Construction completed on home for sex trafficking survivors

Two years of construction have wrapped up on Grace House a facility for girls ages 11 to 17 who have survived sex trafficking–and it’s the first of its kind in the state.

With a gourmet kitchen, stunning lighting fixtures and seemingly un-ending hardwood floors, it looks like any newly constructed, beautiful family house. But this home was built for a special group.

“These girls have been traumatized repeatedly, severely,” said Redemption Ridge board chair Terry Rasmussen. “So we want to create a peaceful environment where they can relax and let things get down to a calm level in their lives.”

Grace House, Redemption Ridge’s newest project, will be the location for a long term therapy and rehabilitation facility for young sex trafficking survivors.

“When you are coming out of something to horrific you need to come to a place that peaceful and healing and welcoming,”

Ella Smillie is a survivor of sex trafficking and an employee at Redemption Ridge. She said, “When you are coming out of something to horrific you need to come to a place that peaceful and healing and welcoming,”

When Ella escaped her traffickers seven years ago, she sought healing and restoration in a place similar to Grace House.

She said the importance of a facility like Grace House is invaluable. “This environment is going to make any survivor feel like they are loved.”

Down to every last detail, not one feature in the home was decided on by coincidence.

“Anything that you can think of that you would want to do at home, that’s what we are going to offer here,” said Molly Terpening

Furniture, appliances, linens, even food–all gifted to Grace House by the community.

“The community raised up and did far more than we asked. Simple materials and they come out with their best materials.”

For Claudio Alvarez, project director for the construction of the home, the very building of it was a labor of love. He said, “This was a gift from God.”

Alvarez, along with his team of professionals and almost 100 volunteers, built the home nearly from scratch–without being paid a dime. And Alvarez wouldn’t have had it any other way. He said, “We are supporting a group of people who are going to make a difference in healing young ladies.”

Alvares only asks one thing of the girls who will soon call this place home. “That they feel healed and loved and given value back so they can re-insert into the community.”
Seven young girls could move into the home as early as next week.

According to Redemption Ridge, in the U.S. there are more than 100,000 young girls who are at risk of being sex trafficked.

And only 500 beds across the country at facilities like Grace House where they can seek safety and counseling.

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