Haven Program Celebrates Five
by Helen Ridgewell –
Commissioner David Edwards and a crowd of well-wishers helped Lt. Colonel Alfred Van Cleef, Southern California divisional commander, Roy Snapp-Kolas, executive director, the residents, graduates and staff of the Haven celebrate their fifth anniversary and launch two new program components
The Haven, a unique service program for veterans on the campus of the Veterans Administration (VA) West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, currently provides four levels of service; Alpha Center–emergency housing with case management: Victory Place–a substance abuse recovery program; rehabilitation through vocational training and assistance in securing permanent housing, and a retention program designed to provide after-care for six months which includes fellowship opportunities at the Haven Christian Fellowship.
On hand with local VA representatives and LA City Councilmember, Cindy Miscikowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary Maria Fernandez-Greczmiel from Washington DC, representing Secretary of Veterans Affairs Togo West, praised the Army’s collaborative efforts that have resulted in plans for the program to be replicated in several other areas. Alvin Darby, a graduate of the Haven program, gave eloquent testimony to the life-changing ministry of the Haven, recounting the story of his past downward spiral as a result of drugs and alcohol. His subsequent conversion and renewal have led to exciting opportunities for the expression of his faith as he counsels new residents of the Haven.
Praising the division’s innovation, Edwards stated, “I’m continually surprised by the variety of programs offered throughout the territory, helping people through the Army’s ministry and the power of God.”
As the Haven choir sang in the background, Edwards joined Van Cleef and the special guests in launching bunches of red, yellow and blue and red, white and blue balloons symbolizing the new joint ventures with the Veterans Administration.