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Hundreds of children run away from home every month in Tennessee.* Running away puts kids at risk of being approached, enticed, and exploited by traffickers. Most kids point to conflicts and problems at home as their reason for leaving. If we can impact the quality of family life, we can change the number of our kids who run away and the number of our kids vulnerable to perpetrators.

Substance abuse often plays a part in family conflict. It can be the cause of conflict, or it can be a mother’s attempt to escape her own pain. Children of addicted parents suffer a wide range of consequences and risk being used as a commodity to fund addiction. When kids are parented well, they are less vulnerable to Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST).

Risk factors for kids with addicted parents

  1. lack of supervision
  2. poverty & hunger
  3. drug abuse
  4. criminal contact
  5. gang activity

Serenity Women’s Shelter has begun a partnership with Street Hope to impact the lives of moms on a pathway of restoration from addiction.  By strengthening parents, we change risk factors in the everyday lives of so many of our children. When we support a mother in her journey of physical, emotional, and spiritual health, we impact the life of her child.

Serenity Shelter moms

In February, three women graduated from the Serenity Shelter restoration program. Each journey has been a long, difficult process of life change. No one walked her path alone. Staff members, volunteers, and church members provided a wide range of support. The chapel was filled with others who have prayed, given, and served. The women shared a common motivation to be clean, sober, and responsible: to be better moms and parent their children well.  They don’t want to pass on or amplify their pain to the next generation. They don’t want their kids to fall victim to addiction or DMSTWith victorious results in the life of each mom, the lives of their children were changed.

As certificates were given out to the black robed graduates, a nearly 7 year old girl came to stand beside her mother. The mom she knew had been homeless and broken, but today her mom is healed and healthy,  ready to be the mom she deserves. The two stood and sang “Jesus Loves Me” together, as a tribute to their changed lives.

Street Hope celebrates life change made possible by the love of Jesus. Check out our partnership information to learn more about our Community Partners and our Church Partners.

 

*NCMEC – National Center for Missing and Exploited Children