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  • Writer's pictureHope Center Indy

'It is truly an honor' – Sex Trafficking Survivors are a Blessing to HCI Staff

Jenn Starr first became connected with Hope Center Indy as a leader of Light in Darkness, a program that ministers to women working in strip clubs. “I fell in love with Hope Center Indy and their mission,” says Jenn. “I realized the Lord had been directing me here in many ways.”

Now, as the Take Heart Residential Program Director, Jenn keeps busy overseeing the care and recovery of the trafficking survivors that come to Hope Center Indy. “Our residents come first,” she says after listing a number of administrative tasks she’s responsible for. “I drop whatever I am doing when needed to address one of their needs.”

She notes that this is not a job or even a chore for her and the Take Heart Residential staff. Moments that stick out are when residents have taken care of her, like when they brought her a tissue, carried in the footbath and insisted on giving her a pedicure, or even something as simple as throwing away her paper plate from lunch. “It is truly an honor each day I get to spend with them (the residents) and walk alongside them on their journey day to day as they follow their plan of hope with their case manager.”

Take Heart Residential provides long-term restorative care for women overcoming sex trafficking and sexual exploitation, but at the end of the day, it is the survivors who find their own way to freedom. “We offer the opportunity and support, but they are doing the hard work,” Jenn says of the women in the program. “They are stepping out in faith for a new future by opening old wounds and grasping for healing.”

Recovery looks different for each resident, and it is only through God’s grace that healing is possible. Even in the midst of their struggles though, the residents have so much to give.

“Some of the most intimate moments are when the residents have taken care of me,” Jenn says. “We’re all taking it day by day, trying our best to grow.”

The Take Heart Residential Program is one of three residential programs at Hope Center Indy. To learn more about these programs, click here.

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