Street's Hope provides holistic restorative services to women escaping sex trafficking and the commercial sex industry and nurtures the resilience needed to heal, transform and thrive.
Street's Hope envisions a healthy community void of sex trafficking and the commercial sex industry where every woman is empowered and restored to her humanity.
Street's Hope was founded in 2004 by Leanne Downing, a leader in a Denver inner-city church, as an outreach project to the women working in the sex industry along the Colfax corridor. Over time, this outreach project grew into a faith-based non-profit organization created to assist women desiring to leave sexually oriented businesses. Until 2008 Street's Hope focused on street outreach to provide food, condoms, and relevant referrals for housing, medical care, clothing, and therapy. However, Street's Hope quickly recognized that these women have a complex set of needs, such as: co-occurring mental health diagnoses, drug and alcohol addictions, trauma-related complications, and homelessness or precarious housing. Additionally, as the most frequent age of entry into the sex industry in the United States is 12-14 years old, many of these women have limited formal education and gaps in their non-sex industry related employment histories. All these complications make it difficult for these women to obtain safe forms of paid work to move towards self-sufficiency free from the sex industry.
In 2008, Street's Hope revamped the program and hired skilled providers to begin directly offering transitional housing, food, clothing, case management, individual trauma therapy, group counseling, mentoring, assistance with life skills, and vocational and educational training. Since our clients have worked in a wide range of the commercial industry, including street-based prostitution, escorting, exotic dancing, pornography, or sex trafficking, each woman's treatment is individualized so that her unique obstacles, gifts, and abilities are considered in her case plan and continued care.
"At Street's Hope, I feel like they put you together from the inside out".
*Maggie, a women burdened with years of abuse and pain came to Street's Hope in January of 2014, battered, broken and desperate for an escape from a life in the commercial sex industry. After a year in the Residential Treatment program, a year characterized by her unrelenting perseverance towards recovery, she finally feels solid ground beneath her feet.
"When I was living on the street I never felt safe or secure, and I was constantly waiting for the floor to drop out from under my feet."
Years ago Maggie found herself working in the commercial sex industry, where all she could do was gasp for breath and try to make it through until the next morning. It was a very lonely existence that drew her into a dysfunctional relationship full of pain and heartache, and no matter how abusive it became, deep down she believed that it was better to have someone than no one at all.
"I was surrounded by unconditional love and I have finally learned what true relationships really are, thanks to Street's Hope."
With this unconditional love, time, therapy, and a lot of hard work, Maggie has finally been able to break free from a life of abuse and its accompanying addictions, learn how to love herself, discover how to forgive others for what they did to her, and forgive herself for what she did to others. She has even rediscovered a love and talent for art and poetry, and is ready to thrive as a contributor to a healthy community.
Although Maggie has since graduated from Street's Hope's Residential Treatment program, she remains engaged with Street's Hope, serving as a peer mentor to other women who have escaped the industry.
"I want to provide others with a trusting relationship and show them the love and kindness I have seen at Street's Hope."