Organization provides anchor for families

BY SAMANTHA HURST

/ Staff Writer

Little-by-little parents and teens meeting in Alabaster and Calera are working with counselors and ministers to patch up their families.

Rather than see these families abandon ship, Safe Harbor, a not-for-profit organization, strives to restore the families through intense counseling sessions.

Development Officer Jeanette Curlee said Safe Harbor’s faith-based mission focuses on helping families stay together, even at their weakest moments.

“We provide them acceptance,” Curlee said. “We tell them that it’s OK. We’ve all experienced things that have affected our lives in a negative way.”

But to keep those programs and others running, the organization raises funds through an annual Beacon of Hope concert.

This year’s event is scheduled for May 3 at 7 p.m. at Southeastern Bible College in Hoover. Musical groups Three on a String and The Warblers are set to perform.

All of the proceeds raised through ticket and program ad sales, as well as general donations, are put directly back into Safe Harbor’s programs. This year, the organization hopes to raise $50,000. The rest of its annual funding comes from grants and a yearly golf tournament.

The program, Refuge, ignited the group’s efforts back in 1998. Refuge brings teens and their parents together two hours a week for 12 weeks. During the sessions, the families find solutions for issues like delinquency and drug and alcohol abuse.

“We hope to change the home environment by developing in [the teens] an understanding of what they have done, why they did it and to see that they need to change those behaviors,” Curlee said. “We try to talk to them about learning how God sees the family and how they should operate by the examples set out in scripture.”

The group is also working to enhance its Resource and Education Program by equipping parents, teachers, administrators, law and medical personnel to prevent teens from developing at-risk behaviors