Application and Technology Support, IT Director and General Manager of Global Field Operations.

A native of Southern California, Korkus studied Business Administration at Pasadena City College and California State University, Los Angeles. He began his career in Accounting in small manufacturing companies, before working for the Xerox Corporation.  

Over the years Korkus organized a number of company-sponsored fundraising events in support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and charities focused on combating Human Trafficking and victim support.

Korkus retired last May and relocated to Vero Beach from Atlanta with his wife, Robin. After catching up on neglected hobbies, meeting new friends, he began looking for local activities to get involved with.

“I attended the Diamonds in the Rough charity event in January and met Lalita Janke. During the evening I learned about, and was inspired by, the great work being done at Camp Haven,” explained Korkus.

“I heard the stories of two of the men who were going through the program and saw how their lives were being rebuilt,” continued Korkus. “I offered to help the organization and was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to serve on the Camp Haven Board of Directors. I look forward to the work ahead and the contribution I can make to this great organization.”


Camp Haven’s $100,000 Challenge at Motor City Classic Cars

By David Moshier


More than 150 Camp Haven supporters and local car enthusiasts raced to Motor City Classic Cars in response to the call to help fulfill the exciting $100,000 Matching  Grant Challenge. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres as they mingled nostalgically on the showroom floor getting an up close look at 50 spectacular metal beauties.

“Miracles do happen. Prayers do get answered. The unsolicited support of Gordon and Linda Stewart, combined with the communities’ matching donations, will be a catalyst changing the trajectory of the lives of hundreds of men and thousands of their friends, family and loved ones.” said Lalita Janke, Camp Haven’s executive director.

Adam Logemann and Sarah Stewart Logemann with Hosts Linda and Gordon Stewart

John Laverack, Sarah Stewart Logemann, David Moshier, Joel Grindley, Harry Moshier, Elizabeth Moshier, Toddy Offutt McKeown and Charlie Wilson

Lalita Janke, Carole Brown and Linda Teetz

Posted in 32963 on Jan 26, 2017

Priceless: ‘Diamonds’ dinner hails Camp Haven’s success

by Mary Schenkel

Guests attending last Wednesday evening’s Diamonds in the Rough dinner at the Riomar Country Club stood as one in a standing ovation for Joshua Murray, one of more than 100 men served by Camp Haven’s compassionate residential and rehabilitative programs.

It was the culmination of a delightful fundraising dinner, chaired by Linda Teetz, which had guests mulling over silent- and live-auction items during the cocktail hour before sitting down to a delicious dinner accompanied by the soothing sounds of the musical duo Tony and Holly.

Murray, who studied music production technology at Northwest Florida State College, captivated his audience, accompanying himself on the piano while performing soulful renditions of works appropriate to the mission of the organization – John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

As with the other men who have been accepted into the program, Murray and Jeff Butts, a plumber by trade who spoke to guests about his journey from homeless to hopeful, are both appreciative of the support afforded to them as they strive to get their lives back on track.

“There’s so many things that this organization does for us that we can never even list them, or explain to you how much it actually does for a person who has considered themselves worthless,” said Butts.

Camp Haven has seen remarkable success since opening its doors in January 2014. Men receive food, shelter, clothing and healthcare, but more importantly, life-skills counseling, as well as education and employment assistance. As a result, more than 93 percent are now employed, 33 percent are enrolled in school, and 57 percent have paid back their debt.

Camp Haven Executive Director Lalita Janke, a strict but kindhearted mother figure to the men, related that thanks to Louise Hubbard of the Treasure Coast Homeless Services Council, Camp Haven recently secured a $200,000 State of Florida Challenge Grant to renovate eight additional transitional housing units which will enable them to serve more men.

“This my greatest joy; watching them as they walk their own way out of their own mess, as I call it. Just being there to support them as they find themselves,” said Janke. She added that rather than think of Camp Haven as a homeless shelter, she considers it a retreat center, where men can restore themselves introspectively and work their way back through their connection to God.

Janke also noted that John’s Island residents Gordon and Linda Stewart have proffered a challenge grant, offering to match every dollar donated up to $100,000. The Stewarts will also host a wine and cheese reception on Feb. 21 at their Motor City Classic Cars showroom. Tickets are $25 or $40 for two.

