Community Haven receives $225,000 in a grant award to expand its Haven Industries!

Community Haven receives $225,000 in a grant award to expand its Haven Industries!

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Sarasota (July 8, 2015)


Community Haven receives $225,000 in a grant award to expand its Haven Industries Employment Center for adults with disabilities.


(Sarasota, FL) — Community Haven for Adults and Children with Disabilities, Inc. is pleased to recognize the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation for their recent capping grant, which will assist with the building of a new facility for Haven Industries. This grant will contribute to an ongoing $1.1 million capital campaign to expand the agency’s largest program, which currently serves more than 165 adults with developmental disabilities from throughout the Sarasota-Manatee region. Community Haven is actively seeking donations to meet its groundbreaking goal of December, 2015.


Marla Doss, Community Haven President and CEO, reflected on the importance of this program expansion to Haven Industries, the agency’s largest program, stating “The generosity of the local community has always been the key to our success in serving the needs of our clients. From our early days as the Sunshine Corner School for special needs children, to our position today as a regional service provider for more than 700 clients each year, we have been fortunate to have clubs, foundations, and most of all, concerned individuals support our efforts. This particular project will offer a vastly improved facility for our largest program, Haven Industries, which offers job training and employment to people with some of the most complex developmental disabilities, providing individuals with the dignity of a paying job.”


Haven Industries unique goals are to generate sufficient revenue from government and private business partners to offer long term supported employment to developmentally disabled clients. Clients have a choice of working in a variety of roles in the Heavenly Haven Bakery, on landscape and maintenance crews, and performing assembly and packaging work for local businesses. Each week, Haven Industries teams are responsible for participating in the manufacturing and distribution of thousands of commodities for local employers such as Sun Hydraulics, IRISS, Pac Tec, Uflex, Ecological Laboratories, UNFI and many others. In 2013, the program was given a boost by being named a RESPECT Employment Center by the Florida Department of Management Services. This program helps the 50 designated Employment Centers market goods and services produced by disabled individuals to state and local government agencies.


Plans for the new building include a large warehouse and assembly area for packaging and distribution contracts, a loading dock, three state of the art classrooms with assistive technology for many different types of special needs, an exercise room, accessible restrooms and a cafeteria/assembly room for lunches and special occasions. Haven Industries clients may also be served by Community Haven’s job referrals program, CES, which assists individuals with disabilities to work independently in jobs with supermarkets, restaurants and a host of other private enterprises.


“We are thrilled that the campaign for the new Employment Center has successfully passed its halfway point,” said Donna McGrath, director of development for Community Haven. ”We invite the public to visit the agency and see firsthand what our clients can do when given the opportunity.”


The Selby Foundation has supported Community Haven on many different capital projects in the past. Both the Selby Preschool for special needs children ages 0-5 and the Selby Academy, serving students in grades 9-12, benefitted from many improvements made possible by the foundation. The foundation was created by Mr. and Mrs. Selby in 1955, and is dedicated to projects that make a long-lasting impact on the community.

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