It’s a wonderful time of year! We hope you are enjoying this holiday season and pray you have a beautiful Christmas with your family. Here at the Lighthouse, after the celebrations have quieted, we will be preparing to take a stand. January is National Human Trafficking Awareness month, and Rescue Mission Alliance Ventura County will be recognizing this designation and spreading awareness about the issue.
The Lighthouse already serves women and children that are recovering from homelessness, addiction, domestic violence, and human trafficking, through case management, counseling services, recovery classes, Bible studies, church, and vocational and life skills training. We have noticed an influx of human trafficking survivors coming through our shelter and program and realized we can make a difference and fill a gap in our community.
Through the Angel House project, also located in Oxnard, we will be able to provide housing, support, and a specialized program meeting the unique needs of human trafficking survivors and their children. We will be able to provide more than 20 percent of California’s available beds earmarked for these needs, increasing our reach to those we serve in our communities.
This Lighthouse program will be unique, allowing women to come with their children and receive support for the family unit as they heal. This is a major deciding factor for women reaching out for help. If a woman needs to choose between help for herself or keeping her children, the choice will always be the children.
Human trafficking is a $150 billion-a-year industry, coming in just under drug trafficking and above gun trafficking. Trafficking does not just happen in foreign countries; it happens in our own community, our own backyard. The Lighthouse for Women and Children is in your community, and we are ready and equipped to meet the needs of the women and children who have escaped this reality.
We hope that you will partner with us as we complete the Angel House project and build out our programs. The ways you can come alongside us is by learning all you can about human trafficking, raising awareness in your sphere of influence by being an advocate, host a Freedom Sunday at your church to raise funds and awareness, make a financial contribution, or become a monthly partner to make a difference in the lives of women and children who have suffered the horrors of trafficking.
For more information on how you can help, visit vcrescuemission.org/freedom.
Blessings, Leslie Painter Director Lighthouse for Women and Children