I have found a home and a family.

No words can ever describe Freedom House. When you leave the world we come from you feel robbed of all that you are. Because of Freedom House I now know the true meaning of compassion, kindness, friendship, and trust. I have never felt wanted or like I belonged anywhere in this world, but as I write this I can say I have found a home and a family I know I will always have. I have found love from so many amazing women, from staff, volunteers, and my fellow sisters living in this house.

When I arrived at Freedom House my case manager gave me strength in my heart, mind, and soul once again. I owe so much to her and am grateful for the kindness she showed me. Without her I don’t think I could have accomplished what I have.

I am so grateful for all of the staff. They have done so much for me, for no other reason than it is the right and kind thing to do. I will always keep the wonderful memories I have shared with the staff close to my heart. I have kept them all up until the sun rises, talking, laughing, and joking.

Freedom House is a place I thought no longer existed in this world. When I was forced to become a prostitute I saw the ugly my family warned me of, and I believed that the world no longer possessed good. This home that the staff has worked so hard to create is a place for women like me to feel safe and see what beauty God has to give. My only wish for Freedom House is that it expands around the world to help so many more people that are in need of the love that is created in this house.

I have learned how to empower myself, to stand tall and strong for myself.

I have learned so much living here. I have learned how to empower myself, to stand tall and strong for myself. How to live with such vast variety of cultures. How to live with people full of imperfections and encourage my fellow sisters to thrive for strength and happiness.

I came to this house scared, broken down, and discouraged. I leave this house, and the only fear I possess is I will not have the women of Freedom House in my daily interactions. I leave with the fire in my heart to do all that I dream of. I leave a stronger woman then I ever was or ever hoped to be. I will never have a home like this one, and I will always miss my one true home.

God bless Freedom House and all the people that work so hard for us. I wish nothing but blessings for my sisters and my future sisters of Freedom House. I pray that God give his kindness to the Angels he has sent to Freedom House to help us. They are all Angels. I love you all, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

A Fellow Free Butterfly

Julia recently graduated from the Freedom House program. She has successfully transitioned into a new housing situation and has a job to support herself. Julia keeps in touch regularly with the Freedom House staff and reports to be doing very well.

Today I live in freedom. I want to share with you my journey of coming out of darkness and into the light. This is my story.

Before I came to Freedom House, I was in a very dark place. I was so terrified and uncertain about everything. I had nothing. No direction and no hope. Things were so hard, and I had nowhere to turn to.

I came to Freedom House a year ago. I was alone in this spacious, beautiful house. My first week was so sad. All I could do was watch movies to distract myself. Every night I cried in my room, wondering what would happen to me since I came into the house with nothing. I thought the feelings of fear and hopelessness would never go away.

During the first few weeks, I was introduced to the amazing staff and volunteers at Freedom House. They showed me so much love. One volunteer drove from very far away just to come see me every week. I shared so much with her. She knew all my dreams, and I felt like I could just express myself. The people at Freedom House cared about me and became my friends. They helped me to build my self-esteem and have hope for my future. Because of their love, I felt at home.

It hasn’t been an easy road. I’ve had a lot of anxieties, disappointments and troubles along the way, and hardships often make me feel tired and want to stop trying. But the people at Freedom House have helped me do things that make me believe I can overcome these obstacles. They have supported me in my every step. I have mentors who guide me with wisdom and patience, and teach me the tools I need to reach my goals.

Freedom House helped me find God, to trust and have faith in Him and myself. I know that God brought me to the house for a reason and sent all these loving people around me. He gave me strength and hope, and that makes me want to keep going. There’s no room for giving up at Freedom House. It’s a place for love, trust, hope, belief, and support.

Right now I have a full-time job and am on a waiting list for my own apartment. The time will come when I will leave Freedom House to live independently. I know that I can face the big world because I will bring my treasures with me, the lessons that I have learned while living here.

I hope my story will inspire others. As the people of Freedom House helped me, I learned how to care for others. I remember one night when two new residents were brought to the house. They were so sad and scared, and they couldn’t stop crying. I knew exactly how they felt, so I stayed with them and told them that everything was going to be okay, that things would get better for them just like they had for me.

Thank you, Freedom House, for bringing me back to life, from being helpless to someone who has grown up. You have helped me in so many ways and taught me to be a better person. Thank you for letting me know that far away from home, I now have a family who is with me in my ups and downs and willing to help and understand me. Thank you for inspiring me with your actions and good hearts.

I thank God for Freedom House. I thank all the staff and volunteers who are so very supportive not only to me but to all the residents. And I thank everybody who has helped to support Freedom House in many ways. Thank you for sharing in my story.

When Anna first arrived at Freedom House, she was extremely withdrawn and depressed. With the support of Freedom House staff and volunteers, she embarked on a yearlong journey of recovery and transformation. Since writing this piece, Anna has graduated from the program and still comes back to visit the residents and staff.

My name is Vicky and late last year I became a resident of Freedom House. The place I now call home has had a huge impact on my life. This beautiful cozy home has nurtured me in every way. I am no longer hungry and weak. I sleep peacefully at night instead of having nightmares. I have people that care for me and support me whenever I need it. I am not alone anymore and I am safe.

I no longer have the anxieties I used to have. So much of my life was consumed with fear, worry and ill health. I was not living. I was barely surviving. In this home I grow stronger each day, and I can now enjoy the simple pleasures in life once again: horse riding, ice skating, family dinner, and birthday celebrations. In this home I have unbelievable experiences with amazing people who care. I now smile and laugh again like I used to. I am putting myself back together one piece at a time, moving forward one step at a time, and loving myself again like I should.

I cherish all the new skills Freedom House has enabled me with. I am particularly grateful to my craft teachers. Making jewelry is one of favorite things to do when I am alone. It gives me peace, relaxes me, and allows me to explore my creativity. So many beads, so many colors and combinations; I’m off in a world that is all mine. It is mine because I now have the freedom to choose it and enjoy it.

I have learned to cherish the little things in life: a smile from a stranger, the thoughtfulness of a friend, a call to say “How are you?” Life means so much more to me than before.

For the first time in 4 years, I am alive again.

In my healing I was taught to always remember one thing:

To love me
To be me
And to mean me

Thank you Freedom House! x

Vicky graduated 2012 from The Monarch.