For more information, call 772-999-3625 or visit camphaven.net.

Connie Bishop, Dr. Walter and Lalita Janke and Roni Fuster

Diana Stark, Linda Teetz and Judy Schorner

Lalita Janke and Louise Hubbard

Diana Stark, Brenda Bradley and June Bercaw

Camp Haven - Building Lives

TC Homeless Services Council Secures a $200,000 Construction Challenge Grant for Camp Haven

Thanks to community support and a State of Florida Challenge Grant the renovation of eight additional transitional housing units is underway at Camp Haven, Indian River County's transitional housing program for homeless men, located on US 1 near Aviation Boulevard. The efficiency units will be available to men who have completed Phase I at Camp Haven and are ready to take the next step toward living independently.

According to Brego Construction Corp. Owner Pablo Bregolat, renovations are 50 percent complete. The plumbing, framing, carpentry and electrical are done, and they are currently working on drywall and tile.

In the past two years, 55 men have successfully transformed their lives through the support of Camp Haven. The completion of additional housing will allow the nonprofit to move forward with Phase II: The Pathway to Self-Sufficiency program, the next step for men who are committed to rising out of homelessness.

During Phase I, Camp Haven provides shelter, food, clothing, vocational training, counseling and life skills classes for the men. Of those who have participated in the transitional housing program, 85 percent have found jobs and are now productive members of the community.

The men's success rate is due in part to Camp Haven's program and process of accountability. They receive individual and group counseling, job and educational assistance, drug screenings and budget training. When the men have graduated from Phase I and are ready to go out on their own, Phase II of the program will allow them to take on more independence while continuing to receive the guidance and support they need to make their final transition back into society.

Camp Haven was able to proceed with the renovation of eight units as a result of the support of donors like the John's Island Community Foundation and Treasure Coast Homeless Services Council.

“Louise Hubbard is the fulcrum of homelessness on the Treasure Coast,” explains Camp Haven Board President and Interim Executive Director Lalita Janke. “She has her finger on the pulse of the organizations that attend to the needs of the homeless. Louise makes sure they not just survive but thrive since the needs of the homeless on the Treasure Coast are substantial."

Through Hubbard, the Treasure Coast Homeless Services Council, Inc. is the lead agency for the Continuum of Care for Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin Counties. With their assistance, Camp Haven was able to secure a $200,000 State of Florida Challenge Grant to complete the project. To be considered for the Florida Challenge Grant the project must fit within the continuum of care plans for the local service delivery system. The council wrote the completion of Phase II of Camp Haven into their annual plan making it eligible for consideration.

“We are so grateful Louise chose to support our capital campaign,” says Janke. “Poverty does not end with hunger and homelessness. Being unloved, misunderstood and ignored is brutal and paralyzing.”

“Camp Haven has been successful,” says Louise Hubbard,  “I think it is a good idea to give their residents an opportunity to experience independent living in a safe setting. It's the target population for whom there is very little on the Treasure Coast.”

In a few short months, the renovations for Phase II programs will be complete, and Camp Haven will be able to bring hope and restoration to more men in the community. To learn more about the program and how you can help, call 772-999-3625 or visit CampHaven.net.

Jim Kerns, Claude and Pat Hessee, Jim Schorner and Lalita Janke 
with Brego Construction Corp. Owner Pablo Bregolat

Camp Haven invites you to celebrate another year of progress made possible by the generosity of our supporters.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

6:00 pm Cocktails | 7:00 pm Dinner

Riomar Country Club
2106 Club Drive
Vero Beach, FL 32963

Men of Camp Haven weather the storm

As Hurricane Matthew made its way toward Vero Beach, the men at Camp Haven had to make a decision. Hunker down or find somewhere else to ride out the storm.

The men helped to secure the premises and board up the windows at the former Citrus Motel. Built in 1946 the structure has seen more than its share of treacherous weather.

More than half the men chose to stay while others found places with families and friends. Several who had planned to evacuate changed their mind once Board President Lalita Janke brought over her generator to keep the power running and the water hot.

The Facilities Manager Louie Sutton was staying on site to keep an eye on things, and the experience served as an opportunity for the group to further bond.

With plenty of food, power, and water they settled in to wait out the storm. Gathering in the common room to share meals provided by members of the community and interact as the wind and rain pelted the area the men were able to draw strength from one another.

