“If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there's shouting after you, keep going. Don't ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.” - Harriet Tubman
“The Jonah Project is building relationships with churches and families to create a network of safe housing options for women and children who are in an unsafe situation or need to heal from trauma away from danger. These safe housing options - whether host homes (transitional housing) or private safe houses - we call “HUBS” on the “Freedom Railroad *TM.”
CURRENT HUBS ON THE FREEDOM RAILROAD *TM INCLUDE:
PEND OREILLE COUNTY in WA STATE
LINCOLN COUNTY in WA STATE
SPOKANE COUNTY in WA STATE
We approach this by: -Training and encouraging Advocates as well as Host Homes/families -Building relationships with resource providers across the nation -Equipping, encouraging and training churches & families to operate & grow Railroad “Hubs”
Why "Safe or Host Homes" rather than facilities for long term care? 1.Effectiveness. Facilities & institutional settings simply do not provide the same ability for women and children to heal and grow. Science tells us that and so does our faith! Things like COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT and other issues like homelessness, unemployment, and addiction - are all more prevalent in children who have been exposed to institutional care as opposed to a safe home or family environment.
2. Efficiency. According to DSHS in 2018 - the typical bed in a facility or institution can cost $319/day! A residential facility costs between $1800-$2400/mo. PER resident! So for 8 women or children to be housed safely and securely, with access to resources, meals, clothing and things like mental health care the costs can become incredible. Instead of paying between $6-$8,000 or more a month to operate a facility - survivors can get more direct care within a family setting at a Safe Home for around 1/4 of the costs we see elsewhere... usually around $2,000/mo, or less! These costs can be more efficiently funneled to Survivor Care when we are not forced to pay the operating expenses of corporate model care.
Testimonies from our Host Home Experiences... "The Jonah Project is an organization that has provided me with various resources. The Jonah Project has donated many things to me when I was in a time of struggle...clothing, hygiene products, and food to name a few. JP has great advocates that have helped me with my needs, like getting me to appointments to providing mentoring... A time that sticks out to me was when an advocate helped me with my financial aid for college, or when an advocate took me to get a replacement of my social security card. Or when an advocate took me to my counselor’s appointment. For me there is a specific advocate that makes sure I have everything I need. She is constantly checking in with me and providing emotional support. Having a caring, positive influence does make the difference. The Jonah Project is a special organization that has a lot to offer people in need. There is so much good that has been and will be done by the Jonah Project and I can testify to that." "Janelle" Teen Survivor 16
"Being a host house can be an intimidating thought. I was first called to be a host home for a trafficking victim who was expecting a child, I welcomed her without hesitation. This, particular, situation was unpredictable and, at times, head scratching. She was a girl in survival mode, she did not have “family” skills, she was needy, and all of that was okay! I was able to give her a space to heal and feel love; without, the obligation of performance of any kind, which was counter to what she had been programmed to expect. With every life I have brought in, I have learned that I cannot expect anything. Every person has walked through their own story that brought them to my door. Being a host-family can be a balancing act of learning how to engage and walk out life with a new soul, and it is some of the hardest work I have done. For my family, it will always be worth it to bring love, and safety to any beautiful life that walks through our door, even if only for a day...I have been equipped to care for others, to help bring freedom into their lives, to show that there is another way of life, to prove that there are safe people in this world, to open perspectives to freedom, to feed, to keep warm, to keep dry, to offer safety, and to supply real love. People are never easy, but I promise it is worth it!" -Nicole G. Jonah Host Home
"Jesus didn’t say, “bring the world to us”, but rather, “go into all the world” (Mark 16:15). The Jonah Project is a shining example of this commission, going into the dark and sad places to rescue the broken and hurting. Both in our community here in Spokane and also on a broader level, working with Homeland Security and other public and government officials, they strive to show the love of Christ and what freedom can truly look like. The unconditional love they show to those they reach out to and rescue from human trafficking is a dangerous love; a love that extends to places most of us aren’t willing to go. This is why we at Life Center Church support The Jonah Project, because God calls us to partner together to reach those who need rescuing and above all need Jesus. The Jonah Project doesn’t just preach the gospel, they live it out boldly, and who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? We are excited about what God is doing through The Jonah Project and excited about our partnership with them." -Krista Lack Spokane Serving Director - LIFE CENTER "Jonah Project has been an amazing organization to work with. They work tirelessly to meet students with their needs and where they are at. I have had two students that I work with housed with Jonah Project. Not only did Jonah Project house these vulnerable youth, but went above and beyond. Jonah Project helped get these students mental health services, substance abuse counseling, clothing, mentors and appropriate school placements. Their communication with me has always been excellent, and we have worked together every step of the way to get these high risk kiddos to a stable spot. I have enjoyed working with each and every staff that I have met through the Jonah Project!" -Danielle Duffey HEART Specialist - N.C. high school
"I had the very unique opportunity of being the Jonah Projects very first house leader...During my time at light house I cared for about 15 different young women, some I had with me for 6 months, some I had for just a few days but with everyone my goal was just to simply give them a safe place and a feeling of belonging. For me it’s always been about belonging, My job was to make sure that even if it was just for a few hours, they would feel like they belonged and they were loved. I could go on with stories of dance parties, shopping days and long talks on the kitchen floor. I saw girls come in who wouldn’t speak a word transform into confident young women. But even with all those amazing stories and unbelievable transformations, the thing I am most grateful for is what it did in me to be a house leader. I learned how to care for someone even when it got painful, I learned how to rely on Jesus when my own strength was far from gone and I learned that it is always, and I mean always worth it to love people with all that you have, all the time. I am forever grateful for my time as Lighthouse leader, and even more grateful to be a Jonah girl." -Liberty Allen House Leader