Hope Haven is the second oldest community program for individuals with developmental disabilities in the state of Georgia. Hope Haven was originally begun in the homes of five families in 1958 and initially survived only through the generous support and assistance of the Athens community.
Hope Haven was totally supported by individual donations until 1962 when the program became an agency of the Athens Community Chest, now known as the United Way of Northeast Georgia. Hope Haven was able to expand again in 1972, the first year that funding became available from the state, by contracting with the Georgia Department of Human Resources to provide services to more individuals. A respite home serving the 10 county southern half of the region began operations in June 1995.
This agency was extremely proud to occupy its main center at 795 Newton Bridge Road in October 1997. This facility helps to meet the demands of its expanding program. Funding for this facility was made possible by the donations of numerous individuals to a trust fund over several decades and through the generous bequest of the Henson family whose son received services from the program during the sixties.
Hope Haven was fortunate to open a new facility for its respite services in September of 2009 at 200 Vincent Drive. This home was named Lee’s House in memory of Lee Florence. Lee’s parents, Mr. & Mrs. Loyd Florence, have been long-time supporters of Hope Haven and we could not have built such a wonderful facility without the help of their family, the Ramser family, and many other supporters in our community.
Individuals receiving services, board members, staff and others involved with our agency are proud to be a part of one of the oldest programs of its kind in the state that has become very important to this community and has established an excellent reputation for the quality of services it provides.