Established in 1954, The Haven began as a vision for an organization that would serve children with special needs throughout their lifetime. Our founders, a group of forward thinking parents, were desperate for services that would empower the potential of their children rather than placing limitations on their personal growth. Seeing that there were no services to support their children to grow as individuals, they decided to build an organization that would provide opportunities through every stage of life.

The Haven, then known as Sunshine Day School, began with four enrolled students in an airplane hangar at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. With hard work and plenty of determination, our founders privately fund-raised and sold over 20,000 pounds of Claxton fruitcakes at local bake sales to purchase the 32-acre enclave the community now calls home.