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History of Serene Harbor

For 28 years, Serene Harbor has been providing safe, confidential services such as a 24/7 confidential hotline, safety planning, emergency shelter and outreach to over 35,000 women and children right here in Brevard. Each year we touch the lives of over 1,000 survivors and provide over 5,500 nights of shelter.


1992 – 1998

Serene Harbor, Inc. became incorporated in February 1992 and began providing emergency shelter to victims of domestic violence and their children in December 1993. In April 1995 an older home, built in 1954, was purchased and converted into a 16 bed shelter facility. In June 2008 the new larger 24 bed shelter facility was opened. This project was funded under a memorandum of Understanding with the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families.


We expanded the children’s shelter program and took outreach to elementary schools.


We began an emergency room intervention program for domestic violence victims at Holmes


In May 2001 we opened the transitional housing facility for women and children at risk for repeating the cycle of violence without further intervention.


In January and October 2003 we expanded the children’s counseling program to include two structured groups each week, which follow the “Peace Makers” curriculum, teaching the children how to deal with conflict in an appropriate way. In addition we developed the Child Service Manager position. This individual is trained in early education and provides service management to the children in our shelter and outreach programs.


In April, 2004 the transfer of the transitional housing facility operations to The Women’s Center, an affordable housing provider, was completed. We continue to provide outreach services to these clients through referrals from the Women’s Center. In 2004 we enhanced the shelter program by incorporating a two track system, further customizing the program to meet the participant’s individual needs.


In June 2008 we submitted our Primary Prevention plan for state approval and began working toward our goal of providing Primary Prevention Services to Brevard County Youth. And the new larger shelter 20 bed facility was opened.


In May 2009, our Administration/Outreach Build was completed.


In August 2010, the Sexual Assault Victim’s Unit set up the sexual assault trio of rooms and began using, free of charge, our admin facility as the SAVS’ South County exam site.  ***Update*** As of December 2016 this service is no longer offered at our facility.


In February 2014, we were able to begin providing a safe space in our in house kennel so that families would not have to leave their beloved family pet behind when they escape from their abuser.

“CPI Project” (Child Protection Investigative Advocate) This groundbreaking program is designed to provide a coordinated community response for families experiencing the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse. The program provides for co-locating domestic violence advocates within local CPI Units. These co-located advocates provide consultation to child welfare professionals, support and referral services to survivors, and coordination with community partners to develop strategies to improve collaboration and resolve barriers.


IFP (Injunction for Protection) Attorney – A Florida Bar licensed attorney, that provides free legal advice and representation in court to victims of domestic violence before during and after the Injunction For Protections process.  We are thrilled to be part of making these life changing services available to victims throughout Brevard.


Happy Hands Happy Hearts is a part of our children’s Program here at Serene Harbor. The idea is to give the children an opportunity to have a way to express themselves through Art.  These sessions are individual so the child gets all the attention they desire.  The focus is to let them feel safe to talk and create something of their own that they can take with them. Topics such as: Self-esteem building, safety, life skills and antiviolence are introduced during the activity.

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