working at it In 2009, My Safe Harbor launched and in July 2009, we opened The Harbor House, which we share with the Orange County Children’s Bureau. We spent the next two years building community relationships, starting Mother’s Clubs and Electives, and doing the substantive work of developing the Strong Families Institute, our flagship program. In 2011 we received our first grant from the Lester Family Foundation.

In 2012 we completed the comprehensive Strong Families Institute curriculum. We also graduated our first cohort of 11 women. It is a compilation of national curricula, expert contributors, best practices, and practical application designed for adult learners. It includes 32 lessons complete with facilitator scripts, PowerPoint presentations and student workbooks in English and Spanish, evaluations, projects, and handouts. We also completed a teaching kitchen with a grant from Home Depot and a significant memorial gift. The western region of Home Depot chose us as its 2012 community project and partnered with their Anaheim store to provide labor, supplies, appliances, cupboards, and countertops. It has allowed us to provide Enrichment Electives in nutrition and kitchen organization and enhanced our ability to provide refreshments and meals for gatherings.

In 2013 we received the WORLD Magazine Hope Award for Effective Compassion for the Western region of the US. We were one of five finalists chosen from a variety of nonprofits across the country, and the youngest nominee with the smallest operating budget. In addition to a $4,000 prize, we received a four-page spread in the July 27 issue and an extensive interview on their nationally-syndicated radio program. We also graduated two cohorts from the Strong Families Institute. We were recognized by the Anaheim city council as a “rising star” in Anaheim with a full commendation and a presentation of our program at a city council meeting. We were awarded a Wal-Mart Community Grant and a Mission Increase Foundation matching grant.

In 2014 and 2015 we graduated four more SFI cohorts, added a part-time office manager, and took our volunteer corps to 197 – with 3700 volunteer hours! We received our first major grant of $147,000 from Sacred Harvest Foundation and added a Program Director to our staff. We also added our first off-site Mother’s Clubs, revamped the SFI curriculum, started our SFI Alumni Association, wrote a book with SFI mother’s stories, and did our first professional video.

In 2016 we began the professional publishing of our SFI curriculum, graduated three more cohorts, started three new off-site Mother’s Clubs at local elementary schools, took our volunteer corps to 200 people and 5,436 hours (seven gave over 100 hours, and one gave more than 300!!!), finished our Board Policy Manual and a number of other internal systems and procedures as part of the Transformational Impact Project with Sacred Harvest Foundation, and launched an annual fundraiser called “Christmas at Court.”

What kind of services do you offer?

We offer opportunities for relationship building, enrichment activities, personal growth, and structured classroom instruction that will lead to new resources, relationships, and responsibilities.

Who uses your services?

The majority of our women are referred to us by our many collaborative partners. A typical participant is a single mother struggling with a variety of life skill deficits such as: inadequate education, low income, limited personal discipline, parenting problems, lack of structure for herself and for her children, low self esteem and self confidence.

Who are your collaborative partners?

Our lead agency is Anaheim First Christian Church. However, we are also privileged to partner with Anaheim City Community Services, Orange County Children’s Bureau, Anaheim Harbor Family Resource Center, Anaheim City School District, The RAISE Foundation, Orange County FaCT, Olive Crest, Anaheim Religious Community Council, Anaheim GRIP, Orange County Family Justice Center, Fristers, and Community Service Programs, Inc.

Where do you get your funding?

Presently, we are funded by Anaheim First Christian Church, grants, and personal donations. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation and here to read our most recent annual report.

Do you use volunteers?

Volunteers are our primary personnel and serve in a variety of areas including: receptionists and office help, facilities and maintenance, running Mother’s Club and enrichment elective activities, designing and delivering curriculum, and mentoring. If you’re interested in joining our team of over 150 volunteers, click here!

What programs do you offer?

Mother’s Club
These weekly clubs of 15-20 meet throughout the year and serve mothers from the Anaheim community, providing fun with friends while giving you opportunities for skill-building and learning. Every week you can participate in activities that help you be a better mother and a more confident woman. Activities include crafts, parenting issues, nutrition, healthy food preparation, cooking, and seasonal ideas. There is no cost for participating. There is FREE childcare for children ages 1-4. Learn more here!

Enrichment Electives
These courses last from 2-4 weeks, require more commitment, and provide more thorough information on topics like helping your children to read, first aid, preparing nutritious meals, budget organization, sewing, cooking, crafts with children, improving in math, relationships improvement, and more. These electives are designed to help you be more active and responsible in taking care of yourself, raising your children, and managing your home. Pre-registration is required. Childcare is FREE but also requires pre-registration. Learn more here!

Strong Families Institute
The Strong Families Institute is a 32-week intense transformational experience that provides an ongoing environment for education, inspiration, and personal development. This program is for women who are ready to do the work of improving their own lives and the lives of their children. Learn more here!

Do you offer any services in Spanish?

All of our services are offered in a bilingual environment, though we emphasize the importance of learning and using English.

Are there fees for your services?

All services are currently free or offer scholarships.

Is child care available?

Child care is always available, usually at no extra cost.

Can I bring my children with me?

While no children are allowed in sessions, child care is always available–usually at no extra cost.

Do I have to go to church?

While we are not a church, we do encourage women to understand spiritual formation and we seek to be a bridge that leads them to become active in a faith community.

How do I get to you?

My Safe Harbor is located at 819 South Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim, CA 92805.

Our team