Sylvia Anthony believes ‘the golden years’ are a time to gear up and get busy, not relax and take it easy. She has faced many hardships in her 84 years, but they seem to have made her stronger and more determined. As founder and president of Sylvia’s Haven, a shelter for women and children near Boston, she has helped transform over 1084 lives in the past 27 years. While she hasn’t been paid for the past four years, Sylvia wouldn’t change it for the world and calls it her “magnificent obsession!”
Adding author to her vast repertoire, Sylvia’s compelling biography, Till the End of Time (Xulon Press), is also being considered for a TV series! It is an extraordinary true story of abuse, love, sorrow and triumph that accurately portrays her rich emotional and personal journey from abused child to senior citizen.
Sylvia’s story begins with her life as an unwanted child, beaten by her father and ignored by her mother, saved only by the love of God and her grandparents. Next come the teenage years and her first marriage that ended in divorce because of cruelty, but produced three children that she raised alone. And later, her second marriage to Rick that brought her closer to God and led to the founding of Sylvia’s Haven, a shelter for the homeless.
After Rick’s death, fate takes a hand in the next phase of Sylvia’s life when a man she had cared for deeply as a teenager re-enters the picture to help her operate the Haven. Tony, her first real love, had unfortunately been convinced by his brother years before that he and Sylvia were far too young to go steady and they parted ways. Sadly, it was this decision that had pushed Sylvia into meeting her first husband who abused her.
Despite the fact that as a child she was made to believe she could do nothing right, Sylvia nonetheless went on to marry, raise three children by herself, and at 57 started Sylvia’s Haven, a shelter for homeless women and children. Sylvia firmly believes that God not only gave her the courage to go on despite all the hardships, but keeps her healthy so she can open a shelter in all 50 states – and it’s looking like it could very well become a reality with the recent application for additional property for a new shelter!
Sylvia’s Haven is a nonprofit housing facility that provides shelter, guidance and emotional support for homeless women and their children. The women can be referred to schools, counselors and work advisers in the area for help with developing their own earning skills so they may live independent lives. Sylvia is also the author of Sylvia’s Haven, published in 2008 by AuthorHouse. Please visit: www.sylviashaven.org for more information or to read testimonials from people whose lives were changed by Sylvia.
Sylvia Anthony has been featured on The 700 Club, and received a commendation from President George Bush in 2002. She is the recipient of the Arthur L. Whitaker Award, the National Alliance to End Homelessness Recognition Award, Ambassador for Peace Award, the Governor of Massachusetts Recognition Award, and was named the 2001 Hometown Hero by WBZ-TV in Boston