As a young boy of just 5 years, Rafael came to the Haven with his mother to seek shelter. They stayed in what was then the Haven farmhouse until they were able to get an apartment of their own. Since their departure they have remained a part of the Haven fabric. Pura, Rafael’s mother, has…

Doreen & her boys

Without the Haven, my boys and I would not be where we are today. Through all of my ups & downs the Haven has always been there to help me. Sometimes it has been a roof over my head, food or clothing; and other times it has been a shoulder to cry on, a smile…


Hope, Perseverance and Resilience

Darlene’s story is one of hope, perseverance and resilience. It demonstrates quite beautifully the strength that we often find within us in the face of tragedy. In January 2011, Darlene’s oldest daughter, Michelle was diagnosed with ALS. Darlene remembers feeling scared and angry when she found out, but she held on to her faith and still firmly believes that there is a purpose to what has happened to their family.

The Fixer at Hixon House

In the last few months, John Caswell lost the apartment he lived in for 14 years, became homeless, and spent nights sleeping on a park bench in downtown Lebanon. Lucky him.
I say that because Caswell’s misfortune led him to Hixon House, the Upper Valley Haven’s shelter for homeless adults in Hartford, where, along with getting a roof over his head and hot meals, he was matched up with Caroline Swaney.


Jack, a shelter guest at Hixon House at the Haven, walks up with a smile on his face, his unfailingly positive attitude readily apparent to all who meet him. Before the recession, Jack owned his own house for twelve years. He was a landlord and rented out apartments, worked at car dealerships and enjoyed a comfortable income. In 2008 Jack lost his job because the company he worked for closed. He lived on unemployment for a couple of years, while he took care of his ill mother, until it ran out. Soon after he was forced to leave the apartment that he had by then moved into.


Brooke had been living and working in New Hampshire for about five years when she had her first encounter with the Upper Valley Haven. She had recently freed herself from an abusive relationship. Then suddenly, due to an injury, she found herself out of work. Under different circumstances, she probably would have taken her misfortune and done with it what she had always done; she would have gotten high and disappeared into oblivion. But this time…