Though the Grace House residential program is necessary to Alabaster Jar Project’s Community involvement, having a safe house is only part of our mission. We strive to restore, rehabilitate, and empower survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, and one of the ways we fulfill that mission is that we own and operate a drop-in resource center for all survivors in the North County San Diego area, whether or not housing is an immediate need of theirs. Our goal is to create a community of sister survivors so that their rehabilitation and success can stretch far beyond graduation from our program and any initial treatment. The resource center provides a way for all survivors in the North County San Diego area to share in community, obtain some necessary items, and feel safe knowing that there are people there to help them and peers present who are also working on their own individual rehabilitation.
This week, we celebrate Staci Rene’s graduation from her recovery treatment program and her transition into sober living housing. Staci has been receiving services from Alabaster Jar Project through our resource center, and although she was already participating in a different residential program when she came to us, Staci required an extra step in her treatment as some of her trauma can be traced back to human trafficking, a battle that took twenty years for her to escape. Like many survivors, Staci was subjected to abuse, coercion, manipulation, and homelessness, and trauma so severe doesn’t go away on its own. We believe that by providing Staci and other survivors with a safe place to go and share in fellowship, we can have a long-lasting impact on their healing.
Through a local partner social services provider, Staci was referred to our weekly support group at the resource center where survivors discuss rehabilitation techniques and tools in a warm environment of survivor sisters who all share the common bond that they are thriving beyond their past of sexual exploitation. “It’s a place I can go to bond with other people,” she states. “We all have something in common. The hope is we can all learn from each other.” Staci also arrives early to group in order to help set up and offers her support and insights to others who participate. She is an asset to our community and has become a friendly face that we look forward to seeing every week.
When she drops in, Staci is also able to “shop” at our boutique, where we provide second hand clothing, toiletries, non perishable food, and other necessary items. “I love the fact that the boutique gave me the opportunity to change the way I dress and present myself,” says Staci. “It truly gave me the chance to change everything.”
We believe that by creating a safe haven in a warm environment filled with survivors who are dedicated to rebuilding their lives, our impact on the community will sustain far longer than the initial graduation from any treatment program. Our relationship with Staci and all our survivor sisters is ongoing, and as long as they need our help and support, we will continue to restore, rehabilitate, and empower each and every one of them