Harbor House of Central Florida Inc.
P.O. Box 680748
Orlando FL 32868
Contact Information
Address P.O. Box 680748
Orlando, FL 32868
Phone (407) 886-2244
Fax (407) 886-0006
Web and Social Media
Donate with a credit card http://www.harborhousefl.com/donate

Harbor House works to prevent and eliminate domestic abuse in Central Florida by providing critical life-saving services to survivors, implementing and advancing best practices, and educating and engaging the community in a united front.test

CEO/Executive Director Michelle Sperzel
Board Chair Audra Hollifield
Board Chair Company Affiliation Orlando Magic
IRS Ruling Year 1979
Former Names
Spouse Abuse, Inc.2008
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph
Projected Revenue $3,644,854.00
Projected Expenses $3,644,854.00

Harbor House works to prevent and eliminate domestic abuse in Central Florida by providing critical life-saving services to survivors, implementing and advancing best practices, and educating and engaging the community in a united front.test



Accomplishments in FY 2015/16:

  • Domestic violence victims and survivors sought shelter at Harbor House from 50 cities in the State of Florida and from 13 out-of-state cities.
  • Domestic violence victims made 3,278 phone calls to the Harbor House crisis hotline number.
  • 434 adults and 450 children from domestic violence homes sought safety and sanctuary at Harbor House by providing over 19,000 bed nights and 553 safety plans (tactics and strategies that could help them escape to a safe place if needed).
  • 4,902 domestic violence victims, not in need of shelter, were offered and provided services that included almost 5,000 safety plans, counseling, and help with public assistance programs.
  • 6,430 individuals were helped with court-ordered injunctions and services
  • The EVE (Early Victim Engagement) program, implemented in 2014, reviewed 5,639 police reports, qualified 1,943 victims, and held over 270 in-person appointments. This activity has been shown to greatly reduce the number of intimate partner homicides and increase the successful prosecution rate in Orange County, Florida. Through collaboration with professionals in the civil and criminal justice system, Harbor House justice advocates have aided law enforcement to enhance and to maintain a comprehensive system of survivor safety and batterer accountability.
  • Harbor House children's center provided over 20,000 hours of childcare.
  • 10,378 adults received group and/or individual counseling; over 3,000 cases were created for case management.
  • Since its inception in 2012, more than 125 pets have found refuge from abusive homes at our on- campus pet kennel.


    Independent Research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or program effectiveness? Yes

    Harbor House does not charge for any shelter, outreach, or courthouse service. Thus, more than $1 million must be raised annually to meet operational expenses and generate matching funds.

    1. Client needs: Transportation costs for medical appointments and clinic visits; ID/birth certificate fees; personal and feminine care items; diapers; clothing; laundry detergent and cleaning supplies; gas and grocery gift cards; and more.

    2. Client needs upon leaving shelter: Rent and utility bill assistance, food, furniture, clothing, etc.

    3. With four buildings to serve our clients, our utility bills must be paid. Water and electricity utility assistance is always gratefully received.

    4. General shelter needs: plastic and paper products (plastic wrap, plastic cutlery, paper plates and napkins, etc.); travel and transportation (fleet fuel, vehicle repair); and rental equipment (copier, etc.).

    5. During holiday times, we  uplift the residents with special festivities , such as “shopping at our holiday store”, Mother’s Day hair styling and cuts, as well as Halloween activities for the children. For out-of-school summer months, a complete schedule of children’s summer activities, such as “Splash Day”, a bounce house, and cook-outs are planned.


    In 1976, a group of women pooled their talents and resources to help battered women escape from their abusers. With 4 beds in a downtown Orlando basement, the founders established a safe house and named it “Spouse Abuse, Inc.” In 2008, this same organization changed its name to “Harbor House of Central Florida, Inc.” (Harbor House). Today, in a confidential location, Harbor House’s emergency shelter for domestic violence victims is one of several buildings located on a 6+-acre compound. From humble beginnings, Harbor House has grown into a modern, 150-bed emergency shelter with a donation center, a pet kennel, and an administrative/childcare building.