There was adequate time to prepare the center for the impending weather and for the men to stock personal provisions. Many felt more comfortable staying in familiar surroundings and even enjoyed the camaraderie forged during the shared event.

All of the men are back on the premises along with some debris that Hurricane Matthew left in its wake. Other than some yard clean up and a bit of flooding in a low-lying area of the front office, things are back to normal at Camp Haven and the men are ready to get back to the task at hand – rebuilding their lives through hard work and self-discovery.

Dear Donors,

I am taking this opportunity to share with you the great work your support has made possible at Camp Haven.
Luminaries spotlighted the progress being made; renovating our property and the lives of local men committed to transforming their lives. We are currently in the demolition stage of Phase II of our Pathway to Independence Program.

Because of your generosity we will be able to transition men who have graduated from Phase I to the new efficiency-style apartments, making way for more men in need of Camp Haven’s help.

Kindly consider the opportunity to make a major difference and change the trajectory of a man’s life by becoming a room Sponsor. 
Come visit us and pick a room or any portion of a room to sponsor. I'd love to give you a tour of the  Camp Haven Campus and introduce you to our residents.

Yours in gratitude,

Lalita Janke

By Stephanie Labaff For Luminaries

There are many reasons for becoming homeless. Unemployment, lack of affordable housing, substance abuse, domestic break-up, physical disability, lack of education and mental health are often the root of this national epidemic.

Almost three years ago Camp Haven opened its doors and has been helping the homeless men of Indian River County take back their lives.

"Camp Haven is literally a matter of life and death to some men. It is their last hope. There are an abundance of people wanting our help," said Lalita Janke, Camp Haven Board president and interim executive director.

Having their basic immediate needs met, the men can focus on their future. The Camp Haven Program offers emotional education, communication skills, guidance and support through vocational training, life skills classes and individual and group psychological classes provided by Charlotte 'Shotsi' Cain Lajoie.

"The men are fortunate to be in Indian River County," said Jim Beckley, board vice president. "We are a generous community, with numerous nonprofits that collaborate with each other for the benefit of those in need."

There were more than 800 homeless men living in Indian River County in the woods, behind shopping centers, under bridges, in cars, shelters and parks according to last year's Council on Homelessness report.

The program is designed for homeless men who need help regaining their independence. Through education, the power of healing and learning the life skills they need to be successful. One of the biggest areas the residents need help with is communication. They may not have been taught these basic skills or lost them after living for years isolated and feeling unwanted by society.

"Phase I takes as long as it takes. Once you're in, we make the commitment to the residents for as long as it takes to help them fix what's broken within their lives," Janke said. "As long as they are making progress and following the rules, we will be there for them, but they have to do their part.

Camp Haven residents attend mandatory group meetings and counseling sessions, participate in substance abuse groups as needed, pay $50 per week for rent, maintain a steady job and meet curfew.

To date, 85 percent of the men at Camp Haven have found employment in the community, and about 60 percent are taking vocational training courses to enhance work-related skills.

The current facility can house 16 men at any given time. Since the program began, more than 90 men have spent time at Camp Haven.

What they've discovered at Camp Haven, is even though these men have steady employment, are drug-free, have learned basic life skills, gotten their GED, are attending college or a vocational program and have made peace with their previous life choices they aren't necessarily ready to be on their own.

To accommodate the need, the board has decided to renovate the eight remaining rooms for Phase II of the Pathway to Independence Program. Men who have "graduated" will move over to the new section until both the resident and staff feel they are ready to go out on their own.

Janke says, "It's critical the men feel they've graduated and moved up. But they haven't completely connected to the community because we've sheltered and monitored them closely. Within the year they should be ready to get a place of their own because they feel safe enough they know how to communicate better, handle unexpected challenges of personal and job relationships."

Phase II residents will live in an efficiency-style room, pay rent to stay on-site, have minimal curfews, random drug tests and use of support systems and psychological guidance. This part of the program is geared toward having them take on additional responsibility and keep making right choices. It encourages them to work, have spiritual balance in their lives, to continue the habit of saving money and using their freedom wisely, thereby ensuring their long-term success.

"If we see they are acting responsibly, they are allowed to go out for the weekend, but then they are drug -tested," Janke said. "We are getting them used to going out and making the right choices."

