Childhaven began as one of Seattle’s first child care centers for working mothers in 1909 and evolved into a healing center for abused, neglected and chemically-affected children. From infancy to preschool, Childhaven provides children with the compassionate care they need to achieve happy, healthy lives. The organization also provides parenting education to encourage the building of healthy relationships between parents and child.

The donation from KING 5 will benefit their Childhood Trauma Treatment Program, a program designed to heal and help abused, neglected, at-risk and drug-affected infants and preschoolers.

Emily Palm-Yedo, Program Director at the Eli Creekmore Memorial Branch said private contributions are essential for the organization.

“We do receive support from … Washington State but the majority of our funding in from private donors,” she said.

The agency serves about 350 children each year at three different locations.

“Childhaven’s mission is to end the cycle of abuse and neglect,” Palm-Yedo said. “It’s so important for early intervention for kids who are either at risk or have already experienced trauma. Their brains are still developing and we know if you can’t make a positive, secure human connection at an early age, it’s going to make it that much harder to be successful in your life. The challenges that our kids are dealing with now are on a much smaller scale than they would be 5, 10, 20 years down the road.”

Childhaven operates Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. year-round. The agency provides transportation to families.

Each child's story is different. Homelessness is one of the many obstacles families are facing.

Ruben Cooper is a single father of 5 whose family is getting back on their feet after spending last year sleeping in their truck, shelters or at motels. Palm-Yedo worked closely with him and his son Almonte, who’s six now.

“You have to have a plan. You have to have A, B … C,” Cooper said. “That’s one thing about me and Emily. We always had that A, B, C plan.”

Cooper and his family now lives in a house in Federal Way.

“They should learn a lot from this as far as structure…discipline,” Cooper said. “Hopefully they’ll see all of this and realize that they don’t want to be like that; hopefully grow up and become somebody. That’s what I’m praying for.”

Childhaven is also now a licensed mental health agency. Each child is assigned a child and family therapist overseeing his or her treatment.