Both Scott and Kathleen Hummel were born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. After meeting at the Jesuit college of Rockhurst University in Kansas City, they soon became engaged while attaining their graduate degrees in social work at another Jesuit university – St. Louis University, School of Social Work.
After completing her education in 1988, Kathleen worked with abused and neglected children at Evangelical Children’s Home. Specifically, Kathleen provided for sexually abused teens. Scott went to work with homeless families with the American Red Cross in East St. Louis and served as manager of the Second Chance Shelter. He too worked with abuse and neglect issues.
It was in 1990 that both Scott and Kathleen began to study the cyclical nature of child abuse, neglect, and poverty. After a lot of conversation and prayer, and turning to their friends, family and professors at both Rockhurst and St. Louis Universities for support, the two embarked on creating a program for children ages birth through five years of age and who were suffering from abuse, neglect, drug exposure or HIV impact. After three years of preparation and consultation with friends and colleagues, Our Little Haven opened her doors in 1993 for these special-needs children serving 30 kids over the first year. In 1995, the demand for these services was so great that Our Little Haven expanded to 24 children. It wasn’t long before another expansion to 40 children occurred in 1998. In 2002, the Taylor Family Care Center was opened to facilitate foster and adoption care, intervene with families in crises and facilitate the healing of disrupted children and families. And in 2005, Our Little Academy opened as a therapeutic pre-school. 2009 brought a renewed sense of inviting the community to care for these children with a marketing and branding strategy as well as an investment in the Development Office. All of this to allow Our Little Haven the opportunity to continue Caring for Children. Mind. Body. Soul. And a chance to offer six innovative programs resulting from leveraging early intervention into unique scenarios.
The premise of Our Little Haven is a faith-based approach to healing the whole child and providing them with a foundation of love upon which they can base future decisions. This foundation is made through the community and entails medical and psychosocial interventions, numerous therapeutic modalities – physical, language and speech, and play – positive human contact, nurturance, structure, discipline, love and, as Kathleen calls them, “emotional vitamins.” The goal is to make a life-long impact on the child, not a simple “Band-Aid” approach to the issues. In essence, Our Little Haven is creating a community where children are cherished and it is a unique place for unique children.
Success is certainly relative, but through assessment vehicles, the program demonstrates a significant impact on these special children during their formative years. By providing positive intervention at this age, the program is able to “re-wire” the brain and actually re-shape the architecture of the mind thus enabling the child a true opportunity to live and to learn and to grow and to love. To date, Our Little Haven has served over 4,000 children all of which now have a tremendous future ahead of them.
Currently, Scott and Kathleen reside in Crestwood (a suburb of St. Louis) with their three children, Maggie (age 17), Peter (age 15) and Sarah (age 13), and are active with Our Lady of Providence Parish.
Masters of Social Work 1988
Honorary Doctors of Humanities 2004