About Heart Havens
From 1994 to 1996, the Virginia Conference Commission on Ministry to Persons with Handicapping Conditions (now the Commission on Disabilities) and its predecessor agency, VUMAR, studied the possibility of developing residential services that would provide housing for adults with intellectual disabilities. As a result of those studies and research, a plan was developed and initiated to establish a group home ministry.
The formal relationship between Heart Havens, Inc. and the VCUMC was established in 1996 when the Conference authorized the creation of the not-for-profit organization in accordance with 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, the Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission, and the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church. Heart Havens operated under the umbrella of the tax exempt certificate held by the Conference until it sought its own tax-exempt authorization in 2002. On April 24, 2003, in a written ruling issued by the Internal Revenue Service, Heart Havens began operating independently with its own exemption under section 501 (a) of the Internal Revenue Code as an organization described in section 501 (c) (3).
Heart Havens is licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (formerly DMHMRSAS) and is an approved Medicaid provider. It now operates independently from the VCUMC under the direction of a Board of Directors. However, the Christian principles of its mission are very much in place.
As of February 2004, ten homes are in operation: Virginia Beach, Goochland, Kilmarnock, Colonial Beach, Stuarts Draft, Richmond, Winchester, Norfolk, Newport News, and Lynchburg. All of the homes currently house between four and five residents of any faith, race, age, and gender, who are fully supervised at all times with dedicated and experienced shift staff.
All future homes will house at least five (5) residents.
The growth of Heart Havens, Inc. has been overwhelming since the Conference approved the ministry. In May 2008 the Goochland Home opened its doors and in July 2009 the tenth Heart Havens home, the Morrison Home in Newport News, opened. Much gratitude is due to the communities in these areas for making this growth possible, most notably the Perkins family and the Peninsula District UMM. Construction is nearing completion on a second home in Varina and there is land available in Lynchburg and in Ashland.