Survivor Stories and Poetry
These stories, poems and testimonials are told by some of our survivors in their own words. Initials or aliases are used in some cases to maintain confidentiality.
Katie’s Story . . .
This video was award a prize in the 2012 Maryland State Bar Association’s Video Contest. Katie is now an activist who works to help others forced into prostitution.
From the 2013 Holiday Season . . .
Thank you so much for the very thoughful gift bag. I loved everything in it. The House of Hope organization is very inspirational. The dinner was fantastic too. Hope everyone involved has a blessed 2014 -Thanks for making a difference-
Dear Secret Santa,
I’m Mary and I appreciate the gift. It mint that some one thought of me.
The Christmas gifts bags means so much to me because truefully gifts is the only one that I get during the holidays. In it truelly touchest me because growing up I never really got gifts. So I’m truely bless and greatful for it. Thank you so, so, very much.
What Safe House of Hope has meant to me. Transcribed directly from their own words by volunteer Mimi on 10/10/12 . . .
. . . name is D.B. and SHOH has helped me and still is to becoming a stronger and calmer person and it helped me get to know people and to make friends of all kinds and gives me a place to be myself. And gives me clothes and personals.
. . . I love it because I been with them for yrs I complient to Safe House of Hope they are very very helpful in times of needs. Thank You Safe House keep up the hard work. God Bless Thee
. . . My name is D.W. and I am one of the people that droops in here at the drop in center. It is bennificial and a credit to the comunity. Keep up the good work.
. . . I enjoy the hold trip it was very nice to me. My first time rides and food and company. Special factory. Meeting different people seeing smiles on faces even my face. learning how to enjoy life in different places, things. It put happen in my life that havent been there for a while. Thank You L.
“Sharon Jones’ ” story. She will be starting Job Corps soon . . .
I am 19 years old and I’m from Sacramento, California .I grew up around killers , gangsters , drugs & alcohol , fighting , stealing , jail birds , prostitutes and broken families. I’m the youngest of three brothers & one sister, my mom is still alive & my dad past away when I was a baby. My mom was in & out of jail & on drugs so my aunty raised me & two of my brothers until I was around 11 years old. We moved back with are mom & moved to the ghetto.
Around the ages 11 & 12 I started being bad like cursing , smoking weed , fighting & sneaking out to parties & to boys houses. By the age 13 I started smoking a lot more & flunked in school and then we moved to another area in the ghetto & things got worse. I started meeting new people that were much older than me influencing me to drink , dress inappropriate , have sex , pop pills , fight more & gang bang hard. I started lying to my mom more , running away & being rebellious. As the time went on I have been expelled out of school , on house arrest & probation for fighting , eventually I started messing up more in school & dropped out. I started to make friends with a lot of girls that were prostituting , it started to become very popular for younger girls to do it. As I felt like my life was going bad & I was in a struggle I wanted to start prostituting to get more money.
At the end of 17 I got in contact with a friend I knew for a couple years that was already doing it to help me start off. Her & her boyfriend “ pimp” made a deal with me that if they let me work out of they hotel room , ride in their car to pick & drop me off anywhere , to buy anything I need as in food, make up, condoms & posting a prostituting add for me on the internet I had to pay them half of whatever I made for all they help. After doing that for a while I left them & started to just do it on & off with other friends.
As time went on I came back to the same place I started off at being broke so later on I ended up hooking back up with the girl boyfriend “pimp” and we made the same deal we did at the beginning. He gave me a place to stay & he bought me food & things I needed. I went to start walking the track & ended up getting caught up by an undercover cop in Oakland California. The next day he bout me make-up, clothes, took pictures of me & made a plain ticket for me to go to Chicago, IL.
After I stayed a couple days in Chicago thing didn’t work out so well out there, so he sent for me to go to Baltimore, MD. When I got to Baltimore I had to share a hotel room with a girl I knew out there because I didn’t have enough money for me to get my own. Like three days later of being out there I made my last payment to the guy that sent me out there & cut him off & left almost all my things at his house back in Cali & from that point on I was officially back on my own. The money I was making was increasing witch is why I left him.
Stayed out there for a couple weeks & got bored by myself so I made plans with a friend to meet in Texas. Ended up going out to Texas & she never came. Out their my money started to run out so I decided to go back to Baltimore to get more money , a couple days past by & I got caught up by a undercover cop again, they didn’t take me to jail but told me to leave my hotel & go home or they will take me to jail. I didn’t have nobody to call to get sent home or even had a home to go to so they gave me a card to Safe House Of Hope to help me get out that life. The next day I call the number they gave me & I was blessed to have someone their willing to help me change & make a change now I’m a new person & out of that life .
Today by N.P.
Today I can finally stand up and say I’m proud of me
I Have overcamed a lot through my
Year’s here on this lovely earth
I guess your wondering what I’m talking about huh my rainbows are shinning for all to see
I finally adjusted to loving and accepting the real me dam that feels good to say and mean it
My life started off at the very beginning of my ladder but guess what I’m climbing the never ending ladder that leads to a promising future do you know what I’m saying for can you relate
Life isn’t a time bomb waiting to explode and life still isn’t sweet but guess what it’s mine and nobody else
Countless days and nights wondering where my guilding angle is but not realizing shes right here transforming me into the lady that I’m today
Someone told me if you could see what I see your become more beautiful and smile more
Today never looking backwards but always looking forwards and just looking out but also looking in and maintaining peace and happiness and putting my higher power first