A Place to Call Home: Building Safe Harbor from the Ground Up

Cedarville University Bible Department, SiFi Safe House

Joy Fagan, Ph.D., stands in front of the Safe Harbor House, part of Sanctifying Influence and Future Investment (SiFi), a ministry in Springfield, Ohio. Photo credit: Scott L. Huck / Cedarville University

by Public Relations

September 16, 2010

When most people think of home, they usually think of warm places, familiar walls and the security of family and friends; however, for so many women, home is not a comfortable place. In fact, it may not even exist.

In September 2009, the Safe Harbor House, part of Sanctifying Influence and Future Investment (SiFi), a ministry in Springfield, Ohio, opened its doors to women in need.

Joy Fagan, Ph.D., associate professor of Bible at Cedarville University and founder of the SiFi ministry, designed Safe Harbor House to be the first step in a three-step process to help women coming out of the Clark County Jail or off the streets. At Safe Harbor, the women receive holistic support from the ministry’s staff and other organizational partners including education, everyday life-skill training, and Christian counseling.

“The goal is to equip them to flourish as we live together under the same roof,” says Fagan.

Although transformation is difficult for many of the women who are caught in their own addictions or were once victims of others’ crimes, Fagan and the leaders of SiFi have seen and believe in the redemptive love and transforming power of Christ.

“The bottom line is this, if I truly believe in the innate value of every human being created in the image of God, then I need to do more to stand in the gap and fight for these women, facilitating a path to wholeness and healing that only His power can accomplish,” shares Fagan. “All is done within the reality that the ground is level at the foot of the cross.”

Fagan does not believe she’s a saint. During her college years she struggled with lack of engagement until God’s faithful nudging moved her. Now, leader of the SiFi and the Safe Harbor House, Fagan reflects on God’s work in each of us: “God calls each of us to different pathways as we seek to reach beyond our comfort zones and fulfill the Great Commission.”

Because of Fagan’s efforts and others who will invest in the lives of women, Safe Harbor is on a trajectory to be called home by many of them.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,200 undergraduate, graduate, and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.

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Biblical and Theological Studies