Decker finds peace,
rewards from helping others
(July 2001) La Grange, Ky Betty Decker
believes in the quality of life. Depending heavily upon
the backing of God and community support, she has begun
a legacy that will endure a lifetime.
Decker has been chosen as grand marshall
of this years Oldham County Day Parade and will
be recognized during a July 17 banquet in her honor at
the Oldham County Community and Convention Center.
Decker says she was surprised by her selection. She prefers
to quietly go about her work dodging recognition, but
she holds a job that has had tremendous influence on other
After surviving a critical period in her life, Decker
and her husband, Ray, made a commitment to serve
young women the rest of our lives, she said. The
idea, however, fell dormant for a while until Decker decided
she needed to get serious before anything good could be
Decker opened the Center for Women in Crisis 10 years
ago in the old train depot in La Grange. For two years
at this location, she provided for women and their children
who had been involved in traumatic situations. She then
spent three years in the Doty Building before finally
settling into the present location on Sixth Avenue in
The Center became known as RoseHaven. The name came from
various sources, said Decker. Her daughters middle
name is Rose, the centers symbol is a rose, and
it is a haven or safe place for women who have experienced
tremendous crisis in their lives, she said.
RoseHaven is a transitional home for women and children.
It is a temporary living space while they are going through
a crisis, said Amy Young, who works for Decker.
The home gives its residents a personal, warmer environment
in which to heal.
We also network women with different agencies that
they may not know about, to get the assistance they need,
Bettie Miller has worked with Decker through several agencies.
Miller is also a member of the Project Guild, the nonprofit
organization that stages the annual Oldham County Day.
Miller had a hand in choosing Decker as this years
She inspires a lot of us. Shes always willing
to be there to give assistance, Miller said of Decker.
She never faces a set back; shes always willing
to work. She just renews your spirit. Everything she does
she does for the Lord.
Decker said the amount of support she has received for
her endeavor from the community has been overwhelming.
Ive never bought a thing for the home. Everything
has been donated from the community. It has been a tremendous
Decker has received support from several local churches,
including her own DeHaven Baptist Church. Different civic-minded
groups and churches in the area have furnished rooms at
RoseHaven, for which they are responsible for decorating.
Decker said the Cherry House furnished the home with furniture.
The home can accommodate five un-related women and their
children. Most women come to her from church referrals
or word of mouth.
Ive been blessed with the families who have
come in, said Decker.
Before RoseHaven was established in 1999, the Center was
not able to house women at its facility. Several individuals
in the community aided Decker by opening up their homes
to temporarily house these women. These homes were labeled
shepherding homes, providing safe, adequate
housing so that the women were not forced into the only
other available shelters, which were 30 minutes away in
Decker has also taken women into her own home in the hope
of providing a sense of stability that many of the women
and children have not previously known. Before beginning
the Center, Decker said, raising our own family
of four children was our life. She then extended
this caring home life to those in need, showing troubled
women that they too can have such normalcy.
It is Deckers dream to one day have a separate medical
unit and a mens home nearby. She would also like
to construct a handicap room.
This is the most rewarding thing Ive ever
done, she said.
Decker said that at RoseHaven, she tries to break the
cycle of abuse the women have endured so that mothers
do not continue the cycle with their own children. Through
such mediums as informal counseling and professional counseling
referrals, education and job training referrals, Decker
and her staff set women on the road to recovery.
Betty Deckers goal is to turn despair into hope.