Hope Finds New Life at “The Samaritan Women” Home in Baltimore, Maryland
On our trip to Baltimore, Maryland, to film for the IN PLAIN SIGHT documentary, we had the opportunity to interview “Hope” who shared with us that she was first sold by her mother at eight years old. After spending many years under the control of a pimp and even chained to a bed for three years, we met her while she was prostituting herself to feed a heroine addiction. As you may have read in our Baltimore update or heard on the podcast with Jeanne Allert, we filmed as the staff of The Samaritan Women picked her up the morning after our interview to take her to the emergency room and ultimately to a one-week stay in rehab.
Here’s an update from Jeanne Allert, founder of The Samaritan Women – a faith-based residential program for survivors of sex trafficking…
I picked up Hope from the detox center on my birthday. What a present! She’s been at The Samaritan Women for 12 days now and each day has been remarkable in its own way. She attends a day program from 9am to 3pm Monday – Friday that gives her more individualized attention and a chance to acclimate to our (in her words) “very different” world. The other residents have really embraced her.
Christmas Day was eventful, as holidays are an emotional cocktail for most survivors. Either they are sullen and sad, because it makes them think of their estranged children, or the childhood they never had, or they are so overwhelmed by the out-pouring of love and generosity that they have no basis for dealing with that feelings. Hope was sporting her wildly colored “Christmas Eve pajama pants”— issued to all TSW residents — and bounding around as we set out the breakfast buffet and started the gift exchange. She sat amongst a sea of gifts from our local volunteers. It was good for a while, but then she started to withdraw and said she was in pain. Our mentor, Patty, took her to the ER, and they spent the next 8-10 hours there. Respecting her privacy, suffice it to say that the “Life” exacts a hefty toll on the human body, and Hope will likely deal with the residual effects of it for a long time. But she came back, polished off the plate of Christmas Dinner we’d saved, and got a good night’s sleep…perhaps the first she’d had in a long, long time.
I’m most taken by the not-so-subtle shift in her spiritually. She came in here, practically spitting nails about “hypocritical religious people” — and rightly so! Sadly, she’s seen the worst in people, many whom profess faith. She was not thrilled about going to three church services in one week (but hey, it’s Christmas week… that’s what we do), but she pressed through, even admitting that she enjoyed them. She’s become quite talkative in morning devotions and has picked out the Bible she wants to claim as hers. Today in Group she told another resident (who was confessing a deep regret from the Life), that “God has a plan for your life, and you just have to trust Him. Sometimes the people who get the most SH** in their lives are the ones He most wants to use.”
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When we started filming the documentary, we were focused on capturing stories, but we could have never imagined playing a small role in helping a woman experience a revolutionary opportunity in her life. Hope has a long way to go in her recovery and transformation, and we look forward to keeping you updated as is appropriate. We are so impressed by the leadership of The Samaritan Women in Baltimore, and we’re honored to continue capturing stories in the months to come as we have upcoming trips planned to Sacramento, Little Rock, Houston, and Dallas.
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