GREAT FALLS — In September of 2023, the perfect property for the launch of Grace Haven was discovered.
“It was in a residential neighborhood, near a bus line, with plenty of job opportunities nearby,” says Deb Kottel, director of St. Vincent De Paul.
Grace Haven is a transitional housing institution for female veterans. It offers care and support for the women and their children. It will serve as a direct counterpart to Grace Home, which was founded roughly six years ago.
Currently, three rooms are furnished and ready to be lived-in, but the facility can house up to eight female veterans and their children. Grace Haven is currently seeking funding for a fire suppression system and fire alarm system which will allow them to furnish their four upstairs bedrooms.
Each room is tailored in a slightly different way. The Haven comes complete with a laundry, kitchen, video game room, lounges, infant room, pantry, storage facility, prayer room and more.
The facility could not have been at this stage without an outpouring of support from the Great Falls community. Some organizations involved include, Optimist Club, Daughters of the American Revolution, the Air Force Base, the American Legion, VFW Post 1087, and so many more. Other organizations can sponsor a room by ‘adopting’ it. They pay the proceeds needed to furnish the room.
“You can see it's a heart of a community project because it certainly wasn't just us,” says Angela Jukkala, Director of Grace Haven.
The home is also working on an advisory board of female veterans who will directly assist by using their own personal experiences to improve the livelihoods of women sheltered at Grace Haven.
Grace Haven hope to obtain their operating certificate within the first few weeks of 2024. Upon this they will immediately begin filling their rooms with female veterans in need.
“These are women who chose to serve our country, chose to put their lives at risk, put their families second while they served their country. So maybe it's time we said thank you to them,” says Kottel.
All proceeds go directly to the Haven, with no overhead of any kind.
“You're not investing in the building. You're investing in the women, and then you're investing in the families that they have, the children,” says Kottel.
If you wish to donate, click here to visit the website.