BRUNSWICK, Ga. – Faithful Love, a faith-based nonprofit dedicated to rescuing women involved in sex trafficking has been in operation for four years. Its name describes the message of hope it wants to send to the women it serves: they’re loved, cared for, and valued.
“We want the women to know that we’re a safe place,” said Judi Riccio, Faithful Love’s executive director. “This is a place that is just for women, and it’s a place for them to begin that process of healing.”
Faithful Love is a day program and operates out of a modest house in a Brunswick neighborhood known for drug and sex trafficking. Beds, hot meals, showers, and laundry services are offered. They’re also provided counseling.
Riccio says while this is a safe place for women to be, it is not residential. But that all could change with the creation of “Ruth’s Home.”
To make Ruth’s Home a reality, Faithful Love is participating in the fundraising effort called Community Thrives. It is through USA Today Network. The group needs to raise $3,000 by Friday, Oct. 16. If that money is raised, the group could then qualify for more than $20,000.
Riccio says Ruth’s Home would give women a place to stay for 30 days. They would have access to counseling and group therapy, plus crucial trauma therapy. Riccio says a residential option for these women would make a major difference.
“Just trying to build, again, a safe place where women can come and start that process of realizing there is something different,” Riccio said.
From there, the next goal would be to place them in a long-term program and help them escape their traffickers for good.
“Most long-term programs will last up to a year and then there’s usually a transition, where they can get jobs,” Riccio said.
Riccio says despite awareness, sex trafficking and exploitation is still both a national and local problem. She says the COVID-19 pandemic has not helped.
“The different economical issues that have been going on with COVID, loss of jobs,” Riccio said. “How much more it is for our women who are homeless, who are being trafficked.”
Riccio says by donating to help bring “Ruth’s Home” to Southeast Georgia, you can help save countless women, and make a difference for generations to come.
The group’s website can be found here.