About Heart Havens
Heart Havens began in 1993 as the result of a parent of a child with intellectual disabilities asking her pastor: “Where will my child live when I am gone?” In response to this question, and through subsequent discussions with parents and service providers across the state, the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church established Heart Havens to provide residential services for adults with intellectual disabilities. While Heart Havens was born as a ministry of the church, it has been a separate, non-denominational 501(c)3 nonprofit since 2003.
Today, Heart Havens builds and supports homes where adults with intellectual disabilities have the opportunity to live in a family setting while making personal choices, achieving individual goals, and contributing to the surrounding community. There are currently 12 Heart Havens homes across Virginia: two each in Richmond and Lynchburg, and one each in Ashland, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News, Kilmarnock, Colonial Beach, Winchester and Stuarts Draft. These homes accommodate over 50 individuals who are offered greater independence and dignity through training and support in life skills.
Heart Havens is not about houses. Heart Havens is about helping people thrive. At the core of our mission is a program modeled on best-practices to ensure that our clients, adults with intellectual disabilities, are supported in living as independently as possible. While the Heart Havens mission drives us to provide a safe and nurturing physical environment for all of our clients, we are equally committed to providing personal, emotional and relational supports that encourage and equip our clients to leave home often to participate in their surrounding community.
Our residential program promotes opportunities for personal growth by encouraging individual choice, advocacy, and involvement with the community. In addition to meeting the health and safety needs of our clients, our staff members support individuals as they develop and execute plans to address their own desires and achieve their self-directed goals. This use of person-centered planning at Heart Havens promotes dignity and respect by allowing individuals to control their everyday decisions.