"The Board is really excited about the renovation and having the eight extra efficiency rooms to continue the process of helping the men to transform their lives," says board member Diana Stark. "I'm thrilled to be on the Board and continue Dick's commitment to helping the less fortunate in our community."

The late Richard Stark was a driving force in the community. "He was the heart and the voice of the homeless community," Diana Stark said. "Every day he did something for somebody else and Camp Haven was very important to him."

To continue affecting change in these men's lives, Camp Haven needs help from the community via funding to complete the renovation, and support from employers through job mentorship.

"Give the men a chance to reach the end of the tunnel. Without a job, there is no hope," Stark said. "If you have training, a job, a place to live and shower, food to eat and clothing, you have the ingredients to succeed."

Camp Haven is in the old Citrus Motel, on U.S. 1 near the corner of Aviation Boulevard. To learn more about Camp Haven, how you can volunteer or donate, visit CampHaven.net.

Community Helps Camp Haven ‘Catch’ Resources

The fish were biting at the Community Center on June 10 when local community leaders and volunteers helped pull in a good catch for Camp Haven.

This school of dedicated supporters spent the afternoon collecting donations to help Camp Haven raise funds to cover operating costs for the transitional home for homeless men.

Camp Haven provides a transformative and educational process of letting go of an old lifestyle and moving toward empowerment.

By creating living opportunities for men who are committed to rising out of homelessness, the program is the only shelter of its kind in Indian River County.

The men are committed to transitioning away from the trauma of homelessness to independent living.

Residents in the program receive educational opportunities, counseling, and encouragement, as they move from homelessness to hopefulness, eventually becoming active, engaged, contributing members of the community.

After emptying their nets, supporters and donors enjoyed lunch by Einstein Bros. Bagels.

The event was sponsored by the Walter and Lalita Janke Charitable Foundation; Chick-fil-A on SR 60 provided prizes for the Fish Art contest; the students of Master's Academy created unique fish paintings; and Tiger Lily Art Studios and Gallery artists served as judges.

Thank you to these big fish:

Jim Beckley, Camp Haven Board Member

Connie Bishop, Pulte Group & Patricia Stelz, Balloon Decor, and More

Carol Brown, Holy Cross Parishioner

Wesley Davis, County Commissioner

MaryAnne Egan, Holy Cross Parishioner

Carl Fetzer III, Vero Treasure Coast Kiwanis

Dr. Walter Janke, Retired Cardiovascular Surgeon

Jim Kerns, Camp Haven Board Member

John Kim, Local Businessman

Cindy & Chuck Kirby, Sheriff's Office Lieutenant

Hala Laviolette, Bank of America

Todd McIntyre, Sysco Marketing Director

Rhett Palmer, Talk Show Host and Publisher

Lee Olsen, Peter W. Busch Foundation

Diana Stark, Camp Haven Board Member

Bob Stuart, 1st Presbyterian Church

Doug Sweeny, President Grand Harbor Community Outreach

Mel Teetz, Retired UPS V.P.

Paul Teresi, Tax Association Board Member

Lauren and Sara Weaver, Lauren's Way

Tim Zorc, County Commissioner

Visit CampHaven.net for information. Be sure to put June 9, 2017 on your calendar for the 2nd annual Catch & Release.

Volunteers participated in the first Catch & Release on June 10 at the Community Center as a benefit for Camp Haven.
James Kerns is Welcome Addition to Camp Haven's Board

Camp Haven is pleased to announce the addition of James Kerns as a Member of the Board of Directors. 

Kerns and his wife Madeleine have been married for 45 years, living most of that time in New Jersey where he pursued a career in Information Technology. The couple relocated to Vero Beach 12 years ago and immersed themselves in charitable activities in the community and through their parish, Holy Cross Catholic Church.

Kern's selfless giving hasn't gone unnoticed in the community. He was honored for his devotion to helping others with the Unsung Hero award as part of National Philanthropy Day in 2013.

"We are blessed to have Jim Kerns as our newest Board member. He embodies the spirit of community service and collaboration. His volunteer expertise, community contacts, talent, energy and proven leadership skills couldn't come at a better time," stated Lalita Janke, Board President.

