Church News

Dove Harbor Program Update

by Doug Linville on July 23, 2020

Dear Church Family,

I would like to thank you for your years of support to the Dove Harbor program. What has been accomplished through your support has made a difference in the lives of women that will last a lifetime. It is exciting when we hear stories of how not only their lives have changed but the lives of their children and in some cases their grandchildren have changed. 

We are making some significant changes with the Dove Harbor program and we wanted to make sure that you are aware of why and how. This process of changing the Dove Harbor program started in the Fall of 2019 as we looked at making Dove Harbor more efficient and effective. We asked God to show us how and where to make these adjustments. We landed on a recommendation in early of 2020 and we presented this recommendation to the Madison Park Church Elders in March of 2020. 

The same week we received authorization to transition the Dove Harbor program to the more efficient model, Covid-19 hit Madison County. We were able to fulfill our commitment to every family in the residential program by the end of March 2020. But we have been on hold to relaunch the program in the new format.   

New Program Overview:

Dove Harbor has maintained the vision and mission to serve women and children in Madison and surrounding counties. How we carry out that vision and mission has changed effective April 1, 2020. Dove Harbor will continue as a ministry that serves women and children for a minimum of 6 months, with the goal of long-term relationship and life change. The method has changed from residential care to providing rent subsidies. The program will continue to provide education in supportive and nurturing, Christ-centered relationships. The program will invite growth toward spiritual and emotional wholeness, fostering a healing renewal of faith, responsibility, and the achievement of life goals. Our Theory of Change remains the same as it emphasizes partnership, in the context of a safe, connected program. Through the Theory of Change, the Care Teams established around participants of the program will help each woman experience safety so that she can begin to address the challenges that brought her to the program. Additionally the participant will identify the things that will help her gain greater wellness and stability. For 25 years, Dove Harbor has strengthened and more clearly defined its program and its place in the Madison County continuum of care, working alongside other organizations to address community issues that affect both the families that seek support through Dove Harbor and those outside of the program. 

Dove Harbor’s administrative staff (including THRIVE coaches which are funded through the United Way) are now located in the Madison Park Church facility at 6607 Providence Dr. This facility is located on the south-side of Anderson off of Columbus Ave. The DH families will be living in commercial apartment buildings within Anderson and/or surrounding communities. 

Oversight and direction will be provided by the Madison Park Missions Pastor. We will train a team of volunteers called Care Teams, to provide direct support to each family. There will be one Care Team of 3 people per DH family. The three team position are listed below: 

Team Leader:

We will ask for each team leader to commit to one family at a time (stay in relationship with one family). Their role will consist of the following: coordinate and maintain a healthy boundary for the team, coordinate weekly connections and face-to-face interactions, and provide regular reports to the Missions Pastor and inform them of behavioral changes or issues. 

Prayer Support:

The role of prayer is vital and one that we want to make accessible for the women we serve. This person would make sure that the team is intentional about asking the participant about any prayer needs and following through with prayer support for the DH Family. As appropriate (and with permission from the family), the Prayer Support team member will share prayer requests with MPC. 

Resource Support:

This volunteer position will help the DH family locate and transport furniture for their apartment. They will coordinate volunteers to set up and decorate an apartment for a new resident to move into. They will also help coordinate volunteers to help meet needs that may come up while they are in the program. 

Each Care Team will be led by a trained female volunteer who has completed training. This training will include the Stephen Ministers Training (60 hours) and/or the DH Mentoring Program training (30 hours) plus additional training provided by the DH leadership. The other two volunteer positions, Resource Support and Prayer Support, can be filled by either male or female. They will also receive training on their specific task. The Care Teams will be involved in regular Team meetings to talk through current issues or concerns. Each DH family will meet with and be assessed by a THRIVE coach. The THRIVE coach will coordinate with the Missions Pastor in referring and connecting the DH family with community resources. The partnership within the THRIVE Network is directly tied to the two current THRIVE coaches.

Please know that we have held onto four non-negotiable pillars for the Dove Harbor program: it must be Christ-centered, it must keep the women safe, the program must have active participation from the woman in her recovery (skin in the game) and it must have the church family’s engagement. 

All donations received after April 1, 2020 have been used or will be used toward the Dove Harbor program. 

It is our current plan to start the training of volunteer Care Team members in the fall of 2020 with the relaunch of the DH program in early 2021

I am excited about this new opportunity and direction for Dove Harbor. Once again, I see this as an out-of-the-box, new, innovative move, reminiscent of the time Dove Harbor first started providing services. To grow to the next level we are letting go of a good program to build a great one. I hope you will continue supporting the mission and vision of Dove Harbor as we seek to provide nurturing care to needy families in the name of Christ.

If you have any questions, please contact me or 765- 642-2000.

Doug Linville
Missions Pastor 
Madison Park Church

New Mailing Address for Dove Harbor
Dove Harbor
PO Box 2479
Anderson, IN 46018

Tags: woman's shelter, recovery program, dove harbor, thrive network, domestic abuse survivor

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