A little over a year ago, I discovered an organization called the Zion Project after I had just gotten out of a home for survivors of human trafficking. I had spent 11 months in a program that helped me escape from my last owner, but when I got out I had very little to my name and even less support.
After spending my childhood and most of my adult life being trafficked, HOME felt more like a four letter word than a place I could ever enjoy. The Zion Project is an organization that helps people who have been victims of sexual violence restore their identity. They helped me find Jesus, they give me support, and they helped me to learn how to start to heal from over 26 years of trauma.
Because of years of being moved around, traded and abused, I kept very little. I made sure I never owned much so that I could easily and quickly pack up and leave if I needed to. I lived in a constant state of fear of being found. I have lived in a lot of places and I've seen a lot of the world, but never felt safe enough to put roots down anywhere.
When I met Kaysie and was told about Homes & Havens, I think I might have intimidated her a little. I asked a ton of questions, but the biggest one I had for her was "Why was she doing this for me?"
Aside from The Zion Project, I had known very few people in my life who would give without strings attached. And I didn't understand how this complete stranger sitting across from me genuinely wanted to know my favorite colors, my likes and dislikes, and was ready to give me a gift that would be so life changing.
Before my home was transformed, I spent as much time away from home as I could, I didn't like people coming over and I never felt like I could truly relax.
The day that I walked into to my house being completely transformed, I was speechless.
I don't know what I expected, but I never could have dreamed my home would ever look like it does. I couldn't even take it all in, but the thing I remember the most from that first time walking in was how peaceful it felt, I felt so much peace and it felt so safe.
Kaysie and Homes & Havens gave me things I had only dreamed about ever having...
Things I could never have gotten for myself are now mine. I have a beautiful bed to sleep in at night with brand new sheets and a comforter, a sofa to sit on where I can draw and write (two of my favorite things to do), and on mornings before I go to work, I get to make coffee with my beautiful coffee maker. I still sit around my house and stare at everything in here... it feels like a dream... and I am so thankful to have a place I can walk into, lock my door and feel at peace after a hard counseling session or a tough day.
Kaysie didn't just give me material possessions, she gave me a place I could be proud of, a place that I can be still in, a place to grow and heal and a place where I truly feel at home.