    Harbor House’s programs have also evolved into a comprehensive set of domestic abuse programs:

    • At shelter:
      • Every person, adult, and child who stays at the shelter receives safety planning; advocacy; food, clothing, and shelter; and assistance with whatever needs they may have for medical conditions.
      • The DCF-licensed day care and an after-school program are available for residents’ children.
      • A full-facility pet kennel is available for survivor’s pets.
    • Outreach Services (For victims not in imminent danger and not in need shelter):
      • Provide individualized advocacy, case management, assistance with public program applications, and community-based housing.
    • Justice Program (Co-located advocates at law enforcement offices and the Department of Corrections):
      • Educate victims with information about the injunction process.
      • Assist/support victims through the petition filings process.
      • Escort victims to and through court appearances for moral support.
    • Community Education and Prevention Programs:
      • Bring increased awareness and understanding of domestic violence within the Orange County community with a focus on creating active bystanders.
      • “Little Leaders of Courage” (elementary school) and “Leaders of Courage” (middle and high school) school programs work with principals to reach younger children and teens.
      • The R3 (Recognize, Respond, Refer) program is directed to businesses, faith institutions, heath care providers, community organization adults, and law enforcement to educate individuals about ways to help domestic violence victims.
    CEO Statement

    Harbor House is Orange County’s only State-certified domestic violence service provider, predominantly for battered women and their children. Our 150-bed shelter is well postured to what appears to be an increasing trend: domestic violence is not only not going away but increasing. Since 2011, Orange County’s domestic violence offenses have grown almost 10%. In 2015 and as reported by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Orange County—the State of Florida’s 5th most populated county (1.3 million residents)—had the highest number of reported domestic violence offenses (8,901), even surpassing Miami-Dade County’s reported offenses (8,828) with twice the number of residents (2.2 million).

    This information puts Harbor House’s services in a different light. With domestic violence cases trending up, the ability to be able to shelter a future growing number of domestic violence victims and survivors is critical; we are well positioned to be that haven of hope that we know is coming.

    Harbor House’s new facility has two modern, up-to-date kitchens as well as state-of-the-art/ family-styled lodgings; a community room; and a playground donated by KABOOM! and Walt Disney World Resorts. Additionally, there are laundry facilities, a teen room, a computer cafe, a chapel/library and staff offices. Our childcare facility is DCF-certified and available to parents who, for example, are employed, travel to job interviews, or need coverage to keep medical appointments. Our kennel is a full-service kennel for small animals of all kinds.

    For those who do not need emergency shelter, the Outreach office offers advocacy for housing and public assistance. Outreach advocates create safety plans, develop case management files, and refer clients for counseling and other needed disciplines. Our Justice advocates work hand-in-hand with law enforcement to help prevent injuries and even death at the hand of batterers by creating safety plans as well as offering services and assistance with court orders for protection. Harbor House’s prevention team actively teaches and informs the public about domestic violence awareness, what to look for, and how to help.

    Harbor House is focused on saving lives and giving hope to those who have none.

    Board Chair Statement N/A
    CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments N/A
    NTEE Information
    Primary Organization Type Human Services
    Primary Organization SubType Family Violence Shelters and Services
    Secondary Organization Type Housing, Shelter
    Tertiary Organization Type Animal Related
    Tertiary Organization SubType Animal Protection & Welfare
    Areas Served
    Geographic Areas Served
    Orange County in the State of Florida. 
    HelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact.

    Harbor House’s goal is to break the cycle of domestic abuse, starting with Orange County, Florida. To accomplish this, it is imperative that we create a new pathway of awareness: from reacting to domestic violence after the fact to proactively changing hearts and minds. We must establish a community of active, trained bystanders on every level - from individual to societal (businesses, health care professionals, faith institutions) to systemic (courts, judges, public policy). Finally, we must change the conversation about domestic abuse because this is not just a women’s issue, or a family issue, or “a problem.” This is a societal dilemma that drains our society emotionally, economically, and spiritually.

    To truly end this devastating cycle, our goals for the next 5 years must include:

    1. Promoting domestic violence offender accountability and sentencing by at least a 10% increase in successful prosecution outcomes.

    2. Demonstrating that survivors who accept Harbor House services can define and achieve their own goals for safety and self- sufficiency.

    3. Demonstrating that survivors who leave Harbor House can transition successfully and peacefully into meaningful and rewarding lives.

    Public awareness is key to ensuring that our message is clearly understood by domestic violence victims, their family members, and all other community members in Orange County, FL. This means that we must communicate clearly  both verbally and in print, as well as strengthen our outreach efforts, specifically for these populations.

    To accomplish our public awareness goals, we must continue to:

    1. Train students in our Leaders of Courage or Little Leaders education programs.

    2. Make sure that healthcare providers are screening their patients for domestic abuse.

    3. Encourage first responders to use our InVEST Crisis Response team to the fullest capacity.

    4. Inspire businesses to implement policies that address domestic violence in the workplace to increase workplace safety.

