Dear Xenos Humanitarian Aid & Development Fund Donor,
Writing this letter is an exciting and proud moment for me. I’m excited about the upcoming year and I’m proud of the Gracehaven staff and the accomplishments they have made this year in meeting our mission to care for sexually exploited children by providing comprehensive services to minors in Central Ohio.
Briefly, let me tell you what we have done and where we are going as we move into 2014. For a small staff, we are able to do mighty things, thanks to you!
This year, Gracehaven had our first social work intern, began to host film screenings of movies about human trafficking to raise awareness in small and large venues, grew our staff from 5 to 8, received 3 grants for our outreach work with victims which enabled us to hire a second social worker, updated our website to make it more functional and user friendly for you to communicate with us, moved into our first real office space so we can host trainings and outreach events for victims, and most importantly we:
• Reached 3,379 in awareness events (with social media the number jumps to 7,588).
• Trained 1,943 students for the purpose of prevention of sex trafficking.
• Trained 717 people about domestic minor sex trafficking.
• Served 396 at-risk youth via outreach services and group therapies.
• Assisted 12 youth through comprehensive case management.
I could list more accomplishments, but for such a small staff, I am impressed with what they have accomplished and the numbers of youth we have reached and the number of people who have been made aware of the problem of sex trafficking of children in America.
One of my favorite stories from this year involves one of our social workers going to court with a victim and the prosecuting attorney asking our social worker questions that swayed him that the victim was indeed a victim. He even testified before the judge that he felt the charges should be dropped. The judge agreed and the charges were dropped. The victim was able to continue receiving case management from Gracehaven and trauma counseling through a partnering agency. We have very persuasive and smart social workers!
I’m also excited to share with you that on December 27, 2013, we submitted our license for the Residential Program by the end of this year. There is a 120 day waiting period to operate, but if all goes well we will see our first residential clients in 2014. Our Project Specialist has been working hard for the past few months and I am working on the program based on the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children trauma-informed care program.
Our Outreach Department has plans to start a street outreach and a drop-in center and to continue with our outreach and prevention to schools with our partnership with Columbus City Schools. We want to grow our training program and be able to offer more CEU’s to professionals this year as we are able to cross train our staff in trainings.
As you can see, this small staff stays very busy. We are hard at work to be able to have all four of our programs up and running and to do things with excellence. Our clients have been through enough. We want to give them our best.
This coming year promises to be our most ambitious financially. With the addition of residential program staffing and operations, our annual budget jumps from $350,000 to over $800,000. Thankfully, some of that increase will be covered with local and state funding, and we have over $130,000 previously raised for the residential program that remains after all of the capital improvements. We believe this ambition matches the urgency of our cause.
We look forward to building on the investment already made through the years through countless volunteers, advocates, and investors through the Xenos Humanitarian Aid & Development Fund.
Megan A. Crawford, MSW, LSW, CTS