Dear Humanitarian Aid Fund Friends:
This past year has been filled with change and excitement. With God’s guidance, we opened the therapeutic residential house and now have five young ladies living there. It hasn’t always been easy, but we’re seeing encouraging changes in these young people. In fact, each of their social workers report that these teens have made more progress in their recovery than they have in any of their previous recovery settings.
We also continue to train and educate adults and teens in how to recognize and report girls who have been trafficked. We’ve taught our Human Trafficking 101 program to 3,224 high school students in dozens of area schools. We’ve also trained 522 nurses, social workers, first responders and hair stylists in our Intervention Training curriculum. At every program attendees are struck by how commonplace minor sex trafficking actually is, and how they can actively work to combat it.
Our social worker, Rebekkah, is currently working with 25 survivors who are living in foster care, juvenile detention settings or other community based locations. Though this is a large caseload, she is helping these young people make positive changes and heal from their trauma. Below Rebekkah shares how Gracehaven’s community based outreach and our house ministry can work together:
“We have a long-term community client who was trafficked by an adult male pretending to be her boyfriend when she was a young teen. She’s been in and out of placements for most of her life, including a brief period at Gracehaven before she ran away several months ago. (Running is a very normal, expected activity for victims of this type of trauma.) I continued to work with her in the community, and noticed some major changes in her behavior, her engagement in treatment and her desire to be safe and healthy. Additionally, she’s been begging the child welfare agency with which she’s involved to allow her return to Gracehaven. We advocated for her placement there with the juvenile court and with the child welfare agency, and she’s now at Gracehaven house once again!”
Please pray for Gracehaven as we continue to add more girls to the house (for a total of eight), and for our outreach efforts. It’s been an especially exciting year, and we anticipate even more healing for these young victims of domestic minor sex trafficking in 2016.
We very much appreciate the support of the Humanitarian Aid Fund in 2015, and look forward to another year of effective and strategic ministry together.