History

The idea for Haven House originated with Dr. Lenora Koehler in 1957. At the time, Dr. Koehler worked closely with the administration of the Allentown State Hospital and volunteers from two local churches, Bethlehem Society of Friends and Lehigh Valley Unitarian Church, to help recently discharged psychiatric patients via support groups and outreach. Dr. Koehler studied a Philadelphia-based program called Fountain House and developed a new organizational strategy to further rehabilitate and support these patients. This innovative outpatient service operated as Lehigh Valley Fountain House.

Several years later, following the lead of the Philadelphia Fountain House, Lehigh Valley Fountain House changed its name to Horizon House. In 1964, Lehigh Valley Horizon House joined together with the Mental Health Associations of Easton and Lehigh County to form the Lehigh Valley Mental Health Association in an effort to strengthen each organization so they could more effectively serve the clients returning to the community. Horizon House became the treatment arm of the organization.  Because Horizon House was now part of a local organization, the Philadelphia Horizon House group requested a name change, and the name “Haven House” was adopted.

On June 21, 1971, Haven House followed the recommendations of the Lehigh Valley Community Council and separated from the Lehigh Valley Mental Health Association and became an incorporated agency providing partial hospitalization services.

In 2003, Haven House moved to the campus of the Allentown State Hospital and opened the Outpatient Clinic. All Haven House programs were now conveniently located in a single central 18,000-square-foot facility called Shettel Cottage.

In 2006, Haven House transitioned from a partial-hospital program model to a psychiatric rehabilitation services model that provides individualized, recovery-based skill development and structured activities focusing on life skills, vocation and socialization.

In October 2012 Haven House moved to a new building in east Allentown, 1411 Union Boulevard, Allentown, which is located on a major bus route and can accommodate a growing number of services and serve more individuals. This newly renovated and centrally located building will enable the agency to grow to better meet the mental health needs of the residents of the Lehigh Valley by providing not only more space but also new services.

"I like how well the staff knows each of us and encourages us to get involved with things like the Clubhouse and other volunteer work."

Ken K.