Jim Kerns


Current Board of Directors and Committee Members

(Front L-R): Pat Hessee, Diane Stark, Lalita J, Jim Schorner, Connie Bishop

(Back L-R): Claude Hessee, Jim Beckley, Jim Kerns, Dr. Walter H. Janke

Early Catch for "Catch & Release" Fundraiser

The leaders of the The Grand Harbor Community Outreach Foundation did not waste anytime reeling in the fish and were the first ones to hand in their "catch".

Presenting checks on their behalf to Lalita Janke, President off Camp Haven is the grand Harbor Community Outreach President Doug Sweeney.

Finding his way through Camp Haven

Camp Haven is bursting at the seams. With each new resident, the homeless men's transitional shelter has added new responsibilities to the dedicated staff.

Recently, Board President and Interim Executive Director Lalita Janke announced the addition of a new staff member, Louie Sutton, as Facilities Manager.

What most don't realize as they watch the confident site supervisor is that he came to Camp Haven a little over 18 months ago as a resident.

The 53-year-old Marine Corps veteran, father and former business owner hasn't always had an easy life, but he has always been a hard worker.

Sutton grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. After serving in the military, he returned home and got married. When his wife was diagnosed with cancer, she told him she wanted to go to Florida to live out her remaining days. The couple relocated to Broward County and 10 months later she passed away.

Several years later, Sutton remarried and had a child. When his marriage dissolved, he made certain he was near his daughter — going so far as to stay home and care for her while his ex-wife worked and socialized.

It was during this time that Sutton's life took a turn. One night while baby-sitting, the ex came home with her date, but but when Sutton asked him to leave the apartment, the situation quickly escalated.

Sutton struck the boyfriend and was arrested. He was convicted of third-degree burglary of a conveyance because he had reached inside the man's truck to hit him.

"They maxed me out for sentencing," explains Sutton. "I've never been on the wrong side of the law until that night."

Sutton was sentenced to one year in the St. Lucie County Jail with one year of probation.

He came out of jail a different man; broken — with no family, no job prospects and a car with expired tags and no auto insurance.

The people at the Treasure Coast Homeless Services Council referred Sutton to Camp Haven. Fortunately, his probation officer had heard good things about Camp Haven and approved the placement.

"I thought I knew what I was in for. I had worked as a corrections officer before, but I had no family or support in Florida," says Sutton about how daunting it was when he was released from jail.

"Mrs. Janke picked me up from where I was, found a place to keep my car until I saved the money to get it on the road again. Camp Haven gave me a place to stay, helped me find a job, and offered me guidance while helping me meet my probation requirements."

Sutton credits a big part of his success to the support system and positive environment at Camp Haven.

"They have educational programs, regular group, and individual counseling sessions, and even dependency meetings," says Sutton. "It was hard at first. I fought 'the system,' but the counseling sessions helped a lot. I wish I had known about some of these coping skills before. My life may have been easier."

When Janke approached him about the staff position, Sutton was hesitant. He was afraid to take on too much and disappoint the people who had helped him at Camp Haven. With encouragement from Janke, as well as Psychological Educator Shotsi Cain Lajoie and Program Director Jermey Gable, Sutton now proudly explains that he is the first Residential Staff member.

"They do such amazing work here and the program is growing. I know I can do this," he says.

"Camp Haven gave me hope when I didn't have any. I've been able to reestablish a relationship with my daughter, and I'm looking forward to life again," shares Sutton, with a smile.

"They are so impatient to make up for lost time. They just have to give themselves time to reformat their thinking. That's what the Board wants for them: education, opportunity and time to find God, goodness, faith and hope within themselves … success will follow." says Janke.

"We have had some good men find themselves again whilst here. If they commit to the program, they learn about themselves, they grow and get out of their comfort zone. Some have graduated and have nice jobs, are now paying child support, taxes and giving back to our community."

Camp Haven seeks to transform the lives of homeless men in Indian River County by providing a safe, stable environment that helps them break free from destitution and despair.

With an emphasis on accountability, Camp Haven residents are mentally and physically trained to re-enter society, find jobs and become contributing members of the community. To learn more,visit CampHaven.net.

May 26, 2016

Reception for Debbie Mayfield, OUR next State Senator!

A fabulous Fundraising Reception Benefiting Representative Debbie Mayfield, who is running for State Senator, was held at the home of Dr. Walter Janke and Mrs. Lalita Janke.

