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Special-needs ministry 'Shepherd's Haven' offers art and camaraderie

Individualized care for adults with special needs is what "Shepherd's Haven" specializes in. This day center meets on weekdays in Cordova.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — With over 30,000 special need(s) adults living in the Shelby County area, "Shepherd's Haven" offers unique individualized care Monday through Friday at the Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova.

Lately, this day center has been helping those in the Mid-South with disabilities show off their personalities through pottery.   

"Right now our men and women are working on crafts and artwork ... specifically, 2,100 nativity sets," Executive Director of Shepherd's Haven Donny Mayo said. "Our men and women work a lot with pottery, and so, whether that's rolling it, stamping it, cutting it, painting it — it doesn't matter."

Tags are attached with headshots and first names of who created each piece. 

"Folks can really make a connection with who we are," Mayo said.

Abby Goforth has participated with Shepherd's Haven since 2017. She said Shepherd's Haven "makes you a part of a family." 

"They teach you how to work with people, and they teach you how to get along with everybody," Goforth said. 

Michael Heisig is actually a resident at Shepherd's Haven, living in one of the 13 residential homes the center provides.

"I like it because of the camaraderie and the friendship and the Christian environment," Heisig said. "In the winter-time we do a bonfire, and then we walk up and down the driveway, and we hang out and play games."

According to Mayo, music is another activity present at the center.

"Our men and women love music — doesn't matter what kind of music that it is," Mayo said. "We started a few years ago going around to a few different businesses, caroling."

Those who would like more information about Shepherd's Haven or how they can purchase some of the products that the men and women at the center make can visit shepherdshaven.org.

"Their heart, the love that they have to give — how they love unconditionally — who doesn't need that right now?" Mayo said.

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