    5. Help medical professionals to providing their staff with Recognize, Respond, Refer (R3) programming as well as teaching the importance and the courage to come forward and help those in their organization who are in need.

    HelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals?

    Harbor House’s strategies to achieve social change are focused on creating a community of active bystanders. To do this, we use what we teach in Recognize, Respond, Refer (R3), which clarifies how to recognize domestic abuse, respond to it effectively, and refer survivors to safety.

    For example, our Project Courage initiative was a targeted effort in two communities in Orange County. Beginning in 2009, our goal was to saturate the first community--Pine Castle--with knowledge, training programs, and events to help eradicate domestic abuse in that area. We went into schools, businesses, health care providers, government agencies, and faith-based institutions with training and programming focused on our core philosophy of R3. Armed with information about how to recognize domestic abuse, how to respond to it effectively, and how to refer survivors to safety, we built significant partnerships and changed attitudes and behaviors.

    Harbor House’s prevention team expanded the program to other high risk areas, such as Bithlo, and targeted schools in the Evans High School, Edgewater, Boone High School, Stonewall Jackson Middle School, Oak Ridge High School, East Orlando Carver Middle School, Orlando Day Nursery, and Ivy Lane Elementary. The 911 calls didn’t stop, but the results from the Project Courage initiative have demonstrated that individuals learned that they have real choices beyond being a victim. They can seek shelter, participate in counseling, or choose a legal avenue, such as filing injunctions. This is proof that our efforts are working.

    Building on this, our strategies for future success are the following:

    1. Promote community education as well as strengthen individual knowledge by reaching targeted groups of people with information and resources to prevent violence and promote safety.
    2. Educate providers who will teach these skills and knowledge to others as well as model positive norms.
    3. Foster coalitions and networks to bring  groups and individuals together for broader goals and greater impact.
    4. Change organizational practices by assisting these organizations in adopting regulations and shaping norms to prevent violence and improve safety.
    5. Influence policies and legislation by encouraging laws, regulations, and policies that support healthy community norms and a violence-free society.
    HelpWhat are the organization’s capabilities for doing this? What resources, capacities, and connections support its progress towards long-term goals?

    Our internal resources include a highly-trained and experienced staff who promote trauma-informed care and an empowerment model for survivors. Coupled with a strong, well-connected board of directors who are influential in the community and committed to our mission, Harbor House has the right people to accomplish the stated goals. Our executive-level board brings a wide array of expertise in strategic development, financial services, human resources, communications and governance; their expertise and involvement has been instrumental to our success.

    Externally, our community recognizes the critical need for Harbor House’s services and actively support the work we do. We are so grateful to have partnerships with other agencies that include homeless coalitions, child welfare agencies, health care partners, and law enforcement agencies. Harbor House also has strong partnerships with some of Florida’s most well-known corporations, such as Disney World Resorts, SeaWorld Orlando, The Orlando Sentinel, Orlando Magic, TJX Foundation, Westgate Resorts, Universal Studios), as well as foundations that are both local and national in scope (Visiting Nurses Association, The Harper Family Charitable Foundation, The John and Polly Sparks Foundation, Minto Foundation, and more).

    Our donors—from every aspect of giving—acknowledge the immeasurable impact of what Harbor House does. A prime example of how the community has banded together to support Harbor House is evidenced with our new 26,000+ sf shelter, which could not have been built without the endorsements and financial backing of the Morgan Family, Disney World Resorts, Westgate Resorts, and countless other organizations, corporations, and individuals. Our donors and sponsors of companies, foundations, and individuals—are the truest measurement of the community’s confidence. With a bed count of 150, the new Harbor House shelter will provide both safe and private space for families to heal. This could not have been realized without the generosity and funding from our community partners.

    Additionally, we are proactively moving our funding model from a grant-based income stream to a donor-identified revenue base. From our roster of over 10,000 names, we are seeking out, identifying, and cultivating individuals who will continue to support us and/or discover how Harbor House is an excellent investment for the Orange County community.

    Furthermore, we are a valued member of the Orange County Domestic Violence Task Force, which is comprised of leaders from nearly every agency that touches the criminal justice system in domestic violence cases. Through our involvement, we have been able to offer tangible solutions to community-wide problems identified during the commission Task Force’s research process.

