A less than ideal childhood and upbringing ultimately prepared Karen Sherbut for the role of her life as a role model, mentor, and humanitarian. In this capacity she is able to provide what she so desperately had once needed; ultimately improving the lives of many young women, their families, and loved ones. Karen’s dream of providing for homeless teenage girls came to fruition in 1996, when Karen and her husband founded The Safe Haven Foundation of Canada. In a volunteer capacity at the helm of the Foundation, Karen’s steadfast commitment to Safe Haven Foundation continues to shape a better and brighter future for all of us. With over 35 years of senior marketing, management, and leadership experience, Karen has been extensively involved in the development and implementation of strategic plans and financial planning at both grassroots and national levels. An engaging and innovative leader, Karen’s focus on results-oriented programs, financial accountability, public relations, and award-winning campaigns have provided an enviable advantage to the Foundation at no cost. Karen’s passion remains visible and reflective through the time she dedicates not only to Safe Haven Foundation but also to the many boards and advisory roles she has undertaken over the years.
Community Engagement Officer
Carolyn’s intimate knowledge of the Safe Haven Foundation and her connection to the community, combined with her experience in marketing, sales and events, are invaluable to the Foundation’s fundraising and volunteer activities. In addition to her primary role in fund development, she manages the website, social media and oversees advertising and marketing campaigns which are essential parts of the Foundation’s communication strategy. Carolyn was previously with Safe Haven from 2002-2007 and rejoined the team in 2017. She states in part, “I am very excited to have been given the opportunity to return to Safe Haven Foundation at this significant time of growth and development. Thanks to the unwavering passion of Karen and John and the support of board members, stakeholders, donors and volunteers, so many young women have indeed been given their future back. I am honored to have been a part of their journey and look forward to embarking on this new one.”
Larissa brings over 12 years of extensive administration experience, primarily in the oil and gas sector. An astute team player with a keen eye for detail, Larissa has clearly positioned herself as our go to and communications central leader for the entire team at Safe Haven Foundation. After an intensive search of over 275 candidates, she presented as a shining star with her far-reaching skills in organizational and financial matters as well as a critical eye for detail. Larissa states that, “I am incredibly honoured, and feel so very fortunate, to have a place with Safe Haven Foundation. I am thrilled to be a part of the many exciting things that are in the works, and it is so rewarding to work with an organization that truly wants to make a difference in the world”.
Program Development Officer (Part-Time)
Heidi has worked in the youth homelessness sector for over 19 years, 17 of which she spent at the Boys and Girls Club of Calgary managing their Housing First programs. She currently uses her expertise in program development with the Safe Haven Foundation in Calgary and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, conducting trainings and fidelity reviews as a CAEH trainer. Heidi supports A Way Home Canada and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness through consultation work with the Making The Shift Demonstration Lab. Throughout her career–from studying Social Work to working in community development, managing programs, and program implementation, and now providing consultation, training, and technical assistance to communities across Canada–Heidi has been passionate about supporting youth and families to thrive, ensuring youth have a voice throughout. She is devoted to sharing her learnings, providing support, and building community across the youth homelessness sector.
Program Manager (Part-time)
Krista brings over 10 years in the field working with homeless youth. She leads the Haven’s Way team with passion and thrives on innovation and creativity. She is the Program Manager, coaching the staff team and overseeing the inner workings of the program. Krista has a vision for community mobilization and will be quick to talk about our work at Safe Haven Foundation. She has a desire to ignite interest and help our communities feel a part of the work happening in the lives of the youth we support. It is her belief that there is nothing we cannot do when we are working together.
Heidi (Griffs) comes to us with over 10 years of experience in the sector dedicating her career to supporting youth and their families. Putting her learnings from her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, she began her career working in youth homeless shelters in both Calgary and Winnipeg. This provided her the roots of advocacy and compassion for those seeking support. Additionally, Heidi has extensive experience working in outreach, therapeutic campus-based care and secure and stabilizations programs throughout Alberta and BC, focusing on supporting young people through their recovery of trauma and addictions. Heidi is committed to guiding young people towards reaching their dreams and full potential. She is passionate in her role as Support Coach, utilizing her positive zeal for life and relationship building skills to motivate the young people at Haven’s Way.
Live-in House Parent
Kathy has been a wonderful gift to all of us, and especially the girls in Haven’s Way, since joining the program in July 2019. For as long as Kathy can remember she has had a passion to help youth in crisis, most likely because she was once in their position. She carries in her arsenal thirty-plus years of experience working with youth in many critical settings, from incarceration to special needs/poverty-stricken youth in Uganda, Africa. Her undying desire, love, and compassion to nurture and encourage the girls at Haven’s Way is more than a passion…it’s become a core value. Using her gifts and talents, she hopes to inspire the girls to reach their fullest potential to lead happy, healthy, and productive lives where they too can be a change in our world.
Live-in Peer Support Mentor
Sam moved into Havens Way as a youth in 2010 and began the first chapter in her healing journey. From there she spent 3 years soaking in all the lessons and love that surrounded her from staff and her roommates. During this time, Sam was also busy focusing on continuing her education and graduated with a diploma in Office Administration and another in Addictions and Community Services. In 2013, Sam graduated from Haven’s Way and moved out into the community with confidence, life skills and a network of resources and natural supports. Flash forward to 2020, Sam returned to Havens Way as the Live-In Peer Support Mentor. Along with role modeling a healthy lifestyle for the young women living in the program, giving back to her community and creating space for the next generation of young people to heal, she is actively pursuing her Yoga Teacher certification, all while working full time in the career path her education prepared her for.
“This past year has been a wild ride, with many laughs, tears, and powerful late-night conversation that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I’m proud of the team I work with and the brilliant young woman I live with.”