Our residence managers for Grace House, our long-term housing program, are an irreplaceable part of the AJP team. Not only do they act as mentors to survivor residents – by guiding them in all their necessary endeavors – they are also in charge of planning, coordinating, and executing activities with them, becoming the backbone of the housing community. We are honored to have appointed Juanetta as one of our residence managers. We believe she is a great role model for our women. Juanetta is a survivor of sexual exploitation and has offered consulting services to survivors through her own personal networking. What better person to lead by example than a person who is a survivor of trauma and a consultant within the community?
Although it is not required that a survivor takes on this important role, being a survivor has its benefits when guiding new survivors on their journeys. “Being a survivor myself allows me to display empathy which opens the door of trust & respect towards each other,” Juanetta states. “We are able to encourage each other by realizing that our individual experiences are similar however very different. And although this is factual, we find a connection of understanding that allows us to forgive each other for any misunderstandings that may occur.” Since Juanetta has over ten years of freedom from exploitation, she has a strong and empathetic heart when working with the residents to rebuild their lives.
Juanetta is also a strong Christian, declaring that God’s grace has delivered her from a life of sex trafficking. To her, the most inspiring part of mentoring survivors is observing the residents discover their spirituality. “The Holy Bible tells us to no longer conform to this world but to become transformed by the renewing of our minds,” she states. “Therefore, the highlights for me are to observe the AJP guests becoming spiritually whole. I have been given the opportunity to observe the AJP guests laughing & smiling during positive social interactions. I have definitely observed the joy of the Lord strengthening them on a daily basis.”
As a survivor and consultant within the survivor community at large, Juanetta uses technology and social media to support the cause of rehabilitation after sexual exploitation. She is a supporter of Sisters of the Streets, an organization headed by Jaimee Johnson, a valued member of our staff. Through her online connection with Jaimee, she was able to apply and interview for the position of Grace House Residence Manager. This is only one example of how Juanetta uses collaboration to support the rehabilitation and empowerment of survivors. “Sex Work is a monstrous global concern in which it takes hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of individuals to partner with each other to provide the solution to this horrific problem,” she explains. “Connecting and collaborating will offer much needed services to the population.”
We are so blessed to have Juanetta on our team. She is a caring, honest, and open mentor to our survivor sisters, and is an asset to our community.