    HelpHow will the organization know if it is making progress? What are the key qualitative and quantitative indicators against which the organization assesses its progress toward its intended impact?

    Several indicators illustrate that our efforts are working. The DELTA Focus program brought together Harbor House staff with the Orlando Police Department School Resource Officers. Because Officer attitudes and perceptions of teen dating violence were identified through a survey, Harbor House tailored an R3  training to officers at area high schools.Thus, at targeted specific high-risk schools (Evan, Oakridge, Boone, Dr. Phillips, and Lake Nona), we were able to work closely with Orlando Police Department School Resource officers.

    Recognizing the value of parent and student engagement and programs, such as Harbor House’s Leader of Courage program, Evans High School's administration created a parent resource center (PRC) and staffed the center with a full-time parent and a community outreach coordinator. The PRC provides a welcoming place for parents to come for information, training, direction, and team camaraderie that is focused on empowering students to achieve. This is but one example of how our fight against domestic abuse is winning.

    These schools welcomed Harbor House’s Little Leaders and Leader of Courage classes where dating violence, date rape, and/or bullying classes (age-appropriate) were discussed frankly. To many of these teens and younger children, these topics had remained hidden. Yet, to be able to participate in classroom discussions with peers, is invaluable.

    We continue to educate school-aged children with our Little Leaders of Courage curricula taught to students, aged 4 through elementary, and Leaders of Courage for middle school and high school students. This past fiscal year, we conducted classes for high school students at Oak Ridge High School. With videos and handouts, the students discussed domestic violence, teen rape dating, and bullying, holding little back as they shared stories and expressed themselves candidly. With open dialogues that bring out solutions, we are positively impacting the community and children.

    Internally, we use several methods of measurement to identify progress toward our intended impact. Our reports for FY 2015/16 show:

    • 4,790 victims worked with a Harbor House justice advocate for crisis counseling
    • 3,996 victims received emergency legal advocacy
    • 6,645 new injunctions were filed (for calendar year 2015)
    • 5,553 safety plans were created
    • 5,639 police reports were reviewed for potential domestic violence lethality
    • 19,033 bednights were provided
    • 3,278 crisis hotline calls were answered
    • 45 pets were rescued
    • 10,378 hours of Outreach counseling helped survivors through crisis
    • 24,650 referrals made for victim services

    HelpWhat has and hasn’t been accomplished so far?

    Our efforts to focus on R3 training and to create a community of active bystanders, resulted in a substantial change. Health professionals in our Project Courage community of Pine Castle said they would change their patient evaluation routine to include R3. Faith leaders and parishioners in the Pine Castle area who took the survey said they now understood "how to Recognize, Respond and Refer a domestic abuse survivor." In the business community, most of those trained stated that when confronted by a domestic abuse survivor, they would help him or her get the resources needed to be safe. This is social change.

    There is more work to do. Our goal is to:

    • Reach every youth via the Leaders of Courage/Little Leaders school programs in Orange County.
    • Train health care providers to provide domestic abuse screening as part of their health screenings.
    • Continue to train first responders on R3 and to continue using our InVEST Crisis Response Team advocates.
    • Work with businesses and corporations to become Key Business Partners.
    • Open the dialogue with faith-based institutions for R3 programming to their leaders and their congregations.

    Description Harbor House of Central Florida is Orange County’s only State-certified domestic violence emergency shelter. On November 18, 2016, we cut the ribbon for our new state-of-the-art facility, which has brought our bed count to 150. In FY2015/16, 884 adults and children stayed in Safe Short Term Housing for 19,033 bed-nights, our 24/7/365 crisis hotline advocates took over 3,278 crisis calls from  victims, and we helped create 555 safety plans. This program employs State-certified staff and offers onsite counseling, case management, empowerment training and classes, childcare, pet kennel services, case management, and crisis intervention.
    Population Served Adults
    Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
    90% of survivors residing in shelter for over 48 hours will work with an advocate to complete a comprehensive case plan to include safety planning, a needs assessment, and community referrals.
    Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

    90% of shelter residents will have safe housing when leaving shelter.

    50% of shelter residents will increase their income following exit.
    80% of residents will complete at least one satisfaction card.
    85% retention for shelter volunteers.

    95% of callers identified as high lethality will receive a safety plan.

    40% of hotline callers will be linked to services.

    80% of children in shelter will receive child care services.

    100% of children in shelter will receive a welcome and discharge session with an advocate.

    Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
    Program success is monitored through survivor success stories, advocate case notes, a detailed safety plan, and a case plan. All intake documentation and case notes are reported in the survivor's file and uploaded into the OSNIUM database, a program designed for domestic abuse centers. Satisfaction surveys are also completed by survivors and monitored by supervisors.
    Examples of SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

    Rosa never thought that domestic abuse could happen to her until she met her former boyfriend, who mentally and physically tortured her for several years. While to the outside world, he was a well-respected man in the community, at home, he terrorized Rosa with his controlling behavior. When Rosa came to Harbor House, she was traumatized and afraid for her life. She had recently lost her job because her former boyfriend stalked her at her place of employment and was terrified that he would find her and kill her. Through safety planning and case management in the emergency shelter, Rosa was able to gain the skills and confidence that she needed to move forward with her life. As a result of living in a safe and stable environment, Rosa  obtained full time employment at a local bank. She moved into our Transitional Housing program and saved money to move into her own apartment. She has expressed that she feels much more confident through the encouragement and support of Harbor House.



    Harbor House's Outreach program served 4,902 adult and children survivors at multiple locations throughout Orange County in FY 2015/16 with 4,998 safety plans, over 10,000 hours of crisis counseling, relocation assistance, connections to resources in the community, and support groups. Outreach works with survivors who are not in imminent danger, not in need of emergency shelter, and/or who have transitioned out of shelter.
    Population Served Victims
    Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
    Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
    90% of survivors with children receiving Outreach services will receive a referral for child counseling.
    For survivors receiving Outreach services, 50% will attend support groups. 
    70% of survivors receiving Outreach services will attend two or more individual sessions.
    85% retention for Outreach volunteers.
    Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
    100% of children will receive a referral for children's counseling.
    90% of survivors referred to Outreach from Emergency Shelter will receive a follow up call from an Outreach advocate. Of those referred, 60% will attend accept Outreach services.
    Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Program success is monitored through survivor success stories, advocate case notes, a detailed safety plan, and a case plan. All intake documentation and case notes are reported in the survivor's file and uploaded into the OSNIUM database, a program designed for domestic abuse centers. Satisfaction surveys are also completed by survivors and monitored by supervisors.
    Examples of SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

    Sarah was a homeless survivor of domestic abuse who came to the Outreach program having lived in a tent for months. She was unemployed and wanted to work; however, without an address she was unable to obtain the necessary documentation needed for employment. Sarah was referred to the Community Based Housing program. With a stable place to live, she was able to focus on her employment needs. She met regularly with the Community Based Housing Specialist and was provided the following services: safety planning, assistance with obtaining necessary identification, and credit repair through the Financial Empowerment workshops. As a result, Sarah recently obtained full time employment. Sarah is now healthier and her self-esteem has significantly improved. She has expressed an interest in some day volunteering as an advocate for a domestic abuse center and states that she thanks Harbor House for changing her life.

    Outside of shelter and Outreach, our court services program helped and support over 29,000 cases of domestic abuse during between 2011 and 2015. During FY 2015/16, Court advocates provided advocacy, support, and assistance for more than 3,000 victims with  6,646+ domestic/dating/sexual violence orders of protection,  translation services, court accompaniment, crisis intervention, safety planning, and filing assistance.
    Population Served Adults
    Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
    For survivors in the courthouse program, 90% of those identified as high lethality will receive a safety plan.
    85% retention for Courthouse volunteers. 
    Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Program success is monitored through survivor success stories, advocate case notes, a detailed safety plan, and a case plan. All intake documentation and case notes are reported in the survivor's file and uploaded into the OSNIUM database, a program designed for domestic abuse centers. Satisfaction surveys are also completed by survivors and monitored by supervisors.
    Examples of SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success. Ebony had been married to her husband for eight years before seeking out the Harbor House court program. Throughout the marriage, Ebony endured physical and verbal abuse. The abuse began with her husband belittling her and calling her names. A few years into the marriage, he became physically abusive toward Ebony. The incident that led her to contact law enforcement was when he beat her so badly that she ended up in the hospital with severe injuries. She contacted the police and they referred her to the courthouse to file for an injunction for protection against domestic violence. Advocates at the courthouse assisted her with completing her petition for an injunction and also took pictures of the bruises around her eyes and neck from the physical attack. She received a safety plan and a referral to Outreach Services. The judge granted Ebony a temporary injunction for protection. She later wrote a letter to Harbor House stating that she is forever grateful for the courthouse program.

