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Meet Susan Griffin of Hannah’s House in Kearny Mesa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan Griffin.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Susan was born and raised on a farm in Iowa, the daughter of a family poor in financial resources but abundant with character and grit. It’s that Iowa grit that shaped Susan into a remarkably driven and loving woman who deeply touches the hearts of all who come to know her.

People are always amazed to learn of her many diverse accomplishments which Susan herself rarely talks about! Susan began working at age 12 as the official organist for her church, a job she held until age 18 when she left for Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri where she completed 2 Associate Degrees. Susan started her own piano training business at age 14 and had several child and adult students throughout her high school years. A classically trained pianist, who performed at the White House during the Nixon era, and was awarded scholarship to Oxford University, Susan sought out challenges throughout her life. She was one of the 1st women to serve aboard Navy ships including a deployment to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean where she ran her first half marathon on that tiny island located just south of the equator. When Susan had duty days off during her active duty years with the Navy, she worked as a commercial sea urchin diver and commercial painter for fun and to earn extra money! While aboard ship she served on a the Women In Ships Task Force for the Admiral of the Pacific Fleet.
Susan and her husband made the decision that she would leave the Navy when she got pregnant with her first child in 1982, concerned about the strain of deployments. She raised a family, returned to college, and excelled at both. Susan has 2 Masters degrees, in clinical psychology and in marriage family therapy. She has been a certified alcohol and drug specialist for almost 40 years, a career she started while on active duty and continues today in her work at Hannah’s House. There is no question that Susan Griffin is responsible for keeping the Hannah’s House doors open through tremendous challenges and shaping the organization into an indispensable resource for families in transition throughout our county for the past nearly 30 years. Susan’s enduring passion for children caught in the middle of difficult family situations inspires everyone who meets her.
Staff members say that there are 2 quotes you will always here from Susan, words that she lives actively every single day:
St Augustin: Peace in society depends upon peace in the family.
Pearl S. Buck: If our American way of life fails a child, it fails us all.

Susan embodies these beliefs in everything she does.

Our mission is to provide a network of support that brings peace to the lives of children challenged by complex family transitions.

Our vision is joy for a child. Peace of mind for a family. Harmony for our community.

Hannah’s House is a supervised visitation and safe exchange family center that provides a safe place for children caught in the middle of family court custody disputes, a place where children can come together with their parents in a nurturing, supportive and protective environment. We help kids safely spend time with parents who are overcoming issues affecting their ability to parent independently. We help parents through a variety of classes: parenting, co-parenting, anger management, and substance abuse.

Hannah’s house prevents family violence/abductions during break-up/transition of the family. We reduce conflict in the families & communities we serve.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No!!!! Hannah’s House has ZERO government funding. As a small non-profit we rely on grants, private foundation and our amazing supporters. This is no easy task. We have faced closure a few times but have always been able to fight back and keep our doors open for these amazing families. We are lucky to have a very dedicated staff to help this mission throughout the years. We need more consistent funding to help these families. Every dollar counts!

Hannah’s House – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Hannah’s House offers 4 PROGRAMS in one location that your family may use individually or together to receive exactly the services and support you need.

2 Home Kids provides agency-based Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange, Phone Visitations, Skype Visitations, Monitored Parent/Child Text & Email & Safe Exchanges.

Transitions Family Program provides Psycho-Education & Therapy, Co-parenting & Parenting Services/Courses, Emotion (Anger) Management and Reunification & Conjoint Therapy & MORE!!!

Bridges Family Program provides Community or Home-based visits and exchanges, Home Safety Checks (24-hour response time), Home Studies (10-15 days to complete) and Hospital/Rehab Visitations.

Family Resource Center mission is to improve basic quality of life for the families we serve at Hannah’s House. To identify basic life needs and match each of our clients directly and personally to resources in our community.

We are the only non-profit organization in San Diego county that provides these services. We are so proud that we will celebrate our 30th anniversary next year.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
In 2014, we were the Recipient of the Barbara Christensen Heart of San Diego Award from St. Germaine Children’s Charity. This was a great accomplishment for this small organization and the 1st year we were funded with this grant!

Contact Info:

  • Address: 9455 Farnham St Suite 100
    San Diego, CA 92123
  • Website: www.hannahs-house.org
  • Phone: 858-300-2730
  • Email: hhsdboard@gmail.com

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