Someone to Back Me Up

Derrick come to The Haven in September, 2012, after spending many nights sleeping outside and  occasional  nights on floors of a friend’s home. He was well informed about what The Haven could provide and he needed those programs to help him meet his goals and to attain a GED and to enter college.

Derrick grew up in the Hagins Fewell neighborhood of Rock Hill.  He faced many troubles and was given a second chance from authorities, who did not incarcerate him after committing a crime.

After entering the program at The Haven, Derrick earned his GED and we alI attended his graduation in November 2012. 

Derrick has now enrolled in college and is attending York Technical College. He is studying welding and is getting excellent grades.  He was also was hired by Winthrop University and is working in the cafeteria full time.

Derrick left The Haven in January 2013 and went to live with a man who is in a wheel chair to help him with his daily needs and activities in exchange for free rent.

After leaving The Haven and at his exit interview, Derrick was very thankful and grateful for all the support The Executive Director and The Staff at The Haven had given to him; he said “all he needed was someone to back him up”. 

What it Means to be a Man

Dwight Mills Jr. is from the sunny state of Florida. A star in both football and basketball, Dwight found himself on the opposite side of some bad decisions in life that took away from his dream of playing on a professional level.After moving to South Carolina with his mother, Dwight struggled to adjust to the limited workforce opportunities in the state due to the struggling economy. In Miami, Dwight had access to public transportation which afforded him the opportunity to employment. Finding work wherever he could Dwight struggled to help his mother maintain the bills and so he made a decision to move out so that he would no longer be a burden to her. Even though he was now homeless, he knew the importance of education and decided to enroll himself into York Technical College. Dwight arrived at the Haven and the first thing he did was unpack items and started looking over his school work.


Dwight not only excelled in the Haven program, but with the support and guidance of the Haven staff, Dwight was able to move into his own apartment. The Haven staff pulled together to provide Dwight with furniture and other needed items for his new apartment. Dwight stated that the Haven not only is a safe haven for men looking to rebound their lives, but the Haven is an opportunity to establish life-long friendships.


“I learned so much about what it means to be a man at the Haven. I came into the Haven a shy person with no drive, but today I can say that I am a better man and a well-rounded person. Thank you Mrs. Toni, the Haven Board, the Haven staff, and all of the volunteers for seeing the best in us.”

Driving to Success

Andrew Hampton came to the Haven Men's Shelter after hearing the news of the closing of the Executive Inn (a hotel where 100 poverty-stricken residents lived) by the City of Rock Hill. The Executive Inn was in poor condition and the city decided to condemn the property which left the residents searching for a place to live.

 Andrew was fortunate to find the Haven a couple days before the closing of the Inn with the help of Haven Executive Director, Toni Elliot. Andrew explained to Ms. Toni his situation and Ms. Toni told Andrew that the Haven would support his dreams as long as he put for the effort to better his life.

When Andrew first arrived at the Haven he had some difficulties turning his dreams into reality, but he was willing to listen to the suggestions from the Haven Residential Managers and kept his word to Ms. Toni to put forth the effort.


After several failed attempts at employment, one of the Residential Managers suggested truck driving school to him at York Technical College. Andrew agreed to the suggestion and upon further research decided that this was a career he would be willing to pursue. Due to his drive and hard work, Andrew was granted a longer stay at the Haven.


Thanks to the support of the Haven staff and the Executive Director, Andrew graduated his program and received his CDL (Commercial Driving License). Andrew is presently driving Tractor Trailer Trucks with the hopes of owning his own truck in the next couple of years.