You’ve read before how BRANCH: A New Beginning came into its own. Well let’s discuss the vision further to help inspire you to get involved with our needs. Remember, these buildings are something that I have envisioned for 35+ years before it became clear about this being for victims of human trafficking. So now pieces are fitting together of why these buildings or homes are in the picture. It goes against all logic and reason, but our God is a God of more than enough. This is a drop in the bucket for Him and if you are saying its impossible…. well you are right…. for us it is. For God…. NOTHING is impossible! I have divided this up into general categories. As you can see even by each item, a host of things will be needed with just the general categories. But this will give you an overview of what I have seen for several decades. Hard to imagine I know!!
- Houses (in and out of state)
- Commercial training center/library
- Businesses to take over
Houses: means safe houses, transition houses, and home that can be taken over for families who are being reunited and back on their feet and stable. We want homes for emergency rescues for minors (boys and girls), safe houses for men and women being affected by trafficking, transition homes for men and women, and finally the opportunity to get their own home and gain their own independence.
Warehouse(s): This is also a big part of the vision as well. There are several reasons we are looking for warehouses. One we want to create a drop-in center near Detroit that will provide a place for victims who want to come off the street to decide what they want to do. The drop-in center will allow trafficked victims to come for a week and provide them a place to clean up, sleep, and just give them the opportunity to feel normal. Then after a week, they decide what they want to do. Whether its to move into a safe house or go back to the streets. Since many trafficked victims come and go seven to ten times, we want to keep the safe homes as “safe” as possible while they decide on moving forward with their lives.
We also need to get a warehouse because of the increase in recycling that BRANCH is now starting to encounter. This will allow us to open our recycling drop-offs to the public (instead of at my home) as well as start allowing volunteers to come in and assist in sorting and loading the trailer for drop off.
If that was not enough, we also need a place to create a storefront for victims. This includes items that an emergency rescue may need and other necessary items as we place survivors into their own living quarters. We want to be able to have all clothing items, beds, kitchen, furniture, etc that they or other victims we know have need for. The plan is also to put stores for survivors out of state depending on the expansion of BRANCH. In this plan, we will also need a place for our maintenance warehouse. With having so much property, including safe houses, having a central location for materials will be important for deliveries and maintenance.
Commercial Training Center/Library: We will need property to create a training center and a library for studies. Victims of trafficking have their own needs and pace, and so it will be important to provide an environment that is welcoming and secure for their learning styles. We will work on obtaining scholarships as well to different universities as we continue to develop this side of education, but having a place to call their own to learn and explore is vital.
Businesses to Take Over: Even though partnerships will be great, we want to create opportunities within our own organization, by creating unique businesses that provide ongoing work for our residents to prepare them for their own livelihood or possibly to take over businesses we create/invest in. For those residents who may not be able to survive on their own, we want an environment that they feel safe working with no fear of rejection or job loss. Having our own businesses, provides us a unique opportunity to mentor, train for life skills and build self-esteem by seeing accomplishment through goal-setting.
It is important to understand the vastness of this dream and vision. It is something that is truly overwhelming, but not impossible with God as the key focus. Currently we have been talking to several people, from various areas, who are wanting to donate property or offer us a low rent or sell us property to use for our soon-to-be-survivors (STBS). When the time is right, things will flow accordingly, but for right now, discussions are important. I am definitely excited that people are wanting to contribute like this. So we will be evaluating all options and praying over everything that is offered.
We are looking at another large property with acreage where we may be able to not only house more victims but also build businesses on the property. It would probably be used for long term survivors who will struggle with being on their own. The thing that is so incredible about all of this is that it will be privately funded. We are NOT looking to have any mortgages or debts going into this. Each property will be free of loans. We want to be good stewards over what has been entrusted to us.
- den parents that we can rotate to not burn them out (I am currently working on an option we need prayer about)
- child care
- court assistance
- entertainment (outings like zoo, museums, parks, etc)
- event volunteers
- office staff
(just to name a few)
Materials We will be looking for funding to provide scholarships for these women to obtain the goals that they want to achieve or have never known they can achieve. So whether it be to college, trade school, or just being the best of the best in whatever industry they choose, we want to help provide them the path to a better future. Many of these survivors do not know what they want to do with their life because their life has been stolen. They have never been able to experience hobbies, sports, arts, crafting, studying, and so forth like most normal children. So to be able to provide them a wealth of opportunities is vital to this organization by providing not only the safe environment to discover their passions, but the method to obtain toward those passions.
I know people love to give “things”. At this point material needs will be anything you can wrap your mind around. Right now I have three garages full of things. We do not need donated items right now because we have nowhere to warehouse any additional items, but please know that in the future, we will definitely be looking for things. We have a current needs list for where we are at right now in our development stages that you can see and help with here.