The Retreat Home For Children has a very specific mission: To provide trauma-informed, medical and psychological stabilization with on-site services for girls, ages 10- 17, who have been exploited through sex trafficking
The Retreat Home For Children Outgrows San Antonio Region November 12, 2021 By April Newell
This nightmare is a reality for children and teens alike in San Antonio and 23 surrounding counties—your own neighborhoods. The Retreat Home for Children was created by Brittany Thompson, Executive Director and RN, as a true safe place for children ages 10-17 to heal from the emotional, mental and physical trauma of exploitation through therapy, medical help, and—most of all—the love of Jesus.
“Every single kid that has come in has said, ‘this is not what I thought it would be, I have never seen anything like this.’ Above all else they are safe and they are shown what real love looks like, and how you don’t owe anyone anything for it. People can love you because you are worthy of love,” Brittany says.
The reality of sexual exploitation and trafficking happening in her own city was made aware to Brittany when she became the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) at the hospital where she was working. With the knowledge that these children merely went back into the hands of their offenders or into a failing foster care system, Brittany was burdened to advocate for them.
“These girls are from here. Children are so severely abused or exploited in their own homes that they eventually runaway and the people who find them and give them a sense of security are people who do not have their best interest in mind and the children end up being trafficked,” Brittany explains. “Across the board, with every girl we have this is how it has happened to them. They start out thinking a person is going to keep them safe, feed them, keep a roof over their head, and then they have to start doing things in exchange for just basic human needs.”
Today at The Retreat, 8 girls ranging in age from 11 to 17 are currently experiencing therapy and care like they never have previously.
“After 90 days this wall starts to crumble a little bit,” Brittany says. “We have girls making straight A’s, and a girl who just got a job—they are thriving. I’m seeing it! What we’re doing works! It gives me so much hope; working with these kids seems like such a huge task but there’s hope. Even when they’re fighting against everything, calling us names, it’s just part of their recovery and healing. We love them through it and do not waver.”
The future growth of The Retreat Home for Children is dependent on this year’s year-end giving. The more funding they receive, Brittany explains, the bigger they can build and the more girls they can serve.
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