From the desk of Stephen King:
In the summer of 1999, I was struck by a careless driver and nearly killed while taking my daily walk. It was ten months before I was able to work productively again. Some years later, a good friend of mine, audio reader Frank Muller, suffered terrible head injuries as a result of a motorcycle accident. He never worked again. My luck was infinitely better than Muller’s, but the two events set me thinking about the uniquely perilous situation of many freelance artists. The majority of mid-list writers, audio readers, and freelancers in the book and publishing industry have little or no financial cushion in the event of a sudden catastrophic accident such as that suffered by Muller and myself. Many aren’t affiliated with any professional associations or guilds that can help them in the event of such reversals. Even those who are affiliated with organizations such as The Authors’ Guild cannot look for much beyond token help over a short period of time.
My response to this has been the creation of The Haven Foundation. Its goals will be threefold:
First, to establish a compassionate and committed group of board members willing to sift through cases and identify those where the need seems to be the greatest. These “greatest need” cases would be freelance members of the fine arts community – who have found themselves unable to work due to disease or accident. We will also focus on freelancers who lost their homes and work spaces (with freelancers these are often the same) as a result of natural disasters or other catastrophic events.
Second, to help a number of these individuals each year, based on need.
Third, to establish cut-off points for such help. As I have discovered, the decision to cut off aid is an agonizing one, and best made by a group rather than by an individual. I have come to believe, however, that it must be made if help is to be rendered to the many rather than the few.