Aaron has an interdisciplinary degree with concentrations in education, psychology, and business. He worked at a Children's Home as a Program Director in Indiana. After moving, he began working with disabled adults as a program coordinator placing them in community vocational settings. He then went on to pursue his masters in kinesiology and worked as a collegiate strength and conditioning coach for 10 years. Due to changes at home, Aaron stepped away from strength and conditioning and started his renovation and home design business, Axe & Hammer. Now, as the president of the board of HHD, he is using all of these jobs and experiences daily between renovating our Haven Home, working with community and government services, and building relationships.
Kristen has her bachelor of science in nursing and has worked at Mayo Clinic in oncology and the pediatric intensive care unit. She earned her masters in science as a family nurse practitioner, where she continued her care of patients with cancer. When they moved to Michigan, she continued working as a Nurse Practitioner at University of Michigan's Cancer Center. In 2014, her job took an unexpected turn when she left clinical practice and worked as a clinical nurse educator for a pharmaceutical company. After different jobs within the company, she is now working as a director for sales strategy, communications, and innovation. She loves her job now: all day everyday she takes complex ideas and figures out how to make them come to life and create communications about them. Not only has she found a passion, the experience has been so helpful as she and Aaron launched Haven Homes of Detroit. She continued to volunteer as a Nurse Practitioner until COVID at a Detroit clinic for uninsured women.
The Beginnings of Haven Homes of Detroit
Haven Homes as a Dream
In 2015, Kristen was involved with Love Runs. Love Runs is a running group which supports local non-profits in Michigan committed to serving people caught in human trafficking. There was a sense in her heart that there would be more for her to do with this cause.
One morning, after praying for a sense for what Aaron and she were supposed to do, she had a vision of the two of them taking care of people on the streets of Detroit. She wasn’t sure what it would look like then, but it was clear that they were being shaped, and she would know when the time was right.
Aaron Catches the Vision
In 2020, Aaron had a moment when he saw the same vision Kristen had 5 years earlier. He was passing out food and hygiene products with a local non-profit when a woman who had left trafficking a month previously was back at their usual spot. The spot serves as a home to people in human trafficking, but it's really a motel that rents by the week. Aaron remembered when this woman had left, she had said she really wanted to stay clean this time. She didn't have anywhere she was comfortable going after she left rehab, and she ended up staying with a family member who was using drugs. It wasn't long before the woman stared using again herself. Now she was back with her pimp who was trafficking her for access to drugs.
And Aaron wondered- what if she had chosen a different place to go when she left rehab? A place that could support her efforts to stay clean. A place that was a real home, a supportive environment while she found a job and a new support system.
Board of Directors
Aaron is the owner and General Contractor for his business, Axe and Hammer Home Designs and Remodeling. He has been flipping homes in the metro-Detroit area for 3 years and loves the satisfaction of seeing the improvements he can make to a house to provide a home for a family. Prior to this job, he has always worked in the human services field with children, disabled adults, and also a strength and conditioning coach. When he’s not working, he enjoys time with his family including his wife, 3 kids, and 1 dog. He spends a lot of time participating and supporting his kids in different activities and is loves finding new places to eat and traveling.
Rod serves as a Pastor at Firm Foundations. Before joining staff at his church, he served as the Executive Director of a not-for-profit Camp and Retreat Center in Illinois. He has spent all of his adult life serving with non-profits from church boards, to being a founding board member of a local free store ministry, and now serves as the President of the Centreville School Board. When he's not at work or serving, he can be found searching for a good find at an antique store with his wife or spending time with his grown children and any of his 6 grand-children
Patricia Wells is a family nurse practitioner and self-proclaimed philanthropist. She has worked with several nonprofits that support health, nurse practitioners, and community, including the Bagley Community Council and Haven Homes of Detroit. Currently, she serves on the board of directors for both organizations to help improve neighborhoods and restore women's dignity. When she's not busy helping others, Patricia enjoys escaping with a good book, gardening chemically free vegetables, and running.
Kristen is Family Nurse Practitioner by training and currently works in Sales Strategy and Innovations for an international oncology pharmaceuticals company. Prior to moving into the Oncology Pharmaceutical Industry, Kristen has always worked with oncology patients as a nurse on a bone marrow transplant unit, the pediatric intensive care unit, and as a Nurse Practitioner taking care of patients with Multiple Myeloma Patients. In 2014, she learned about a running ministry at her church, Love Runs, and began running marathons and learning about Human Trafficking in the metro-Detroit area. When she’s not working at her day job or on Haven Homes of Detroit, she loves spending time with her family including her 3 children. Her time is spent doing a lot of activities with her children, trying to travel to all 50 states, and Bee Keeping with her daughter.