Who Is Kristy?
On July 25, 2011, my mom passed away from cancer. Her name was Kristy and she had such a servant’s heart. She volunteered as a children’s advocate and also with literacy organizations right up until the very end of her life. While she was in in-home hospice, I left my job to care for her. During this time, God called me to ministry, and I began to spend time praying through what that might look like. My mom passed away in July, 2015. In the process of grieving and moving on with life, a vision was birthed in my sisters and I to combine my calling to ministry and our mother’s legacy of giving. As a result, we each gave up our share of equity in her house and instead used the proceeds of the sale to fund a new ministry named in her honor: Kristy’s House. Kristy’s House is an intensive mentoring and discipleship ministry for women involved in both trafficked and non-trafficked sex work and commercialized sexual exploitation.
Kristy’s House provides supportive care and services to women trapped in commercial sexual exploitation.
Many would have you believe that prostitution is a choice where consenting adults exchange sexual acts for money. The truth is not often what it seems, however. The facts reveal that somewhere between 65%-90% of prostitutes were sexually abused as children, nearly 80% have been victims of rape, and the majority would like to escape, but feel trapped and without options. That doesn’t seem like much of a choice.
A typical Kristy’s House client would more than likely have been not only sexually abused as a child, but also potentially trafficked by her own caregiver and raised in a home that wasn’t emotionally safe. She then ran away or ended up in the foster care system where she had to rely on men and her body to survive, and drugs to cope. Having multiple children with no frame of reference for what it means to be a mom, little ability to provide for their needs, and still very much a child in her own way, she continues down the path of destruction until she is finally arrested and the officer hands her a business card and invites her to call Kristy’s House.
Kristy’s House: A safe place to turn.
At Kristy’s House, this client is welcomed with open arms. She goes through an intake process where an individualized case plan is created to meet her specific needs. She is then paired with a Christian mentor who is generally an overcomer of the sex industry herself. This relationship will grow in trust over time as the client’s heart is ministered to, her trauma is addressed, and her practical needs are met.
Created For Relationship
We believe we were created to be in relationship, both with God and others. It’s amazing to think that our brains were wired to respond and develop with human touch and emotional connection. When this happens successfully, secure attachment is formed. When it doesn’t, there are almost always implications. Thus, it is our intention that everything we do, and every service we provide, is within the context of relationship. We offer a path to integration with oneself and one’s community. We first establish safety and security. Next, we equip our clients with the tools necessary to identify traumatic triggers, learn to be aware when they are operating out of that place, and leverage their new tools to begin to self-regulate. Once safety, stability, and self-regulation are in place, we can begin long-term, healing trauma work.
Who Are Our Clients?
Our clients all have one thing in common: they are women with a history in the sex trade and, generally, exposure to chronic trauma in childhood. We meet them where they’re at, which could be actively working and even giving back in the community, but realizing they need to spend time in their past story and are in a place where they become ready and feel safe enough to do so; they could be enmeshed in street life and battling an active addiction; they could be re-entering society after a stint in prison for prostitution; they could be in the midst of a trafficking case. They may have a house and car; they may be couch surfing. They may be in a bad relationship; they may be single. They may have a college degree; they may not have finished high school. And, they could be anywhere in between. Our clients and their stories vary, and our services and relationships are developed specifically to their needs.