Safe Haven Ministries hires new Executive Director
Safe Haven Ministries has chosen Rachel VerWys as the organization’s next executive director.
VerWys, a longtime nonprofit leader, succeeded Megan Hopkins and joined the organization on Monday.
Founded in 1990, Safe Haven Ministries is a Grand Rapids-based non-profit organization dedicated to empowering all survivors to free themselves from domestic violence while working to prevent and end relationship abuse.
VerWys has amassed a range of nonprofit leadership experiences over the past 20 years, including founding / co-founding two organizations, Curate and Solutions to End Exploitation (SEE) in Grand Rapids. She most recently served as Executive Director of SEE and chairs the SEE Human Trafficking Coalition, formerly the Kent County Area Human Trafficking Coalition.
“Rachel has a strong history of leading at the intersection of faith and social justice, and we look forward to her joining Safe Haven to elevate the mission, vision and impact of the organization in the years to come, ”said Chaz Amidon, Safe Haven Ministries’ chairman of the board.
As Executive Director of Safe Haven, VerWys will work closely with staff and the board to ensure that the organization continues to serve those experiencing domestic violence in Kent County.
“I am honored to join the Safe Haven Ministries team and together cultivate our mission rooted in faith, serving with excellence to prevent and end abuse in relationships, strengthen partnerships and create equitable systems change.” , said VerWys.
VerWys received a BA in Social Work from Calvin College (now Calvin University) and an MA in Social Work from the University of Southern California. As a student at Calvin, VerWys volunteered at Ramoth House, which later became Safe Haven Ministries.
VerWys was named one of West Michigan’s 50 Most Influential Women by the Grand Rapids Business Journal in 2020 and received a Diversity Award from Wedgwood Christian Services in May 2021.