    Harbor House’s prevention program’s purpose is to break the cycle of domestic abuse by engaging Orange County’s youth. Ranging from our Leaders of Courage (middle and high school youth) to Little Leaders (tailored for pre-K to 5th grade), we educate children about healthy relationships, bullying, and safe bystander intervention. Project Courage reaches all levels of the community from youth in the Leaders of Courage program to businesses in our Key Business initiative to community leaders and faith institutions. Since its launch in March 2010, Project Courage has been taught in the Pine Castle, Malibu Groves, Oak Ridge, and Bithlo communities.

    Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
    At-Risk Populations
    Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
    Youth who participate in school programming will show a 15% increase in knowledge of abusive behaviors as measured by the pre/post survey questions.
    Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
    80% of youth participating in Prevention services will complete the Leaders of Courage programming in its entirety. 
    25% of adults participating in Prevention programming will attend more than two community events. 
    Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Prevention program success is measured by participant pre/post evaluation surveys and success stories, along with facilitator evaluations.
    Examples of SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

    The Leaders of Courage curriculum is designed to educate youth about the dynamics of abusive/unhealthy relationships. Throughout the 9-week program, youth will define abuse and respect, learn skills for effective communication, recognize red flags, bullying behaviors, learn safe bystander intervention, understand gender stereotypes, and create strategies with youth that raise awareness about intimate partner violence to their schools and communities.

    After attending two group sessions, a youth participant recognized that she was in an unhealthy relationship. While no longer in the relationship, her former boyfriend was becoming increasingly aggressive. Through the Leaders of Courage program, the teenager recognized the signs of an abusive relationship. After safety planning with the teen, the advocate followed up, citing that the young woman continued to attend the groups. She became a leader among her peers and a strong proponent for the success of the Leaders of Courage program.


    Description During FY 2015/16, Harbor House staff and trained volunteers facilitated professional education about domestic violence and abuse to law enforcement, businesses, health care providers, social services, human resource professionals, and everyday residents. Our core curriculum, R3 (Recognize, Respond and Refer), educates individuals how to recognize domestic abuse, respond effectively, and refer survivors to safety. Harbor House held more than 170  presentations and trained over 5,600 individuals in this specialized training, which included successful ways how to deal with survivors and abusers, and the warning signs for early detection for a home situation.
    Population Served Adults
    Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
    Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Program success is monitored by pre- and post- test evaluations and facilitator evaluations.
    Examples of SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
    The Orlando Sentinel published an article highlighting the success of our business education initiative. The article (published on 9/19/12) stated: "A program aimed at bringing awareness and an eventual end to domestic violence is showing success in one Orange County Community. The privately funded program is aimed at spreading awareness about the dynamics of domestic violence in the community through training based on the R3 method-recognize, respond and refer-to help victims of domestic violence."

    On December 6, 2012, the Paws for Peace kennel opened—and welcomed a guinea pig. Since then 96 dogs, 19 cats, and 5 other pets have been residents of the kennel, allowing 92 families to seek safe shelter without having to leave their family pet behind. With sponsors, such as SeaWorld, the facility is fully functional with separate quarters for dogs, cats, and “others”.

    Population Served Families

    Harbor House’s Donation Center opened on December 6, 2012. A multipurpose facility, the Center allows Harbor House to accept and store donations in large quantities, such as cleaning supplies, paper products, linens and bedding, mattresses, food, and pet supplies. We also accept donations for families transitioning to housing, such as large appliances, furniture, kitchen items (cutlery, pots and pans, dishes, etc.) and more. The Center is also the hub for donation drives, such as Gifts of Hope, Holiday Store, and Back-to-School Backpacks. Since its opening, over $1.4M worth of goods have been donated to domestic violence victims and their families.

    Population Served Victims
    Description Because nearly half of all Safe Short Term Housing residents are under the age of 18, Harbor House offers licensed childcare, 5 days a week, at no cost to survivors who reside in shelter. With a capacity for 60+ children, our childcare program is trauma-informed with age-appropriate programming. In FY 2015/16, we provided 21,846 service hours and prepared 5,999 hot meals for the children in our childcare facility. With their children in good hands, mothers can begin their own recovery process and take the necessary steps to become economically independent (locate alternative housing and seek employment) and be free from their abuse.
    Population Served Adults
    Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

    These two programs bring together advocates, law enforcement, child protective services, and animal services to reduce intimate partner homicides and serious injury, while increasing the successful prosecution and accountability to batterers. Currently, we have EVE advocates in 4 of the 12 municipalities in Orange County who identify high lethality cases and refer them to Harbor House for emergency intervention. In FY2015/16, the InVEST/EVE team reviewed 5,639 police reports, identifying 1,943 victims “in a high lethality relationship” and qualified to receive services. While 272 personal appointments were made, only 14% accepted services.