Unrestrained enthusiam abounded as over 50 leading members of our community gathered to show support for Vero Beach's own Debbie Mayfield. Good food, good friends and good conversations throughout the evening, culminating in a heartfelt and inspiring speech from Debbie, outlining her position on key issues and the challenges she has and will face undaunted. She is appreciated as a dedicated and hardworking Representative who will keep her priority of working for the good of her district if elected. Please encourage voters to support her and fight for her as she has and will continue to fight for us! Please log on to http://www.debbiemayfield.com/ for more info and to contribute to her campaign.

Carole Jean Jordan, Tax Collector, introduces OUR next Senator, Debbie Mayfield

Debbie inspires and educates her supporters

Camp Haven supporters, Brenda Bradley, Linda Teetz, Margo Hamilton,
Debbie Mayfield, Dr. Walter Janke, Lalita Janke, and David Moshier

Camp Haven supporters, Lalita Janke, Catherine Lambert, Debbie Mayfield, 
Paul Teresi and Shotsi Lajoie

The Fruits of Our Labor

By Richard Willingham

At Camp Haven, we are working day by day to produce good quality food from the hydroponic garden. It’s been a long season in the garden, tending the many varieties of vegetables, including the giant squash and beautiful Sapodilla trees, which, along with the shade cover, were generously provided by the Grand Harbor Outreach Committee. Mike and the rest of us are starting to see some good results from some of the plants. It is truly a blessing to see the fruits of our labor paying off. Just like the bible says, “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness” – 2 Corinthians 9:10

Executive Roundtable Fundraiser

Lalita Janke and John Walsh were among nearly 100 guests at the inaugural fundraiser the Executive Roundtable of IRC held in an effort to raise awareness and funds to help impact children's future in our area. The event held at the Indian River State College was truly uplifting.


Grand Harbor Community Outreach continues to support Camp Haven

Camp Haven recently received its fourth grant from the Grand Harbor Community Outreach Philanthropy Committee in the amount of $11,000.

"Two years ago, Community Outreach sharpened its grant awards focus to agencies and programs that are addressing the root causes of poverty," explained Board President Susanne Sweeny.

"We are seeking to help individuals transform their lives, strengthen families and improve the development of entire communities."

Four separate philanthropy teams from Grand Harbor Community Outreach evaluated Camp Haven, concluding the program is worthy of financial support.

"We evaluate agencies based on the quality of their management/leader team and their measurable impact on their client base, values, and efficiency in delivering services. Camp Haven under Lalita Janke's leadership scores very high in all criteria," said Sweeny.

According to Sweeny, "Camp Haven is the perfect example of an agency addressing a critical need and focusing on developing client self-sufficiency. It is the only center for homeless men in our county, and we expect to continue to be a partner in this endeavor for years to come."

This year's grant supports Camp Haven's Pathways to a Purposeful Life Program, which will provide on-site professional mental health and life skills counseling for residents.

"We are grateful for the generosity of Grand Harbor Community Outreach," said Janke. "It's only through this type of community unity that we will be able to affect social change."

Maureen Kahrmann, Lalita Janke and Caryn Llewellyn

Camp Haven's First Annual “Catch Release” Fundraiser, June 10, 1-4 PM

Join Camp Haven as We “Catch & Release” Local Community Leaders to Raise Funds to Support Camp Haven!

On June 10th, Twenty local community leaders will volunteer to be sequestered in the Community Center until they can come up with $1,000 each, from their friends or themselves, for Camp Haven. This school of “Big Fish” will be reaching out to their big fish friends to raise money to help cover Camp Haven’s operating costs.  Please join us in cheering on these “Big Fish” as they will be fishing for donations!

Don’t flounder, be a good sportsman and drop a line in our bucket.

Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” - Jesus

At Camp Haven, we give our men a rod to fish with and teach them how to catch “fish” that will help them restore their lives and become productive members of our little piece of the big, blue sea of life.

To Lalita Janke, Camp Haven’s men are family

By Stephanie Labaff, The Newsweekly

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.


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.

Article in City Guide

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.

Orchid Island 14th Annual 5k

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


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!"

