In 1970 a few people from the region came together and a non-profit organization was set up with the aim of organizing, managing and administering a home for people with disabilities.

In 1973 the Lions Club De Panne – Westkust undertook the realization of the home by purchasing and renovating the “old mother house” situated in Veurne. Despite the grants from the then Ministry of Health and some families, the Province of West Flanders and the National Lottery, a 10-year implementation period was necessary to bring the design to a successful conclusion.

In 1983 the actual operation of the home started. The Board of Directors is still composed of members of the Lions Club De Panne Westkust. The proceeds from the various events organized in the region by the Lions ClubWestkust – De Panne go for the most part to the non-profit organization Havenzate.

In the first phase, mainly “working” residents were offered shelter. This then ran in close collaboration with the local sheltered workshop. It soon became clear that a great many “non-working” people with a mental disability were also looking for a place in a home.

Over the years, the demand from residents  (in traditional living groups) for a smaller-scale living has evolved. Gradually, the workers left the main building and moved into smaller houses on the domain. 

Some residents can live even more independently in houses in the street nearby or can rent a house themselves in town. This is a gradual process that grew internally. 

At the same time, it was also noticed that this evolution took place more broadly in Flanders: new forms of recognition emerged from the government. Havenzate could therefore easily subscribe to a new form of recognition, such as protected living. For years the demand for care in Havenzate has been viewed as individually as possible and the living formula can vary from group living to as much independent living as possible, both in the domain and more integrated into the city.

Mission – Vision – Values


Havenzate offers “living” and support with pedagogical/professional guidance to people with a mental disability, who request this form of support, to give direction and content to their lives.


Havenzate wants to be the anchor point in the region for people with mental disabilities and their families.

As an organization, we are open to all possible questions and try to provide an orientation during initial contact and/or conversation. This can be both an offer of our own services and a reference to more specialized services.

We have an eye for the choices and desires, wishes and values of the person with a disability. We help to find a solution that the person needs. Our own range of housing types, day activation, leisure,  services, as well as a cooperation/referral with or to other organizations is possible to find an answer. Variation in intensity and form of support is also possible depending on individual needs.

We strive for solutions that are as independent as possible and offer guidance that is adapted to the needs and individual wishes of the person so that he has the greatest possible impact on his own life.



Respect for the client is a basic attitude from which we start to offer maximum development opportunities. Respect is an attitude to look at the other person and to take into account his values to let grow that person.


The support starts with the client himself. By empathizing with the person we want to involve him/her as closely as possible in the development of the support offered.  In dialogue with the person and his social / family network, we investigate the precise support question and together we map out a path. Because of this interaction and involvement, it is the client who indicates the direction in his own guidance.


Every person is unique, our attitude is focused on the person as a whole, with his/her possibilities and limitations. Our approach puts the person first and not the group, without underestimating the importance of the group. A personal approach comes into its own in an atmosphere of involvement and connectedness.


Within our services, we respect all ideological, philosophical and religious beliefs. Acceptance and tolerance towards fellow people with disabilities is the norm. Intolerance and racism cannot take root in such a culture medium. Variety and cooperation offer richness in both thoughts and methods.


We are convinced that expanding good services is not a matter for individuals. All people are part of society. Everyone must be able to use existing services and organizations in society.