Their Stories

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I cannot remember having a normal childhood due to my mother’s drug abuse which she used to cover up her mental health issues. Often, there were times when I had nowhere stable to live, no healthy parent in my life and just no one to love me and look out for me. Eventually, I ended up in foster care until I was able to leave at age 18. I went back to my mother hoping she would have changed, but, I ended up being her caretaker. Then, the worst thing of all happened. I met a person who became my “friend” but actually ended up being my pimp. He, along with a gang of others, trafficked me from Atlanta to Virginia! I never imagined anything could be so bad. I was able to escape when he was arrested in Virginia. I managed to find The WellHouse online, and called and was sent a ticket to come here. The WellHouse immediately became the home I never had, and I was surrounded by a loving group of people who have given me what no one else was ever able or willing to give. Since being here, I have obtained my high school diploma and begun a great job skills training program. I was paired with a wonderful family as my mentors who spend time with me every week and show me love, kindness and a healthy lifestyle. We do things I only imagined before like eating out, going shopping and to the museum. Because God brought me to The WellHouse, I am on my way to becoming the person I was born to be!      –Brenda

I never felt truly loved. My father didn’t want me. He beat my mom while she was pregnant in hopes of losing me. My father left my mom and me after I was born. My mom always blamed me for my father leaving. I was crushed after my mom told me the truth – a very hurtful truth. It explained why I always felt like an outsider in my home. I ran away, into more trouble that I could have imagined. I was sold, abused, raped and used drugs to lessen the pain of a loveless life. The WellHouse came at a time that I truly needed. The unfamiliar feeling of being loved has become familiar because of the staff, volunteers and church family.     -Denise

My parents are no longer alive due to drugs and several of my siblings are either dead or incarcerated. My life has been full of unhappy chaos. The only relative who was able to help me, my grandmother, has been busy with my other siblings and their children, so, I was left to take care of myself. I was a prime target to be lured into trafficking when I began dancing in strip clubs. I wanted to believe that the person who was forcing me to do the unthinkable cared for me, but, that was not the case. Even after having a child, I still was being forced into this life. Finally, I had had enough of this horrible existence and reached out to a group in another state who helps to rescue trafficking victims. They do not have a home or program, so they told me about the WellHouse. I am so happy to be here with my child, and I am excited about my future and grateful for the opportunities I now have!       –Cindy