September 18, 2014 – Vero Beach: The Chamber of Commerce honored 18 companies during its 17th annual Industry Appreciation Awards Thursday.  The luncheon also paid tribute to the late John Dean, a local architect and community supporter who died earlier this year.  The County Commission designated Sept. 15-19 as Industry Appreciation Week.


Small Company of the Year: Brite Future Electric

Medium Company of the Year: White Glove Moving & Storage/Pak Mail Beachside

Latin Business of the Year: Cork Tapas and Dessert Bar/Havana Club Cigars

Entrepreneur of the Year: Lou Kolbaur, owner of Chive Restaurant

Large Manufacturer of the Year: Novurania of America

Mid-sized Manufacturer of the Year: Nylacarb Corp.

Small Manufacturer of the Year: Triton Submarines LLC

Architectural Recognition

New construction: Dogs for Life Training and Administration Center, Sebastian Charter Junior High

Small commercial building renovation: Vero Beach Dental Spa, Reiner Plaza, Christi’s Fitness

Large project renovation: Miracle Mile

Best re-use of property: Modesitt State Farm Agency, Sebastian Vacation Rentals, Camp Haven

New residential construction: Seranoa by GHO Homes and The Isles at Waterway Village


From Habitat Volunteer to Employee!


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


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


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


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


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

(Hometown News)

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.


Barkley International Design Group Takes Lead on Furnishing Donations for Camp Haven Campus

Vero Beach, FL:  A leading interior design company in Vero Beach, Barkley International Design Group, has taken the lead on accepting donations towards the furnishings for the rooms on the Camp Haven Campus located at U.S. 1 and Aviation Boulevard.  Camp Haven, a community project that offers shelter and education to adults committed to rising out of homelessness, is slated to open its doors this fall. 

Barkley Design Group is coordinating the furnishings for each of the rooms: items needed include funds for lamps, blinds, and other small appliances and furnishings.  Donations can be brought to Barkley Design International at 1808 Commerce Avenue in Vero Beach, tel: 772-564-9099. "We are so thrilled that someone from the design community has taken leadership on this," stated Camp Haven President Lalita Janke.  "Funds as well as services and goods are needed as we enter this critical juncture of construction," added Janke. Monetary donations are accepted as well as goods and services as each room will need a slate of different items (checks can be made out to Camp Haven Inc. and sent to Camp Haven, PO Box 2459, Vero Beach, 32961)  A number of community groups are aiding in the efforts to outfit the rooms including Oceanside Rotary,Greg Rankey Painting and others.   Since its founding, supporters and community champions have been enthusiastic about the project. In fact, the organization received grants from Impact 100 as well as the Indian River Community Foundation. With only 8 weeks left until the initial stages of revitalization are completed the board is working hard to raise the remaining funds needed. “This is an investment in the future of our community. A few dollars spent now can prevent a bigger burden to the taxpayer down the line,” added Camp Haven Board Member and Treasurer Jim Schorner. “If you can help just one person turn their life around, you interrupt a potential downward spiral into jails, hospitals and other emergency services,” stated Camp Haven Board Member Jim Beckley.


New Roof Provides Hope to Area Homeless

(published on TCPalm.com)

Vero Beach, FL: A new roof is being put on a building on U.S. 1. And while that might not be earth-shattering news to some, it means the world to a group of people who are waiting to transform their lives.

This week Camp Haven, the Indian River County community project to provide education and overnight shelter to adults without dependent children, announced that Summit Construction has signed on as general contractor through the end of the project.

They are overseeing the roof repair, installing air conditioning and doing the final revitalizations on a project that has been at the heart of community concerns for the last three years. It was early July of 2010 in response to a police raid on homeless camps that then director of The Source, Sonya Morrison, started asking questions: What can we do, as a community, to help those individuals who want to rise up out homeless and transform their lives?

Camp Haven was originally conceived as a soft shelter (tents) program, but embraced the opportunity provided and purchased the old Citrus Motel property on U.S. 1 at Airport Drive. “Acquisition of the Citrus Motel property was a blessing; the building itself was in need of renovation, and is a perfect home for those looking to regroup while they transform their lives,” said Camp Haven Board Chair Lalita Janke.

