We are on our way to achieving our next phase at Crowns of Hope!
Crowns of Hope began as a vision directly from God. It is an amazing story. Ask Toni sometime about it; she would love to tell you more. After the vision, we took action and began seeking how we can help survivors obtain services needed for counseling so that they too can have healing from the trauma they have endured.
After building relationships with counselors and counseling agencies around the Austin area we faithfully used the donations we raised and paid for these survivors to begin the therapeutic services they needed in order to heal. We continued to raise funds and pay highly qualified therapists for their services.
As we gained exposure, others began to want to learn more about how to recognize someone who was being trafficked. To meet the demand, a few of us became trained as a Shared Hope Ambassadors with Shared Hope International and began speaking and teaching about what human trafficking looks like. This led to survivors being found all over Central Texas. Girls were being recognized and offered help to get out of the life! And these girls where directed to services that met their needs at the time.
We have now entered phase two of our mission as we continue to bring availability for restoration to survivors of human trafficking. During the last five years we built relationships with many organizations that work with survivors and I think we all began to recognize that after these young ladies experienced some healing in a safe place they struggled with integrating back into community. Toni went on a fact finding venture to explore what help was already out there to help mentor these ladies when they are transitioning into our communities. After about three months, our team found a model that helped foster children when they aged out of the foster care system. It is called Open Table. Open Table was the perfect fit and is designed to give the right amount of support a young lady needs who comes from these kinds of circumstances.
After researching, learning, and collaborating, we finally decided to come on board and adopt this model. This means we are starting our first table of 8 volunteers who will come around one survivor to support, encourage, and build relationships so that she does not fall into poverty and become re-trafficked, end up in a strip club, or entering the life of prostitution. Each volunteer has dedicated one year of their life to walk side by side with a survivor of human trafficking.
We are so thrilled to see the lives of these girls continue to change so they can learn more about being apart of community in the way it was supposed to be!
But, this is not the end! We have a phase three that we dream about! Phase three is when we find a home for our Crowns of Hope Counseling Center where survivors will receive high quality counseling, where organizations that fight human trafficking can hold their meetings for free, where mentees can meet with their mentors, and the public can receive counseling services who’s fees will contribute to helping survivors. It will eventually be a self sustaining model that will benefit the community in multiple ways. This is starting to become a light for us and hopefully in the next year you will be hearing more about it!
Thank you so much for your prayers, support, and service as we begin our journey into phase two!