Youth Haven receives hundreds of thousands of grants to help at-risk teens

Youth Haven receives hundreds of thousands of grants to help at-risk teens

Now, that money will be used to transform the lives of at-risk teens in Collier County.

A Collier County group that offers a place to live to teens in crisis is now getting a quarter-million dollars in grant money. Youth Haven recently received that quarter-million-dollar grant thanks to The Schoen Foundation.


  • Rob’s Cottage is a place where 16-20-year-olds can seek refuge. Two years ago, Mercilia Hyppolite decided to seek refuge here. “It just felt like I was stuck in a generational curse,” Hyppolite said.

  • Youth Haven is an open door, a safety net for at-risk teens. Linda Goldfield is the CEO of Youth Haven. “They have been living on the streets, couch surfing, living in their cars,” Goldfield said. 

Hyppolite is now pursuing a career in nursing and is chasing her dreams. “Now that I’m no longer here at youth Haven, I feel like I can really do anything, well not everything, but obviously it’s like there’s nothing that I can’t do at least try,” said Hyppolite.

But Rob’s Cottage was a place that allowed her to break generational curses and even boundaries with the life skills she walked away with. Now, 20-year-old Hyppolite can live on her own. “I enjoy it. It’s very peaceful,” she said.

Goldfield says the quarter-million-dollar grant will support Rob’s Cottage and the programs it offers. These programs promise these teens a chance at a future. “The teens [who] live here have higher credit rating than probably many of the staff because of the enrichment programs that we’ve provided,” Goldfield. Those are transformational programs.

Hyppolite once saw school as a refuge from her home life. She now lives on her own and finds college a sanctuary in itself. “I’m just focusing on school. It’s just nothing at home. It’s ok,” she said.

Hyppolite hopes to become an RN, get some experience here in Florida, and then travel. She strongly encourages any teens who are in crisis to contact Youth Haven.

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