Safe Harbor has grown from two roots. In 1983, the Easton Drop-In Center began a day program for the city’s low-income residents. The Drop-In Center offered meals, recreation, advocacy and socialization for low-income residents who were often living on the street. The Drop-In Center was located at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church until it outgrew its facilities.
In 1988, Lafayette College students demonstrated a need in the community for a shelter by opening a “roving” shelter that moved from church to church during the winter months. Soon a community group formed to establish a permanent shelter in an abandoned building owned by the City of Easton. A capital campaign raised over $400,000 for the renovation of the facility. In the fall of 1990, the Easton Drop-In Center moved into the Safe Harbor building at 536 N. Bushkill Drive, and the Salvation Army of Easton opened an overnight shelter for adult men and women there. These two programs operated independently, though cooperatively, until 1993 when CACLV took over the shelter and merged the two programs. In October 2011, Safe Harbor Easton parted ways with CACLV due to budget cuts and a reevaluation of their mission.
Safe Harbor Easton grows out of community needs and is sustained by community support. Government grants (city, county, and state) provide much of the funding for staffing and expenses but Safe Harbor Easton would not exist and cannot survive without broad support from individuals, churches, philanthropic groups and businesses.