Altrusa’s Haven House project—fluffing it up a bit


The Montrose Altrusa service group is excited about their new project helping Haven House. “This was a brainchild of Jana Ackerman because she had a young child with health issues and they spent a tremendous amount of time at the Ronald McDonald house,” explained Gail Kubik. A Ronald McDonald House provides a place for families to call home so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at little to no cost.

Different service organizations adopted portions of the house and made the rooms attractive. This idea metamorphasized into adopting suites at Haven House and decorating them. “The rooms at Haven House currently are rather institutional at this point,” Kubik said.

There are 32 rooms. The rooms are like a bedroom and they share a bathroom with the adjoining room. It’s similar to a college dorm. Each room can house up to three people—some of the rooms have bunk beds, some have twin beds depending on the family unit that’s living there. If it’s a family of more than three, then they get both rooms.

Altrusa has committed to cover a suite every year for a five-year period. It costs approximately $1,000 to do a suite and bath.

“We are just going in to home it up,” Kubik explained. “We’re going to put in decent quality sheets, mattress pads, pillows, comforters, duvets, area rugs, lamps, towels, shower curtains and liners, valences over the window.

Typically the people in Haven House live there from 18 months to 24 months and then they graduate to their own residence. At that time, they can take with them the items that we put in there. Then Altrusa will go in and refurnish it for whoever moves in next i.e. mother, daughter, son.

“We’ve reached out to other non-profits in the area to adopt a room or a suite or help us with a monetary donation,” Kubik explained. “We asked them to make a five-year commitment because the people they will be decorating for have been through the first 18 month program. We won’t decorate a room until the individuals have demonstrated a commitment to stay in the program.”

Habitat for Humanity has partnered with Montrose Altrusa on the project. And Altrusa of Delta, Lions Club, Helping Hands, a group from Hope West, and other individuals have all agreed to join the effort. They also received a grant from Wells Fargo for the cost of two suites.

If you’d like to make a donation to this project, small or large, email or call 970-765-7666.

About Haven House

Haven House provides shelter, the necessary support services and enrichment programs to help families evolve from an unstable living environment to healthy self-sustaining lifestyles.

They provide transitional/transformational housing for homeless families with children in a faith based environment.  The goal is to restore the participants to permanent housing in a self-sustaining life style.  The program goes well beyond housing.  The program is designed to create a secure and supportive environment and address the issues that led the family to seek help from Haven House.

The staff, working with volunteers from nearby communities and churches and the various community resources,  conduct enrichment programs such as parenting skills, conflict (anger) management, budgeting, nutrition, cooking and programs for the children.

They strive to ensure that the relationship between parents and children is strong, that the children are progressing well in school and are adapting well, when the family leaves the program.

The primary focus is to help families with children but when space is available we have opened our doors to include couples and single adults.

All participants, prior to acceptance into the program, will be required to complete an application, submit pertinent information required to complete basic assessments of their situation, attend one or more interviews with our professional staff and be subject to a background check. To be accepted into the program, prospective participants must be drug and alcohol free, have no history of sex offenses and no recent history of violent behavior. No drugs, alcohol or weapons are permitted on the premises. All participants must agree to and will be subject to random UAs (if necessary); testing kits are be kept on site.

About the author

Mavis Bennett

Mavis Bennett

A western Colorado resident for most of her life, Mavis Bennett is the publisher of the Montrose Monitor. She has written for newspapers and magazines more than three decades and founded the popular Monitor Magazine in 2003. This web site is the logical progression for the Monitor.