Safe Haven: An end for some

This is one of many Safe Haven locations that will be closed. Photo credit: Analisa Burgos

By Analisa Burgos ’18

 

On Tues. Feb. 11, all Safe Haven programs received a call from the head corporation telling them that the programs have to close due to budget issues. The budget issues include not being able to pay workers that dedicate their time 5 days a week.

Safe Haven is an after school program where children can go to get help on their homework and just be in a safe environment;this program was funded by Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel is the mayor of Chicago and one of his views is that he believes education or anything education related is very important for the young youth. In this importance,  Emanuel gave half a million dollars to  these educational programs head of the Safe haven corps. is in charge of what the money is used for.

This program has been a success in many communities. Most of these programs are ran by churches. The churches that host Safe Haven were given the option of keeping this program open, but the church would need to pay the employees the money.

Some automatically said yes to this option, but others had to respectfully decline this option due to the church not being able to support the pay grade. There was also the option for the churches that can afford to keep the program open, to keep the program open without pay. Some employees took this solution to heart but had to decline because they are in need of this money for  their own needs.

The parents in the communities weren’t quite so happy of some Safe Haven programs closing near them. Jenny Martinez, a safe haven coordinator who has been with the safe haven program for two years, expressed her emotions by saying that the one thing she looked forward to each day was being able to see the smiles on each child’s face and their excitement in learning or accomplishing something new that day.  Many of the parents felt as though this program has helped their children academically and socially. Sadly, the friendships formed by staff and students had to come to a halt. Many hope for the head of Safe Haven to come up with more money, so that Safe Haven programs will be opened once again.