In the 1920's, Lutheran immigrants from Czechoslovakia living in Cleveland, Ohio, dreamed of building an "orphanage" for children and a "retirement home" for pastors who had limited income. Several of these early settler families moved to Slavia, now part of Oviedo, Florida "to live in the country away from the temptations of the city." They cleared the land and started farming. After they became established, the thought of a haven for retired pastors and orphaned children surfaced again.
In 1937, one of these settlers, Mr. Andrew Duda Sr., in gratitude to the Lord for His many blessings, offered the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church (now the SELC District of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod) forty acres of land and $90,000 for the first two buildings - a home for the elderly and a home for needy, dependent children. The offer was graciously accepted by the Synod. In 1946 at the Synod Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, Articles of Incorporation were approved and a board of trustees was elected. The doors were opened to children and the elderly on May 30, 1948.
Over the years, the Lutheran Haven leadership has responded to the ever-changing challenges of providing appropriate retirement and health care services for their senior residents. We believe the founding "settlers" would be proud of the developments over the years to include the complete continuum of services offered today. These now include independent living, assisted living, memory support, rehabilitation, and home health care. Since those formative years, the Haven voluntary Board of Trustees has continued to envision a haven of care for older adults, and have defined a master plan for the community that continues to be implemented. Today, the Haven includes residential living homes, assisted living apartments, an assisted living memory care program, and a health center that provides both short-term rehabilitative care as well as long term care. Several years ago, the trustees embraced the concept of caring beyond the confines of the Haven community. Lutheran Haven Home Healthcare, a certified home care agency, serves the greater community, and is licensed in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties.
The Haven story is one of caring—for those most vulnerable, and for those who want to enjoy retirement living among good friends and great neighbors in a Christian atmosphere and environment.