A Secure Place

Homes for Hope went amazing Thursday night!  Here is a snippet from an article from the Index Journal:

Hopewood Haven Ministries in Greenwood is working to solve a problem brought forth earlier this year in a statewide report on human trafficking.

The Office of the Attorney General in South Carolina released in June the South Carolina State Plan to Address Human Trafficking. The study found the state did not have a safe and adequate place for human trafficking victims to escape to and recover from their experiences. The plan also found a lack of clear human trafficking data, an unsure understanding of immigration issues and funding, training and attention problems from law enforcement agencies, the medical field and victims advocacy groups.

Representatives of Hopewood Haven and members of North Side Baptist Church in Greenwood had a ceremonial ribbon-cutting Thursday night at the church for the opening of what is considered South Carolina’s first safe house for female human trafficking victims. The home’s discreet location is in Greenwood County.  Leslie Christ, executive director of Hopewood Haven, said the organization’s biggest needs to grow the safe house’s mission of fighting female exploitation and trafficking are fundraising, prayer and volunteers.

Some members of the church have already given their time to do renovations on the safe home and donate furniture.

“We have some church members who have been trained as volunteers who will be some of the mentors and staying in the home with some of the young ladies,” said Travis Agnew, North Side’s family and worship pastor. “At this level, it’s really going to be a limited group of people due to the security issues and their training needs. There will be some others that will be supporting through financial or prayer support. It will be limited on who can be the boots on the ground.”

Agnew said some people have a misconception of just how close human trafficking can be to them.

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center received 273 calls from South Carolina on its national emergency hotline last year, according to its 2013 Statistical Overview. Nationwide, the organization received 25,269 substantive telephone calls and 1,669 online tip forms.

The ribbon-cutting was part of the church’s Homes for Hope event that highlighted the work of Greenwood’s Hopewood Haven and Connie Maxwell Children’s Home along with Mt. Pleasant-based Lifeline Children’s Services: South Carolina, which provides orphan care ministry, birth mother counseling and other Christian-based services for children and families.

“These three ministries are gospel-focused ministries trying to provide assistance for children or young adults that have been abused, neglected or abandoned,” Agnew said. “Really, the night was an opportunity to expose the community to these three great ministries and what they are doing and how people can see how they can get involved in at least one of them.”

Check out the original article here!  Thanks for the help getting the word out!