How Texting Can Change Lives

In the last year, REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade) helped over 100 women take steps to exit the sex trade and start reaching their goals. Over 70 of those women are now participating in REST’s case management program which assists women in receiving much needed services to move forward with their lives.

REST has begun a new program of text outreach. This program sends a text message to women in the sex trade who have posted ads online with their contact phone number. The text message reaches out to women asking them if they need help. If a woman responds to person-woman-hand-applethe text she is immediately contacted and offered services at REST. In the short time that the text outreach has been in existence, over 50 women have responded asking for help. REST has helped many women get jobs, begin recovery from substance abuse, start college courses, tak
e steps of faith and build a positive sense of community.

One area that is remains a challenge for REST is in providing women a safe place to stay. This year there were no beds available in King County for nearly 40% of women who called the REST hotline looking for a safe place to stay. These brave women took an incredible risk and reached out for help only to be told, “There’s no place for you to go.” There are still critical moments, when safety counts above all else, when the counselors at REST have to say, “I’m sorry, there are no beds available for you tonight.” It’s devastating to both the staff and the women who are risking it all to reach for help.

The good news is that REST has signed a lease, hired a program supervisor, and started the renovations on the space for their Emergency Receiving Center (ERC) which will provide short-term emergency shelter and crisis intervention services for victims of sexual exploitation. As soon as additional funds come in, REST will hire the additional team members needed and open the doors. This is an exciting opportunity for REST.

Please join us in praying with REST for the needed funds to come in for the ERC and that the text outreach program will continue to be a wonderful avenue for reaching women trapped in the sex trade. Visit REST at www.iwantrest.com to learn more about this BelPres ministry partner and opportunities to volunteer with them in bringing transformation to our community.