Our locations are open and accepting applications

FAQ: Hope Harbor Program Eligibility

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Who is eligible for admission to Hope Harbor?

Our Marshall and Winona sites serve girls ages 12-17, who are not pregnant or chemically dependent.  Our Parker site will serve boys ages 12-17 who are not chemically dependent.  Families should live within about a three-hour driving radius from the desired location, and parents must 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.

Are kids who need help 'bad kids?'

Not in the least.  We don't believe in the labels of 'bad' or 'troubled' kids.

While the behaviors and situations mentioned above may be common for many teens, that doesn't make it 'normal' or 'okay.'   We are not meant to simply exist or survive.  We are meant to thrive.  

Our residents are not bad kids, messed up, bad seeds, troubled kids, delinquents or any of the other lies the enemy would have you believe.  They are children of God, created with a plan and a purpose, overcoming the attack on their lives and their families through the blood of Jesus Christ.  They are just like you and I, who have all gone through our own battles.  We offer a hand that will guide them into the right direction.

Am i a bad parent for considering placement?

This is a question we are frequently asked and we confidently respond with: NO.   It only takes one person to change a cycle, and as parents we have to be the ones to recognize the need for change.   Incredible courage is necessary to ask for help and the deepest love for your child is shown when you make this difficult but necessary choice.   

That's good parenting.

Not every call we get results in placement.  Sometimes we can recommend resources that can help you shift without the need for our services.  For those who could benefit from our program, the sooner we can start working together the better.

The opinions and suggestions of those around you are often well-meaning but usually lack experience and are clouded with emotion.  Only your family knows the gravity of your situation.  And after all these years, we're pretty familiar with it, too.  Let's talk.

How do I know if it's time to get help?

Will things get better on their own?  We hope so.  But probably not.

Where were you, your child, your family, your situation one year ago?  Where are things today? Where do you see things one year from now if you continue on as you are today?

We sincerely wish there wasn't a need for our services.  But we know that there is.  And we are thankful that those who need our services are brave enough to seek them. 

Instead of asking yourself if things are bad enough to get help, instead ask yourself: How much more destruction am I going to allow before I say enough is enough? What is my 'last straw?'

Take our online quiz below to find out our recommendations on your family's situation.  It's quick and confidential.  We'll only contact you if you request that we do.

Or call us and we'll pray with you.  Let's see what the Lord has in store.

Is Hope Harbor just for teens?

Residents live on-site, while their parents and family participate in the healing process through commitment to individual biblical counseling and group parenting class, participation in weekly visits, passes, and phone calls, agreement and adherence to policy and guidelines for program duration and 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 that as their teen settles in to their program, they needed healing, too.

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

Hope Harbor is an interdenominational, Christ-centered and biblically based ministry committed to following Jesus in all we do. We are not affiliated with any denomination, we are simply Christian.  All healing is from a biblical perspective; counseling, spiritual growth, life skills and education include Christian spiritual growth initiatives. We attend various churches and hold Chapel on site. We weave prayer and devotions through our daily activities and our school curriculum is Accelerated Christian Education.  

Jesus is central to all we do.  He is the focus in the lives of our staff and we strive to genuinely walk out our faith.  Residents do not need to be Christian to enroll in our program.   We will support a resident's decision to make a saving declaration of faith in Jesus Christ and we will help them to further cultivate that relationship if they make that choice.  Families seeking services from Hope Harbor are seeking a faith-based, Christian program, and most have some history as Christian.

FAQ: Hope Harbor Internships and Volunteers

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I have to get involved! Do you accept interns?

Yes, we accept interns in a volunteer (unpaid) capacity to students from many educational areas.  Find out more through the link below:

I want to get involved! How can I volunteer?

Volunteers pour into this ministry from many backgrounds, professions and interests, demonstrating the love of Christ and the fruit of the Spirit in the lives of our teens. Complete the Volunteer Interest Form to get started:

FAQ: Hope Harbor Employment


are you hiring?

