Within our small rural communities we are so lucky to have many unique businesses and non-profits. They are just one reason we can enjoy living in rural Minnesota. Not only are those small businesses supplying jobs for our families but they give back to the community either financially or by volunteering their time. In honor of National Human Trafficking Awareness month, I would like to recognize and share some information about a non-profit that continues to give back to the communities they serve. Many of us have heard the name Hope Harbor but have no clue what they are doing for our area’s communities.
Who is Hope Harbor?
Hope Harbor, located in Marshall and Winona, MN, became their own identity in 2016. They started as part of a national business “House of Hope” in 2005. Hope Harbor is the perfect fit for girls between the ages of 12 – 17 that are hurting and provides a place of healing.
There are teens whose hopes and dreams of the future have been crushed by such things as substance abuse, sexual abuse, eating disorders, self harm, relational aggression, or countless families problems that makes life seem unsafe, loveless, confusing, and hopeless. But there is hope!
What makes Hope Harbor different?
Hope Harbor keeps the girls active by offering physical fitness, art classes and community service. They have onsite schooling so the girls stay on track do not fall behind. They also have a music teacher, which a couple of the girls are very passionate about music. The girls also do chores just like they would in their own home… laundry, dishes, sweeping and other household duties.
Residents have goals specific to expectations and individual program needs. Privileges and responsibilities are vital for personal growth and maturity. Privileges increase by phase, as does responsibility, trust, integrity, and initiative.
• Respect of authority • Trust, integrity, and leadership • Personal motivation • Practical skills application • Walking in freedom • Consistency in behavior • Coping skills • Social skills • Conflict resolution • Self-control • Service projects • Chores • Meal prep • Time management • Letter writing • Hobby development • Fitness • Nutrition • Hygiene • Manners
Parents participate in the program.
During the girls’ stay at Hope Harbor the parents come every week for counseling.
Parents and family participate in the healing process through commitment to individual counseling and group parenting class, participation in weekly visits, passes, and phone calls, agreement and adherence to policy and guidelines for program duration, and full support of their child’s healing. In these ways, the entire family works together to make positive changes so the transition back is into a home of reconciliation and healing. Many parents discover as time progresses that they needed healing, too.
Hope Harbor stepping out to spread awareness.
Not only is Hope Harbor helping those teens that enter into their program but they are out on the road spreading the word on Social Media and Online Safety. At the beginning of December they visited Ellsworth, presenting on human trafficking awareness to students, teachers, parents and caregivers in an effort to maintain security and privacy in the digital world.
Adults and teens alike find social media an essential part of their daily life, with plenty
of good things as well as potential dangers that should be avoided.
Be apart of the solution
The information and what Hope Harbor does for many families and the communities they serve is endless. To find out more on how to volunteer, donate, or help someone in need visit Hope Harbor. Follow their Facebook page to find many stories that keep us all updated on what is going on with bullying, human trafficking, and how to keep our children safe within our local communities.
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