    Population Served Adults
    CEO Comments N/A
    Board Chair
    Board Chair Audra Hollifield
    Company Affiliation Orlando Magic
    Term July 2016 to June 2017
    Board Co-Chair
    Board Co-Chair Anthony Cordoza
    Company Affiliation Bank of America
    Term Start July 2016 June 2017
    Board Members
    NameCompany AffiliationsStatusCertificate*
    Angel Buchanan Wells FargoVoting
    Sheila Bystrak Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & BabiesVoting
    Toni Caracciolo SeaWorld Parks & EntertainmentVoting
    Tony Cardoza Bank of AmericaVoting
    Earl Crittenden Jr.Gray RobinsonVoting
    Riva Dumany Voting
    Linda Ewing Massey Services, Inc.Voting
    Laura Genette WKMG - Local 6Voting
    Betsy Hill
    Audra Hollifield Orlando MagicVoting
    Michelle Latham State Attorneys OfficeVotingNo
    Margaret Lezcano Community VolunteerVoting
    Barbara Lezcano Morgan StanleyVoting
    Verbelee Nielson-Swanson Florida HospitalVoting
    Beverly Paulk Community VolunteerVoting
    Alexis Pugh
    Ruffin Rhodes AIARhodes + Brito Architects IncVoting
    Ron Sachs Community VolunteerVoting
    Lincoln Salmon Salmon Agency, Inc.Voting
    Jill Schwartz Jill S. Schwartz & Associates, P.A.Voting
    Nina Yon United Methodist Volunteer in MissionVoting
    Janet Ziomek Connextions, Inc.Voting
    *This individual has been awarded a Certificate in Orientation to Board Service by the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College ebi.rollins.edu,
    Board Term Lengths 3
    Board Term Limits 3
    Board Ethnicity
    Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
    Caucasian 17
    Hispanic/Latino 3
    Native American/American Indian 0
    Other 0
    Other (if specified) 1
    Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
    Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
    Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
    Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 18%
    Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
    Standing Committees
    Standing Committees
    Committee Name
    Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
    Additional Board/s Members and Affiliations
    Advisory Board
    NameCompany Affiliation
    Dick Batchelor Dick Batchelor Management Group
    Glen Casel Community Based Care of Seminole
    Brigitte Dagot Honorary Consul, France
    Anthony Davis No Limit Ministries
    Johnny Duncan Duncan Consulting, Inc
    Michael Freeman UCF Wellness & Health Services
    Dr. Jan Garavaglia District 9 Medical Examiner's Office
    Catherine Jackson Community Volunteer
    Dr. Jana Jasinski UCF Associate Professor of Sociology
    Jodie Kalmus Darden Restaurants
    Richard Lapchick University of Central Florida DeVos Sports Management Program
    Lt. Bruce McMullen Orange County Sheriff's Office
    Joyce Pastorek No Abuse Inc
    Trish Price Florida Hospital
    Laurent Prosper Honorary Consul, Haiti
    Dr. Kevin Sherin State of Florida Department of Health
    Bob Smedley Orange County Corrections/Probation
    Laura Williams
    CEO Comments N/A
    CEO/Executive Director
    CEO/Executive Director Michelle Sperzel
    Term Start Jan 2017
    Email MSperzel@harborhousefl.com

    Michelle Sperzel, who holds an MBA, a CFRE, and brings more than 19 years of experience aiding women in crisis, has been named the new CEO of Harbor House of Central Florida. Ms. Sperzel will start her new role in January, focusing on strategic and operational leadership of the nonprofit organization. Ms. Sperzel comes to Harbor House from Girls in the Games, a leading girls’ health and fitness organization in Chicago, IL. There she served as the CEO and implemented a long-term strategic and expansion plan. Prior to that, Ms. Sperzel served as the Executive Director of Shelter House Domestic and Sexual Violence Center in Fort Walton Beach, FL, where she started numerous survivor-defined programs, including literacy, economic justice, youth and prevention, transitional housing, and an on-site kennel at the emergency shelter. In addition, Ms. Sperzel and her staff were presented with the Governor’s Promote Peace, Prevent Domestic Violence award for creating and implementing a model youth prevention program that addressed stereotypes, self-esteem and bullying. Sperzel also has served on numerous boards and been involved with several community projects that address family violence, homelessness, and social justice. The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV), the statewide association representing Florida’s 42 certified domestic violence centers, commended the Harbor House Board of Directors on their selection of Ms. Sperzel.