We are always accepting applications for Direct Care Staff in all locations.  If we do not currently have a staffing need, we will keep your application on file for later.  Schedules seem to change pretty quickly, so it's great to have interested parties available!  

Leadership staff positions (Site Director, Biblical Counselor, Program Coordinator and Teacher) are open less frequently, but it does happen.  Many of our leadership staff began as Direct Care Staff and were promoted from within.  If you feel called to work at Hope Harbor, we encourage you to apply today and see what the Lord has in store!

What do direct care staff do?

Direct Care Staff work 1:1 with our teens in our open locations.  Marshall and Winona, MN serve teen girls ages 12-17 and Parker, SD serves teen boys ages 12-17.  Direct Care Staff serve in the parenting or mentorship role for our teens, 'doing life' with them daily in a home style setting.  Our Direct Care Staff work shifts and do NOT live on site with the teens.  But they do provide the consistent, loving care our teens need to learn healthy habits, appropriate social skills, personal responsibility, family accountability and more.  Direct Care Staff get to wake the teens up in the morning, cook and eat meals together, take care of the home and yard, play games, watch movies, exercise, be silly, learn about Jesus and grow together.  There are hard things too - it's not all fun and games as our teens heal from some of the toughest things from their past - but our staff gets to work in a Christian environment focused on sharing the gospel and walking out our faith alongside others doing the same.  Learn more and read the full job description below.

what is "ministry" work?

Hope Harbor is a Christian ministry with a vision to renew minds, restore relationships and further the kingdom of God.  It is our mission to equip teens, empower parents and serve those in need by anchoring them to the hope of God's promises.   That's a tall order.  Thankfully we have the best tools for the job: core values that are centered completely on the Word of God.  Ministry work is challenging and unique, but the rewards are endless. 

FAQ: Hope Harbor Program

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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.  Our Minnesota sites in Marshall and Winona are licensed by MN Department of Human Services as a Children's Residential Facility, Group Residential Setting.  Our Parker, SD site operates as a private program for boys with a non accredited private school that provides housing.  We are a 501 C3 non-profit organization that receives no government funding and relies on tuition, sponsorships, fundraising activities and private donations to cover all operating costs. 

We do not turn away any family for inability to meet full program costs and we are committed to serving families regardless of their financial situation.  We strive to keep program costs low.  Round-the-clock care, biblical counseling and private education bring our annual budget near $700,000. Program costs for Hope Harbor families are a fraction of state programs and other private facilities. We work individually with families on tuition that fits their needs, and many families receive assistance to cover services. 

Is the Hope really on the Harbor?

Nope.  The Hope is on Jesus Christ alone.  Our name, Hope Harbor, wasn't by accident 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; security and comfort comes through our Comforter, the Holy Spirit.

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, often things of destruction, pain, and unrest. At Hope Harbor, our staff guides residents and families to harbor the hope of Jesus Christ, the Healer, in their hearts and minds. 

Do you offer non-residential counseling?

Hope Harbor does not offer non residential counseling at this time.  Feel free to contact us for area referrals. 

What is your On-site Program?

With 24/7 care, our Marshall and Winona locations have room for six girls and our Parker location will have room for up to 12 boys.  Our program duration is 12-15 months, with an average program completion of about one year

Residents move through five phases of restoration that include participation in individual and family biblical counseling, group skills teaching, attendance in on-site school five days a week year-round, learning life skills, and participation in spiritual growth initiatives that may cultivate a relationship with Jesus Christ. 

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

Can I see my friends while I'm in the program?

Admission to Hope Harbor is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for teens to focus on themselves and their needs. We know that the Lord hand-picks each teen and 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 be unfair to include the added pressure of outside peer influence. We have seen girls thrive best by putting those influences on hold to focus on what truly matters. 

In order to allow for our residents to get the most out of their time with us, they will not have romantic relationships or contact with friends until they are ready to transition home at program end.

What about my phone and my social media?!?

Both will be there when you are finished with the program, most likely. We are confident that the teens in our program are able to meet the challenge of living without social media, cell phones, boyfriends, girlfriends, 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).

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