Safe Haven of Racine History

SAFE Haven of Racine, Inc. is a private non-profit agency celebrating over 40 years of service to the Racine Community.

Early Days

SAFE Haven of Racine, Inc., formerly known as Innovative Youth Services of Racine, Inc. (IYSR) incorporated in 1971, operating out of the First Congregational Church in West Racine. Racine Underground House (RUSH) was subsequently adopted as the street name. Services were provided over the telephone or in person, free of charge to anyone in need of assistance. The 1970’s introduced programs and services, such as the Racine Hotline and Parents Helpline.

Growing Years

IYSR became a member of Racine Area United Way in 1980. IYSR merged with Racine Runaway and the name “RUSH” was discontinued. The agency moved to a three story Victorian house and a “warm” line (PhoneFriend) was established for home alone children. Also during this decade Peer Counselor Training was incorporated into the agency and the public school system.
The 1990’s brought Drug Abuse and Prevention (DAPP), A Parent Connection, SAFE Kids, and Independent Living Skills.


Many of SAFE Haven’s recent programs are direct descendants of Racine Runaway, created when staff identified a need for services that were previously unavailable to clients. The new millennium has brought the agency into Middle School Engagement, Gang Crime Diversion, and Pathways to Success.
Services that focus on basic needs, such as food, clothing and shelter will always be in the forefront of SAFE Haven’s efforts. In addition it is our goal to continue to help youth achieve results beyond these boundaries in education, self-esteem, employment, problem-solving and life skills.

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