    CEO Salary Range $125,001 - $150,000
    Former CEOs
    Former CEOs
    Ms. Laurel Lynch July 2016Dec
    Ellen Siler Feb 2016June
    Number of Full Time Staff 50
    Number of Part Time Staff 14
    Number of Volunteers 1955
    Number of Contract Staff 1
    Staff Retention Rate 68%
    Senior Staff
    Title Chief Development Officer
    Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
    Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
    Years Strategic Plan Considers 4
    Date Strategic Plan Adopted Jan 2014
    Management Succession Plan Yes
    Organization Policies And Procedures Yes

    To reach our goal to end the cycle of domestic abuse, Harbor House collaborates with multiple partners:

    Apopka Police Department, Catholic Charities, Children's Home Services, Community Based Care (CBC), Community Coordinated Care of Central Florida, Department of Children and Families, East Orange County Community Center (DCF), Family Promise, Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV), Heart of Florida United Way, Help Now of Osceola, Inc., Homeless Services Network (HSN), Northwest Community Center, Orange County: Sherriff Office (OCSO), Government, Department of Corrections, Public Schools, Orlando Police Department (OPD), Pine Hills Community Center, SafeHouse of Seminole, Second Harvest Food Bank, The Salvation Army, UCF/Project Harmony, United Against Poverty (formerly Community Food & Outreach).


    AwardAwarding OrganizationYear
    Champions for Children AwardCentral Florida Association of Fundraising Professionals2011
    Ending Violence @ Home App ChallengeAvon Foundation & Institute of Medicine2012
    Liberty BellOrange County Bar Association2016
    CEO Comments N/A
    State Registration Yes
    State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
    State Charitable Solicitations Permit Expiration Month Mar
    State Charitable Solicitations Permit Expiration Year 2018
    Fiscal Year
    Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2016
    Fiscal Year End June 30, 2017
    Detailed Financials
    Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
    Fiscal Year201520142013
    Foundation and
    Corporation Contributions
    Government Contributions$2,720,601$2,333,821$2,197,126
    Individual Contributions$8,850,824$1,105,741$605,812
    Investment Income, Net of Losses$1,749$4,628$1,760
    Membership Dues$0$0$0
    Special Events$83,782$68,209$125,275
    Revenue In-Kind$447,983$387,445$520,696
    Expense Allocations
    Fiscal Year201520142013
    Program Expense$3,329,946$3,283,119$2,850,402
    Administration Expense$477,300$271,728$221,179
    Fundraising Expense$382,073$221,609$188,117
    Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
    Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.221.041.15
    Program Expense/Total Expenses79%87%87%
    Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue3%6%6%
    Assets and Liabilities
    Fiscal Year201520142013
    Total Assets$8,117,925$7,203,526$6,990,267
    Current Assets$3,485,195$2,812,457$2,478,746
    Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
    Current Liabilities$196,801$222,428$159,206
    Total Net Assets$7,921,124$6,981,098$6,831,061
    Top Funding Sources
    Fiscal Year201520142013
    Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndividuals $8,850,824Government $2,333,821Federal Government $1,305,521
    Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment $2,720,601Individuals $1,105,741Individuals $605,812
    Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFoundations and Corporations $975,000In-Kind $387,445Inkind Revenue $520,696
    Short Term Solvency
    Fiscal Year201520142013
    Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities17.7112.6415.57
    Long Term Solvency
    Fiscal Year201520142013
    Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
    Capital Campaign
    Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
    Campaign Goal 7600000
    Capital Campaign Dates Feb 2013 - Dec 2016
    Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date $6,100,000.00 as of Apr 2016
    Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
    CEO Comments
    Foundation Comments
    Financial figures taken from 990.  990 and audit are reconciled.
    The in-kind contribution revenue includes non-cash contributions and donated services and use of facilities as reported on the IRS Form 990. Donated services and facilities are not included in total revenue. Endowment fund is held at the Central Florida Foundation.
    Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
    Notes Programs listed here are those that are only activated during a disaster. Some organizations have unified budgeting and do not budget by program. Because of this, some budget fields may be blank or represent an approximation. Organization describes previous experience during the immediate response, recovery or rebuilding phases following a disaster.