“About four years ago my son-in-law gave me a book about trafficking called, ‘Not For Sale’ by David Batstone. It contained true and overwhelmingly sad stories of people who were survivors of trafficking both internationally and domestically. After reading the first 2 chapters, I could not continue living my ‘comfortable, American, Christian life’ and not do something to help some of these people.
At first, my plan was to volunteer at an adolescent trafficking shelter and help the young survivors with their education. That seemed like a good fit for me as a I have been teaching students Mathematics for the last 26 years. However, I soon discovered that there were no shelters in Ohio, Michigan or Indiana. After that, it was easy for me to conclude that what I should do is make plans to build a shelter.
I wrote letters to about one dozen friends. They were all people that I had known for a very long time and each of them had exhibited godly, loving, caring and trustworthy lives within the context of their families. I asked them to join me, to help me build a shelter for trafficking survivors. Three of those people agreed to help and the four of us began meeting on a monthly basis.
Now, after about four years of planning and preparation, we are ready for girls to move into our home. God inspired hundreds of people to help us build a beautiful, furnished, 0,000 home that is mortgage free! In August, we earned our Ohio group home license to operate a recovery home for six girls between the ages of 10 and 17. Our House Moms moved into the home on September 1 and we expect our first girls to move into the home before the end of this month.
The program we have developed for the girls is holistic. We will provide counseling and medical care as well as educational and life skills training. The girls will likely live with us for one year or more. Our goal is to help them begin their life-long journey of recovery and to return home or be placed with a foster family as soon as possible.”-Jeff Wilbarger, founder