For Brad Shuh, President of Summit Construction, the Camp Haven project is line with many of the community projects undertaken by Summit Con

Summit Construction was founded in 1999 and is known for their work with schools and municipalities and has worked on a number of landmark Vero Beach buildings including Vero Beach Airport, Pocahontas Park, and the new CenterState Bank.struction over the years. “There is no doubt the whole company is committed to making Indian River County a better place, Camp Haven is another example of bringing the best of our community together to solve a problem,” stated Shuh.

The announcement comes just as Camp Haven enters the last 75 days of the revitalization of the Citrus Motel property it purchased (located on U.S. 1 across from the Vero Beach Airport) which includes the renovation and outfitting of 12 rooms, laundry facilities and a residency for security.

Since its founding, supporters and community champions have raised $164,000 of the $470,000 needed. In fact, the organization received grants from Impact 100 as well as the Indian River Community Foundation. With only 75 days left until the initial stages of revitalization are completed the board is working hard to raise the remaining funds needed.

“Naming opportunities are available at Camp Haven: consider it an investment in the future of our community. A few dollars spent now can prevent a bigger burden to the taxpayer down the line,” added Camp Haven Board Member and Treasurer Jim Schorner. “If you can help just one person turn their life around, you interrupt a potential downward spiral into jails, hospitals and other emergency services,” stated Schorner.

"This is a community transformation project whose time has come. Success is inevitable because this community, so many good people who have been involved for years, understands that transformation is not just a concept. It's a work in progress for everybody,” said Board Member Louise Hubbard, Executive Director of the Treasure Coast Homeless Services Council, Inc.


Breathing New Life into Old Building Proves Challenging

Camp Haven Campus

Early in 2013, the Camp Haven Board of Directors, in consultation with the county and numerous members of the Camp Haven site selection committtee decided to purchase a 63-year-old building that had sat vacant and was being foreclosed, the old Citrus Motel building on U.S. 1 and Aviation Boulevard.  Not only was the building an ideal location for Camp Haven, but the property was in desperate need of revitalization. But, as anyone could imagine, taking a 63 year old building and bringing it up to 2013 codes is a task not for the light hearted. “There is no doubt, this building needed revitalization, but as with any renovation, you can’t really know what the challenges are until you get knee deep into it,” stated Camp Haven Board Member Louise Hubbard.  Installing firewalls and reworking electrical panels are only a few of the actions being taken to breathe new life into this older property.

Timothy Longden joins Camp Haven Board of Directors.

Timothy Longden brings a unique perspective as he joins the Camp Haven Board of Directors. Having worked as an accountant for much of his career Longden’s view of Camp Haven is seen through the dollars and “sense” of supporting a grassroots program managed on a local level.

Longden and his wife Bernadette moved to Vero Beach in 2012 from Racine, Wis. and were drawn to Camp Haven’s mission to transform the lives of homeless men in Indian River County by providing a safe environment that will help them break free from destitution and despair. Camp Haven provides shelter, food, clothing, vocational training, and life skills classes that aid in the transitional process for each resident.

His degree in business administration and having worked extensively with the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee; the Justice Department, as the director of mental health at the Mental Health Complex in Milwaukee, and the Healthcare Administration at the Medical College of Wisconsin Longden has firsthand experience with the inner workings of institutions geared toward helping those with mental health issues.

For him, Camp Haven’s model is a breath of fresh air. “You’re helping one person at a time, and you’re actually making successes. They are building one-on-one relationships, and it’s these relationships that make the difference,” noted Longden. “But the biggest thing is that all the money spent goes directly to operations. Local organizations like this make the biggest difference.”

Grassroots organizations where local people are running the operation have the most impact, according to Longden. “This is a very lean organization and the money that they’re spending goes directly to the mission.”

Longden’s professional affiliations include the Medical Group Management Association, Certified Medical Practice Executive and he is a “Fellow” in the Healthcare Financial Management Association and a Medal of Honor recipient from the Health Care Management Association. He has also served on the Board of the American Cancer Society, Wisconsin Division; Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers board president; Homeowners Association president, and as a Volunteer-Special Deputy for the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.

“We are thrilled to have Tim join our Board. He and Bernadette have contributed to Camp Haven’s success by providing meals every month since our inception, in addition to providing substantial financial support. Tim’s background and history with Camp Haven make him a perfect addition to the Board,” said Brian Korkus, Camp Haven board president.



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