Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 3:49 PM on Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lawmaster named new Haven House director

By Michael Armstrong
Staff Writer

A veteran South Peninsula Haven House employee, Jessica Lawmaster, has been selected as the new Haven House executive director, the board of directors announced this week.


Photo by Michael Armstrong

Jessica Lawmaster, left, speaks last March at the Homer Choose Respect rally against domestic violence and sexual assault

Lawmaster, who served as interim director after former director Peg Coleman left to take a job in Utah, had previously worked as the program manager for Haven House's Child Advocacy Centers in Homer, Kenai and Seward.

"After a full hiring process over the summer, the board unanimously chose Jessica Lawmaster and is delighted to have her expertise and extensive grant writing experience to benefit Haven House in the long run," said Catherine H. Knott, Haven House board president. "I think she's been a remarkable addition to Haven House. We're lucky to have her."

Haven House, founded more than 30 years ago as South Peninsula Women's Services, provides shelter and advocacy to families and people dealing with domestic violence, and counseling and support to victims of sexual assault and child abuse. Programs include a 24-hour crisis line, domestic violence intervention for people found guilty of domestic violence related crimes, and the Child Advocacy Center.

The Child Advocacy Center coordinates services on the Kenai Peninsula for children who have been sexually or physically abused. The centers give children a safe, friendly environment to talk about abuse with counselors. Child protection teams of victim advocates, law enforcement, health professionals, and representatives from the Office of Children's Services and the District Attorney's office work together to investigate charges of sexual and physical abuse while minimizing the trauma of victims.

For more information on Haven House programs, visit its website at www.havenhousealaska.org or call 235-7712. The crisis line is 235-8943.