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Why give? {Clothed in Dignity}

This month on The Good Logger it's all about Peoria Home. If you know us personally, you know this isn't just a December thing. Peoria Home is a huge part of our lives year-round and we know it's a worthwhile way to spend our time. When The Thrill of Hope is done for the year, I (Addie) am starting the year-long Clothed in Dignity; there are less than two weeks to go!!

Peoria Home is a good return-on-investment, and this is partly why we are continually asking for donations.

Photo by Monina Mitchell

In March of this year, Peoria Home held their third annual fundraiser event, Beacon of Hope, in Everett's convention center. It was a joy to host and hear from Becca Stevens, founder of Thistle Farms and Magdalene House in Nashville, Tennessee, the program upon which Peoria Home is modeled.

Becca stated it well (and this is a paraphrase)—all this money, energy, and time that has been spent to get Peoria Home up and running, from the incarnation of the idea in Paula Newman-Skomski’s mind to the physical moving-in of furniture in the home’s bedrooms several months ago—it is a good investment. The women who walked through those doors and into a new life, shedding their chains, will learn to love themselves and each other. That is a good return-on-investment.

Becca shared that, on average, it costs the state of TN (her home state) $88 per day to keep a person incarcerated. In Washington, that price is about $95 per day, which does not include recreational programs such as exercise and entertainment (those costs are privately-funded according to a 2011 Everett Herald article*).

She drew the comparison of the cost of housing a prisoner or inviting a woman to live in a place such as Peoria Home. Which has the better return? Which program rehabilitates more fully, producing people full of hope and ready to share the love which they have received? In the case of Thistle Farms & Magdalene House, the program upon which Peoria Home is modeled, the prison fails in comparison at an effective solution for rehabilitation for people who need it. Their program gives women skills and education and most importantly, relationships. The relationships continue after a resident's time in the home, something that is harder to do after a sentence in prison.

Because of the laws of our country, women who have been trafficked or prostituted frequently have a record. Prostitution is illegal, and the pimps are more difficult to catch. Any prostituted individual under 18 is always seen as the victim, but once that person turns 18, the laws that protect also change. At that point she is viewed (by the law) as a willing participant and therefore able to be prosecuted for her crime.frequently also have a reco

As Scott has covered in his The Thrill of Hope posts, women with records recovering from the life have limited options. After serving any time they may be given, they still need a place to heal and rebuild. Peoria Home provides that option.

We ask you to give because we know your gifts will help give a woman her life back and she, in turn, will likely return that gift in some form. She may raise children who are safe from the life. She may contribute in advocating for others who are there still.

One woman is worth it. How much more are three or more?

*North, Scott. “What do prisoners cost?” HeraldNet [Everett, WA] April 20, 2011.

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