Virginia moved into Phase One of the “Forward Virginia” plan on Friday, May 15, with the exception of certain localities in Northern Virginia. The announcement comes as Virginia has seen a 14-day decline in the percent of positive cases. While this represents progress, it does not mean that the virus is gone.

“Our service area has seen its own spike in cases in Richmond County at Haynesville Correctional Facility and The Orchard,” said Ellen Yackel, Executive Director of the Haven. “We want to continue to remain vigilant in protecting our staff and program participants as the state reopens and will continue to take the Governor’s recommendations into account as we reopen in our own way.”

“Since the beginning of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 14, we have held weekly staff meetings via Zoom in order to stay connected and informed of the constant changes within our region, organization, and staff,” continued Yackel. “Our shelter remains full with 7 women and 13 children residing (plus 2 in local hotels) and court accompaniment is still active in each of the 5 counties we serve. Throughout the long and busy days, wonderful things have also occurred. Our new playground is getting used to its full potential during these beautiful spring days, our summer garden is planted, and construction of the Joan Albert Lawler Children and Youth Annex was even able to be completed adding extra space to our shelter for indoor children’s space.”

The Haven Thrift Shop remains closed and donation drop off on hold until it is the right time to welcome customers and friends back into the store. Starting May 18, the Haven would like to resume donation drop off at their Administrative Office (102 Walnut Street, Warsaw) as they are in need of a few critical items like baby wipes and diapers (sizes 4, 5, 6), toothpaste, and Food Lion/Wal-Mart gift cards. If you are able to help, the Haven asks you to assist in the following ways:

-Order items online/or purchase and ship to 102 Walnut Street, Warsaw, VA 22572

-Make a donation at havenshelter.org/donate and they will purchase

-Purchase on your own and schedule a time to drop off by emailing info@havenshelter.org or by calling 804-333-1099. Please be aware that the Administrative Office is not open on a full schedule yet. If you call and leave a message, someone will get back with you to schedule a drop off time.

“It is always our goal to keep you informed of the progress of our work you support so generously,” said Yackel. “Thank you for your loyalty and commitment to our work, especially during these very different and new circumstances.”

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