As a parent, ensuring your kids have what they need – even in difficult circumstances – is always at the top of your mind. This is what Zack, a Saskatoon resident, and father of two, discovered when he faced a situation that greatly impacted his family.
Late one evening, Zack’s partner was arrested, beginning one of the most stressful nights of his life. “I had our two children with me as I was trying to figure things out. I didn’t get much sleep that night,” he recalls. “I have family in the area but had no easy way to get to them that night. I was trying to put on a brave face…I wanted to show happiness for the kids, but that was hard. I wasn’t in a happy place.”
Without many options, Zack called the city’s mobile crisis line the next morning. They told him about Haven Kids’ House (Haven)– a local non-profit on a mission to keep families together, which provides childcare in emergency situations. After a quick call to Haven, Zack brought his son and daughter over to the welcoming home in Saskatoon and immediately found the relief he was looking for.
Shelter, Sleep, and Relief
“I feel so fortunate to have learned about Haven because they absolutely provided what I needed. Some time to sleep, to collect myself, to figure out what to do next,” Zack explains. “I think their name is so perfect. I was in a moment where I needed help, and I don’t know how I would’ve got through it, if not for them.”
It wasn’t just him who benefited from the family-focused support and security of Haven, either. “I’m so unbelievably happy that my kids got to escape from the trauma they experienced and got to be with people who distracted and supported them. It helped in a way we really needed, and it’s one of the best experiences I’ve had with any organization.”
The welcoming nature and clear professionalism of the Haven staff helped alleviate the initial hesitation Zack had, too. “I was so impressed. There were protocols because they were still doing COVID swabs at the time, which my kids always hated. But the staff were so good. They were so reassuring and kind.”
After the initial incident, Zack brought the kids to Haven once more, when he was required to attend a meeting related to the arrest. “I couldn’t be more thankful. They made it so I could get to the meeting. I got the help I needed to heal and parent more effectively after the experience we had.”
Looking Forward to the Future
So, what has left the biggest impact on Zack and his family?
“It’s how willing Haven is to accept you. If you need help, they’ll give it to you. They’re just there to support in the moment.” And for others who may be experiencing similar situations, he is quick to point them toward Haven’s open arms – free of judgment and built on relationships of trust. “They’re a resource you can rely on. I didn’t know about it beforehand, but they’re absolutely there to give you a moment to yourself when you’re in the storm and your world is upside down. Even if you feel you’ve only got yourself, their help is so valuable that I would encourage anyone who needs it to go and get it.”
Zack has since become one of Haven’s most ardent supporters, helping to spread the word throughout the community. “I’m going to support them the rest of my life, in any way I can. And I’ll get anyone else to do the same.”