News for Northern California
We continue to wrestle through the new state regulations and licensing process with regard to operating a residential facility for minor victims of sex trafficking in the state of California. The state of California is eliminating funding of all group homes (which is the license we have) and converting them to Short Term Residential Treatment Facilities (STRTF) — which has new program regulations and requirements. These new facilities are designed by the state to be a short term placement — 6 months — and after that time, the plan is to place children in resource families (formerly called foster families). This is a difficult process for us, as the Courage House program is an intentional long term (18 to 24 month) trauma program in a family/home environment. We are consulting with our mental health professionals as well as program creators to determine what modifications will be required of our program and what impact those modifications will have on our outcomes. We anticipate this process will be finalized within the next 45 to 60 days. At that time, we will be providing an update. In the meantime, we are excited to announce that Courage Worldwide is expanding our services to victims of sex trafficking in the Northern California area who are over the age of 18.
There are over forty former residents now in the community who once called Courage House home. We promised we would be their family. We promised we would walk the long journey of healing with them; equipping, encouraging and empowering them to be and do all they were created to. While we have been supporting them relationally with limited resources, Courage Worldwide is pleased to announce we will now be doing that in a very intentional way with expanded services and resources. We have hired a Human Trafficking Case Manager for our over 18 population, who will be tasked with providing our former residents, as well as any trafficking victims in the community, with the resources that will assist them in becoming independent and successful. Those resources will include, but are not limited to, housing, tuition, therapy, legal services, mentors, day care vouchers for their children, counseling and more. If you know of a trafficking victim (over the age of 18) who needs resources, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News from Tanzania Africa
Stephanie and Joel Midthun are moving to Tanzania, Africa! Stephanie and Joel have been a part of the Courage Worldwide team since 2009; either as key staff or board members. For the past two years they have been overseeing Courage House Tanzania as well as equipping, encouraging and empowering the Tanzania church and educating them about the issue of child sex trafficking. Under their leadership, we have doubled the number of girls in the home going from 6 to 11 along with two of their babies. Stephanie and Joel over see a staff of 10 employees as well as working with government and community leaders to bring awareness of the plight of these vulnerable child victims and their unique needs. Stephanie and Joel believe God is calling them to sell their home (which sold in a week), leave the church they founded – Living Water Community Church in Elk Grove eighteen years ago – as well as their family and friends to move to Tanzania. Being obedient, they said yes and will be moving this summer. Their last day at Living Water Church will be July 9th. Come join us in sending them off! We call Stephanie and Joel – Water Walkers, Giant Slayers and History Makers! Hear is a short video of their story here.
We are expanding in Tanzania! Earlier this year, a team from Trinity Lutheran Church in Southern California joined Joel and Stephanie in Tanzania to see our Courage House there as well as partner with Courage Worldwide to train pastors. During their time there, Joy and Nathan Hoff, pastors at Trinity Lutheran Church, were broken hearted because we did not have room to expand and bring more girls home. After they returned home, they went to their church family and asked them to raise $65,000 to buy a piece of property that had 3 buildings and was large enough for us to expand Courage House Tanzania to 40 girls! Their church leaders believed this was of God, gave their blessings and they asked the church to help. Within one week, they raised all the funds required to buy the property and provide renovations. Trinity has pledged to send teams this summer to continue to support our efforts there. We also call Trinity Lutheran, Joy and Nathan Water Walkers, Giant Slayers and History Makers. Here a video showing you our new property in Tanzania and our girls singing their thank you!