Hope Haven Children's Shelter

Hope Haven is the first children's shelter on
the island housing abused, neglected or
orphaned children. We offer mental health
and education services to the children in our
care. We also offer emergency placement
and outpatient counseling services to victims
of domestic violence.

Children's Shelter
Quite a few children have come through our doors throughout the year. Some have stayed a day, some a week, and some a few months. Currently, we have 6 full-time resident children in our care:

  • 2 of them are long term children of neglect (found alone at their homes)
  • 1 long term, available for adoption in August 2019
  • 3 unknown terms: we are working to locate and reunite them with family members

Colleen's Kitchen Food Bank

The San Pedro Food Bank program was renamed Colleen's Kitchen in honor of the late Colleen Schwendinger of Rendezvous Restaurant.

Colleen's Kitchen offers hot meal services twice a week on on Wednesdays and Sundays to about 150 women and children. In addition when we have non perishable items in bulk, we provide food boxes for them.

These families are registered through Belize Social Services as low income families and referred to Hope Haven for assistance. 

2018 was a feeding frenzy:

Over 18,000 meals served!

In 2018, we have served over 18,000 meals at the San Pedro Food Bank at Hope Haven, and we look forward to serving just as many, if not more, this year!

At the food bank, we are not only about serving food, but more importantly, fostering healthy family relationships by providing families with the means to spend time together: reading books, playing games, and by letting us get to know about their lives.

Last year, we transitioned 6 families (45 people) out of the food bank program by assisting them with their resume writing and interview skills, allowing for new and/or improved employment opportunities.

Our food bank program is made possible by the continued generosity of our amazing volunteers, individual donors, and monthly benefactors, such as Victoria House, Mahogany Bay Village, Xanadu, Tropic Air, Canucks, Sandbar, and organizations such as Rotary Club and Rotaract.

We also assist the women in resume writing or help place them in suitable jobs.

School Scholarship and Sponsorship

We have an upcoming college graduate! Thanks to a sponsor, Alina, will graduate from Jr. College with a degree in Computer Science, finishing 3rd in her class!
Jilisa is another student that will be completing her continued education (high school) first in her class!

Additionally, with your continued support, we have 62 children able to attend school, ranging from Standard 1 through High School.


Outreach for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assualts

Hope Haven has assisted dozens of women who have found themselves victims of domestic violence. We offer:
  • Emotional Support
  • Accompany them to court for restraining orders
  • Help victims find work if they are not working
  • Provide transportation for women and their children to shelters on the mainland
  • Help find new homes for victims and their children
  • Empower them to continue life for themselves and their children
  • In order to curb the rate of domestic violence and bring awareness to the issues of domestic violence, Hope Haven is providing a summer program for teenage girls on teen dating abuse/violence

    Tutoring and Literacy

    Student Tutoring - At the opening of the 2019-2020 school  - we will begin having volunteers at Hope Haven on Monday, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays to assist children with their homework and research. Tutoring in language and Math will also be available.

    Literacy Program  - An on-site literacy program has been developed and implemented at both Holy Cross, and New Horizons Primary Schools. The Literacy program pairs children who are having difficulty reading at their grade level with volunteers that provide one on one assistance. With the help of 20 volunteers during the 2018-19 school year, the literacy program was able to provide 52 children with one on one assistance in reading.

    Library - This year, a new library was created at New Horizons primary school for their students.


    Children's Counseling and Play Therapy

    Our play therapist works with children ages 2-11 who have behavioral difficulties, stress, anxiety or other issues.

    Talk and art therapy is offered to children 11- 18.

    We also offer Anger management sessions as well as youth at risk empowerment sessions.

    Adult Counseling

    We offer a variety of counselling services to adults such as:


    Anger management sessions



    During the Christmas season, we get gifts and clothing for children on the island who would otherwise not be receiving a gift. In 2018, we managed to distribute gifts to 415 children on the island and at a shelter on the mainland. These children are children who are part of our programs or identified by the schools we work with as coming from very low income families.

    Parenting Skills Workshops

    We work along with the preschools to offer Positive Discipline sessions to parents of preschoolers. The parents whose children are in our shelter, are required by court to attend mandatory parenting skills sessions as well.

    Summer Programs

    Teen Dating Abuse

    We are currently drafting a curriculum for a two week summer program focused on Teen Dating Abuse. Our Goal is to instill in these girls a great sense of worth and self confidence to be able to identify red flags in their relationships and learn to walk away before it is too late.

    We will be partnering each girl with a mentor in whom she will be able to confide and go to in case of any incidents.

    We will also be providing these young women with positive outlets to deal with the issues that affect them, instead of self harm, we aim to teach them yoga, or painting, or  snorkeling.

    Reading / Literacy

    We are currently working on a curriculum for a two week reading/literacy camp summer