Created Gainesville is committed to reaching and restoring women coming out of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation in Gainesville, Florida. They seek to empower by walking alongside women in their journey toward healing and restoration. They provide holistic and individualized, focusing on providing physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual healing, specialized for women who have been sex trafficked and exploited.
We love the wonderful work they are doing to fight this nefarious crime of sex trafficking. We interviewed Created Gainesville to find out more about what they do:
Q: Could you tell us what sparked the birth of Created Gainesville?
A: Created Gainesville has been around since 2012 and has worked with 1500 women since. The founder, Alison Ungaro, started this organization when she was shaken by the realities of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation stateside. Nationally, 1 in 5 boys and 1 in 3 girls experienced some form of sexual abuse, incest or molestation. 92+% of the women in the sex industry were those vulnerable girls and most have experienced compounded traumas. So, Created goes to the places where exploited women are- the streets, the strip club and the jail offering, offering hope in Jesus, community and a path towards restoration.
Currently, there are 9 women in the Created Care program. Created is raising money towards overall programming and the eventual opening of the first residential facility in greater Gainesville area for survivors. Three acres of land were recently donated! This home will truly benefit women all over our state.
Q: Could you tell us what are the ways in which Created Gainesville is combatting human trafficking?
A: Created goes to the places where exploited women are — the streets, the strip clubs, and the jails, offering hope in Jesus, community and a path towards restoration. When we raise awareness by sharing the statistics about the prevalence of molestation/incest/sexual abuse, we are frequently told by people from all walks of life — who have not ended up in the sex industry: teachers, lawyers, store managers and business people — of their past abuse.
It is a beautiful move when people who have been able to walk in freedom use their position to reach out and help those who haven't yet experienced redemption.
The Created Care program is non-residential at this point although we do help with housing scholarships. Created Care is our long-term, restorative care solution for women who are looking for a fresh start. We seek to empower by walking alongside women in their journey toward healing and restoration. Created Care is holistic and individualized, focusing on providing physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual healing, specialized for women who have been sex trafficked and exploited. Currently, there are 9 women in the Created Care program.
Created Care includes:
• Housing Assistance
• Trauma and Addiction Counseling
• Spiritual Growth and Development
• Job and Life Skill Training
• Education Assistance
• Court Advocacy
We also do Outreach Programs:
STREET OUTREACH — We go to the streets of our city to find women where they are and offer Christ's love and a way out.
CLUB OUTREACH — We visit women working in the strip club on a regular basis to establish trust and friendship.
JAIL OUTREACH — We offer a weekly Celebrate Recovery program at the jail and we provide assistance in formulating an exit plan upon release.
COURT ADVOCACY — We advocate for women in the court system to have the opportunity for rehabilitative services.
OASIS NIGHTS — We invite the women we meet on Outreach to join us at our weekly Oasis night. We share a meal, worship, and do Bible study.
To find out more about our programs you can visit our PROGRAMS page.
Q: From your experience in the life of Created Gainesville, what would you say is the toughest challenge in helping and caring for trafficking survivors?
A: The deepest flaw in our ministry is not having a safe home for survivors. After prayerfully seeking, God has blessed us with THREE ACRES of land to build our residential house! It is time to raise $375,000 to invite women home to begin their journey of healing and restoration. Our vision is to have:
The Intake House
This will be a 4-6 week program to assess a woman's physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs before moving into the long term residential home.
The Residential Home
This will be a 12-month program. The initial phase will focus on trauma care and healing. The last phase will focus on goal setting and skill development.
Empowered Living Phase
This will be an expansion on the Residential Program for transition into independent living. The focus will be on: working, saving, reunification, and more.
Q: Could you share with us a favorite story of survivor's victory Created Gainesville has witnessed?
A: A girl named Becky grew up in Gainesville. She never knew her father and was neglected by her mother as a child. On top of that, she was molested by a close family member. By age 12, she was in and out of the jail system. By age 16, she was addicted to powder cocaine. And by age 19, she started “tricking for dope”, or prostituting herself to feed her addiction to crack cocaine. At age 30, In 2013, a glimmer of hope in the form of Created Gainesville entered Becky’s life.
A transformational source of support entered her life through Created Care and Oasis. Becky’s self esteem was no longer based on “the opinions of the world,” she no longer underminded her worth.
Her relationship with the Lord transformed the way she thought about herself. She saw growth not only in her self-esteem and confidence, but in her sense of community.
She no longer saw other women as competition — through Oasis her eyes were opened for the first time to the beauty of women empowering other women. She said her story is “evidence of the healing and redeeming work of Jesus, and the role of Created in her life.”
Q: Created Gainesville was recently blessed with three acres of land to build your future residential home for survivors. Could you tell us more about it? How can we, the every day person, support you in fighting human trafficking?
A: We aim to build the first safe house for sex trafficking survivors in our area. This home will be multi-phase. Eventually, we hope to open three different home of which each phase would be independently housed. A woman initially coming into the residential program, the assessment phase, needs a unique scope of resources that differ from a woman in the residential phase. All women in the survivor home will receive what our Created Care program currently provides however, having a safe place to sleep each night and be in real community with other women will provide the nurturing environment they need to start over. We are in a mentorship under a similar organization who has a 75% success rate for women not returning to the life. 100% of their women get the opportunity to pursue their education and career goals.
The everyday person can help by being aware the signs of human trafficking and reporting what they observe to law enforcement.
Community members can financially support and pray fervently for organizations that offer restorative care to traumatized women in the sex industry. We love our volunteers who go with us on outreach, who lead bible studies with women, who drop of clothing donations, order items such as underwear and bras on our Amazon registry, who cook a meal for our weekly gathering and cover us all in prayer. It truly takes a village to rebuild and restore our sisters.
You can also support Created Gainesville by purchasing our shirts and products, spread the word about this amazing organization and their fight against the injustice of human trafficking. 10% of all our sales until NOVEMBER 23 will be donated to Created Gainesville. CLICK HERE TO SHOP