NonProfitView – Walk A Mile

Haven Women’s Center
By Coleen Sparkman

Haven Women’s Center is a private, nonprofit organization providing comprehensive, holistic client-centered advocacy, education and support services to victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Services are provided to any victim or survivor of domestic or sexual abuse, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or citizenship status and are free of charge to the client. All services are confidential.

Haven is a dual-service agency providing a number of services to domestic and sexual violence victims. We operate the only dedicated domestic violence shelter program in Stanislaus County, and offer one-on-one counseling, support groups, case management, legal services, education and outreach, youth programs, crisis line support, 24-hour trauma response to area hospitals and volunteer opportunities. We serve all of Stanislaus County and currently operate out of five distinct service locations. We have service sites in downtown Modesto and Turlock as well as our emergency shelter at an undisclosed location. Additionally, we have staff working out of the Stanislaus Family Justice Center and the Community Services Agency. Haven is committed to providing quality, needed services to individual clients as well as to systems and societal change to improve the quality of life for our community.We have an active board, and are currently looking for community members interested in serving in several capacities: Board members, Ambassadors and Table sponsors for upcoming events.

One of the most frequently asked questions is how and from where Haven receives funding. The bulk of our funding comes through federal, state and county grants and contracts. The federal and state funds are administered through the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and include a number of funding streams. We have a variety of contracts for services through Stanislaus County, the City of Modesto and others. Recently, Haven committed to a partnership with CSU Stanislaus to implement intervention and prevention services for students and faculty. Haven has a full-time advocate on campus to provide services to sexual assault and domestic violence survivors as well as provide education and training to students and faculty alike. This partnership was the first of its kind in the CSU system and is being used as a model at CSU campuses across the state. To round out our funding needs, we also rely on fundraisers such as Walk a Mile in Her Shoes (April 25), financial donations from individuals in our community, and in-kind donations such as non-perishable food, diapers, personal care products, bed linens, towels and women’s and children’s clothing. Haven would not be able to continue this important work without the support of the community. To that end we have monthly Beyond The Shelter Tours focused on informing community members about the services provided- and finding ways to connect them to our mission.

Haven Women’s Center is proud to present our second annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event coming Saturday, April 25. We’ll gather outside the Gallo Center for the Arts and at 10:00, our walkers will take to the streets in women’s heels, taking a stand against sexual and domestic violence. Men can register as individuals or join a team, create a fundraising page to raise money for Haven, and come out for a great morning to support women and Haven. We even have a low Individual student rate and a student team rate. Boys under 12 can walk for free. We will have a limited number of shoes available, so reserve yours when you register. Last year, we had almost 200 walkers and we’re looking to double that number the second time out. For more information on Walk a Mile and other upcoming events, or to register, please visit

Coleen Sparkman, M.A. CCC-SLP
Board Chair, Haven Women’s Center
Director, Therapeutic Pathways/The Kendall Centers



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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.