a wooden house in a field


Ethel Ellison and her husband, Carl, ran the Stockton Gospel Mission. One evening, as it was getting dark, she had to tell yet another woman there was no place at the mission for her to stay. Walking out the door, the woman turned and said, “It’s strange — There is a shelter for men and for children and an animal shelter for dogs and cats, but no place for women!” That night, the Lord burdened Ethel’s heart to provide a place for women in need.

On August 01, 1957, women from thirteen churches formed a temporary Board of Directors for the organization that would become the Haven of Peace (the first homeless shelter for women and children in San Joaquin County). The group found an old two-story house. The Lord spoke to His people to help raise the money needed to purchase the building, and a local Christian businessman carried the balance needed at a low interest rate. In June 1959, after much prayer, cleaning, and painting, they were ready to move in. As time went on, the Haven outgrew that little house. In September 1967, groundbreaking services were held at our present location in French Camp.


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