By Kristen Johnson
One of my favorite organizations, Generate Hope, reported some very good news in their most recent newsletter. An anonymous donor donated the use of a large house, which will soon be used to serve minors who have been victimized by sex trafficking. Currently, there is not a single rehabilitation house available for minors in San Diego, so this is good news indeed! Currently, rescued girls end up in juvenile hall or a group/foster home, which is clearly not the best place for them to deal with the trauma they have endured. Because the average age of entry for sexual exploitation is 13, clearly services for juveniles is badly needed.
I have long supported this wonderful organization, because they do such a wonderful job of providing long-term support for victims in a safe and compassionate environment. My United Methodist Women’s group was very pleased to host a presentation by Generate Hope’s Director earlier this year and I was extremely impressed by the work they do. Not only does Generate Hope provide housing for survivors, but they provide much needed individual and group therapy, education services (high school, college, and job readiness), rehabilitation services, and social and medical support services. (http://generatehope.org/our-mission/)
The statistics regarding sex trafficking are sobering indeed. Just a few things to think about from Generate Hope’s website:
- 1 in 3 teens will be lured into sex trafficking within 48 hours of running away from home.
- 75-95% of victims were sexually abused as children.
- 20.9 million people are enslaved around the world
- San Diego has been identified by the FBI as a high intensity child prostitution area.
- San Diego is an international gateway city for sex trafficking and is in the top 8 cities for trafficking
- Sex trafficking is a multi billion dollar business annually and is the fastest growing sector of organized crime.
- 96.6 million dollars was made from the illicit sex trade in just one year in San Diego
I am so pleased that, in spite of such terrible statistics, Generate Hope continues to fight to help survivors and to provide such wonderful support services for these women. In light of the good news of opening a new home for minors (hopefully in 2017), I’m sure that continued financial support and volunteering is critically needed.
According to the most recent newsletter, Generate Hope is currently in need of household paper products, laundry supplies, holiday meal supplies, and Christmas gift support for the ladies, among other things. I will be encouraging my United Methodist Women’s group to donate many of these items and I hope that my readers will prayerfully consider doing the same. Items can be donated at the central office:
4025 Camino del Rio South, Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92108
To contact Generate Hope for additional information and to donate time and supplies please look here: http://generatehope.org/contact-us/.
It is our responsibility as Christians to serve everyone, and that certainly includes the most vulnerable populations. It is absolutely not okay to turn a blind eye to these women in need.
Matthew 25:35-40 (NRSV): 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,[a] you did it to me.’
Serve all with love.
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