Frequently asked questions

What is Hope Harbor? 

We are a Christian ministry full of God’s hope, forgiveness, and grace, with a loving staff committed to restoring families.  We are a 501 C3 non-profit organization that receives no government funding and relies on tuition and private donations, and are licensed by MN DHS as a Residential Group Home, with a residential program and non-residential counseling. 

Is the Hope really on the Harbor?

Nope.  In The Land of 10,000 Lakes, we're not located near any!  

The Hope Harbor name has a purpose though.   Harbor, as a noun, is a place to find shelter and protection from rough waters, a place of security and comfort. Hope Harbor is a place of refuge for those in the midst of the rough waters of life. We aim to bring security and comfort through our Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to those in need.

Harbor, as a verb, means to give home or shelter to, or to keep in one’s mind. We all harbor something in our mind. Too often, it brings destruction, pain, and unrest as the enemy of our soul condemns us. At Hope Harbor, our staff guides residents and families to harbor the hope of Jesus Christ, the Healer, in their hearts.  He is so good to us!

Who is eligible for admission to Hope Harbor? 

Girls ages 12-17, who are not pregnant or chemically dependent, who live within a three-hour radius from the desired placement home location (Marshall or Winona) whose parents can also commit to the program requirements.  Many applicants have participated in behaviors that have caused disruption in their lives and the lives of others, including but not limited to: self harm, depression, eating disorders, anxiety problems, sexual abuse and exploitation, self-esteem issues, bullying or being bullied, anger and aggression, pornography, promiscuity including online, legal trouble, problems at home, runaway, past abuse, and other self destructive behaviors.

Is Hope Harbor just for teens? 

Residents live on-site, while their parents and family participate in the healing process through commitment to individual counseling and group parenting class, participation in weekly visits, passes, and phone calls, agreement and adherence to policy and guidelines for program duration, and full support of their child's healing.  In these ways, the entire family works together to make positive changes so the transition back is into a home of reconciliation and healing. Many parents discover as time progresses that they needed healing, too.

What is the Residential Program? 

With 24/7 care, each home has room for six girls to live for 12-15 months, with the average program duration of 1 year. Residents progress through five phases of restoration, participate in individual, group and family counseling, attend on-site school five days a week/year round, learn life skills, and participate in spiritual growth initiatives to cultivate a relationship with Jesus Christ. 

We are not a take-down or restraint facility, a lock-up facility, kid jail, being "sent away," emergency placement, a quick fix, or punishment. We are a safe, voluntary, long-term program where teens can discover who they are in Christ, to promote lasting healing they will lean on for years to come.

Do I have to be a Christian to enroll in Hope Harbor? 

Hope Harbor is an interdenominational, Christ-centered ministry committed to following Jesus in all we do. We are not affiliated with any denomination, we identify as simply Christian.  All healing is from a biblical perspective; our counseling, spiritual growth, life skills and education components include Christian spiritual growth initiatives. We attend various local churches and hold Chapel on site. We weave prayer and devotions through our daily activities, and our school curriculum is Accelerated Christian Education. Christ is central to all we do, center in the lives of our staff, and we strive to walk it out in a genuine way.  

Residents do not need to be Christian to enroll in our program, however we will support a resident's decision to make a saving declaration of faith in Jesus Christ during their program and help them to further cultivate that relationship.  Families seeking services from are seeking a faith-based, Christian program, and most have some history as Christian.

I can still see my friends though, right? 

Admission to Hope Harbor provides a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for teens to focus on themselves and what they truly need to be whole again. With room for only six girls at a time, we know that the Lord hand-picks each girl and her family to receive what He has for them here. A year may seem like a lot now, but it is just a moment. With all the pressures teens face today, it would not be fair to include the added pressure of outside peer influence. We have seen girls thrive best by putting those influences on hold, and focusing on what truly matters. In order to help you get the most out of your time with us, you will not have romantic relationships or contact with friends until you are ready to transition home.

What about my cell phone and my social media?! 

Both will be there when you are finished, most likely.  We are confident that the teens in our program are able to meet the challenge of living without social media, cell phone use, boyfriends, best friends, or even man's best friend. In fact, many of our residents find immense relief from the pressure and obligation that comes with these things, and discover they don't really miss them at all. Except for maybe their dog. Many of them do miss their dogs (but sometimes your parents can bring your dog for a visit). 

What is the Non-Residential Program? 

Our non-residential program provides Christian-based counseling that is a proactive and preventative step for teenage girls and their families. Our non-residential program also provides family support designed to facilitate family healing and reconciliation. Non-residential is offered to families within Marshall and the surrounding communities.  Contact us for more information. 

I want to get involved! Does Hope Harbor accept volunteers? 

Yes-volunteers of many ages, backgrounds, professions, and interests assist our ministry in different capacities. Volunteers demonstrate the love of Christ and the fruit of the Spirit in the lives of our teens, with a heart for ministry. Fill out a Volunteer Interest Form here

I have to get involved! Does Hope Harbor accept interns? 

Internships are available to students from many educational areas. Students who seek internship at Hope Harbor will volunteer (unpaid) in a supervised job-shadow capacity with House Staff in direct-care service. There may be opportunity for observation of Group Counseling and Parent Class. Interns over age 21 may be considered for paid fill-in work when available.  

Intern Applicants must be: students, currently enrolled in higher education, at least 20 years old, who pass a background check, and who are interested in learning about family reconciliation and healing of teens through Jesus Christ in a Christian ministry. Applicants must mail/email a resume, cover letter, and three recommendations, and Complete Volunteer Interest Form here Applicants are encouraged to include a statement of faith with resume. 

Please note we do not have a licensed social worker on-site, however, local universities have found exception for social work interns. Please speak to your professor, or have your professor contact us, for clearance.