Help Rescue & Recovery of Prostituted Children in Seattle

with 300-500 prostituted children in King County, WA right now, this is a very tangible way that we can help this very real problem and help the children who are victims of such an atrocity. please read and help by donating if you are able… this would be such a great program to be running… a huge help in making an impact on the issue of child prostitution an sex trafficking locally! thanks for your help an support!!

A Residential Recovery Program for Prostituted Children in King County

January 2010

There are between 300 and 500 prostituted children in King County today, some as young as 11. Prostituted children are subject to severe physical and psychological abuse from pimps and “johns”. They often experience mental illness and substance abuse problems. Recovery from the resulting trauma requires extensive and highly specialized services provided in a safe setting. There are no services specifically designed for these children today—in Seattle, in King County, or anywhere in the state of Washington. In fact, few such programs exist in the country.

After years of planning, many community partners are coming together to raise money to support a two year pilot program that will house and provide services to approximately 20 youth per year between the ages of 14 and 17. Services will be delivered in a highly structured environment, with activities designed to meet both the individual and collective needs of participants. Specialized prostitution recovery services will be provided including counseling for traumatic stress and trauma recovery, survivor support groups, health education, medical care, life skills training, support for GED or high school completion, help preparing for enrollment in post-secondary education, job readiness training, employment placement and internships. Lastly, participants will be given safety, security and opportunities to have fun, engage in age-appropriate activities and begin to reclaim their youth.

This program will be professionally evaluated to ensure that the services are working to help children heal from the trauma they have experienced, achieve their goals and reach their potential.

The City of Seattle’s Human Services Department will contract with YouthCare, a local 501(c) 3 nonprofit agency located in Seattle, Washington to provide the services. YouthCare has extensive experience as a provider of services to troubled youth.

Our goal is to launch this program in the spring of 2010. To make this dream a reality, please make a tax deductible donation:

Send a check to: City of Seattle Prostituted Children Rescue Fund, c/o Human Services Department, PO Box 34215, Seattle, WA 98124-4215, or

Donate by credit card: Call the City of Seattle’s Treasury Department at (206) 684-3911 and ask that your contribution be deposited in the Prostituted Children Rescue Fund

Thank you for your kind support of this important project.

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Lenten Reflections: Ash Wednesday

ash wednesday

I am joining in the reflection this Lenten season with Mustard Seed Associates and their Lenten synchroblog.  You can join in reflecting as well by going and downloading their “A Journey into Wholeness: A Lenten Reflection Guide

As i reflect this day, Ash Wednesday on my own brokenness and sin, i realize how it is always, ever before me… screaming in my face, making sure i know that it is there.  Even on a day that is meant for repentance, for turning away, i have given in to my own selfish desires, and so it will be for the rest or our lives in these fragile and broken bodies of clay.  But, in the midst, there is a beauty… a beauty often hidden or oppressed, yet it is there, and was there from the foundations of our creation.  It comes from the hand of the one who created us; wove us together in the womb of our mother.  The creator’s fingerprint is upon us, even as we are born into and walk within a broken, fragmented world, shattered by the self-seeking sinfulness of humankind.  But, yet, that beauty still exists, in the midst of all the darkness and broken pieces of our lives.  It rises from the ashes of humanities frailty and fractured soul, like a fiery phoenix in all it’s glory, shining like a beacon.  Many times that beauty goes unnoticed, and many times the brokenness is ignored.  it just seems easier to ignore the realities and create a facade that everything is ok, but even in the midst of that is a guilt that lies and says that ‘there is no hope you wretched creature’.  so it is easier to ignore, distract, occupy the mind with other things… busyness, work, material possessions, our selfish needs and desires, while the darkness cries out for us to recognize and acknowledge and the beauty cries out for us to renew, restore and turn towards hope.  

This is the tension we live in, and today, i reflect on this tension; that i am broken, fragmented, pieces… but in the midst, there is a beauty that puts me all back together, makes me new again and again and again… but I must acknowledge one and notice the other; confess the one and embrace the other; turn from the one and run to the other.  This tension is, as my friend Eugene Cho puts it, Beauty and Depravity;  the beautiful mess.  Both exist in us:  we could not be totally beautiful, or the world would be completely different and there would be no need for our Saviour; but we could not be totally depraved either, or there would be no use for us, no hope for us at all.  

So today I acknowledge that I am broken, depraved, sinful.  I recognize my intense need to be restored, renewed, and made whole.  I also take notice of the beauty that has been placed in me from creation and the beauty of the Creator that breathes into me and brings to life the beauty that was originally intended to be.  I turn my eyes, my mind, my heart and my energy back to you O Lord… create in me a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me O God. 

As I close, wanted to post the lyrics to a beautiful song that touches on our brokenness.  It is on the most recent album from Church of the Beloved in Edmonds, WA, called Hope for a Tree Cut Down.  You can download the album and listen on their website here. 

Broken

You are broken, I am broken, everyone is broken
You are broken, I am broken, intimately broken

Stay, there is peace beyond anguish
life beyond death, love beyond fear
and we all have to suffer to enter our glory.

Bless, bless and do not curse.
Pull brokenness far from the shadow of curse
put it under the light of the blessing.

Praise, praise to you Lord
for I never realized
broken glass could shine so brightly.