More than a year’s worth of brainstorming, hard work and community effort culminated Tuesday in the opening of a new center for Circle of Hope.
The effort began with the organization — which is dedicated to providing financial, emotional and educational assistance for the uninsured and under-insured battling cancer — wanting to take that support “to another level,” said Taylor Kellstrom, board president for the Circle of Hope.
“We’re sitting there thinking and we had the idea to bring a cancer wellness center out here,” he said.
The new facility, called Hope’s Haven, represents this new level of service by adding comfort and support to Circle of Hope’s clients in three main ways, according to Pam Ripling, executive director of the nonprofit.
“We’ve been around for 14 years, and in the course of those 14 years,” Ripling said, “we’ve determined there’s a lot of ancillary services that could aid the healing process, but weren’t really being offered all in one place.”
The facility’s rooms also were designed to offer a comforting feel for patients and survivors, Kellstrom noted, another part of the effort to help ease the stress of those who are battling cancer.
The center will facilitate support in three main ways, Ripling said: one is through classes that will allow survivors to network while enjoying things like gentle yoga and tai chi; another aspect will be workshops, possibly once or twice a month; and then thirdly, a more one-on-one therapeutic experience for meetings with counselors or for services like seeing an esthetician.
Holly Feneht, owner of Gilded Lily, a paramedical body art studio, was part of the collaborative process that brought Hope’s Haven to the SCV.
She was grateful for all the community support that led to Tuesday’s opening, and hoped the generosity would continue as the center looks for community partners to volunteer their services and expertise to help those recovering from one of the most traumatic experiences possible.
In addition to helping Circle of Hope clients “de-stress” with the environment inside of Hope’s Haven, there will also be a patient navigator available to help survivors navigate everything from where to get the best wigs to how to apply for additional benefits.
The services offered at Hope’s Haven will be free for Circle of Hope’s clients, Kellstrom added.
“We’re just so so excited to be offering this to the Santa Clarita Valley cancer community,” Ripling said, “because really we want to take care of our own.”