Why do we run?

2014 marks the 3rd annual Race for Freedom 5K. While the race is organized each year by ICT S.O.S. what you may not know is that 100% of the proceeds of this event are given away! Yep, we work really hard all year, put on a fantastic event and then give away the money it raises! Why?

When we started this event in 2012 we wanted it to benefit our community and help an organization that was actively serving victims of human trafficking and/or youth at risk of finding themselves in a trafficking situation. As the race has grown, we’ve held on to that ideal and this year we’re proud to support Youthville’s Secure Care Program. Here’s some information on what they do and how they are serving young ladies in our community from Program Director, Heather Weaver:

EmberHope, Inc. (formerly Youthville, Inc.) is a private not-for-profit 501(c)(3) faith-based agency established in 1927 to help children and families in Kansas. We have been a partner with the State of Kansas for many years to serve at-risk children. Youthville remains the name of our program division focusing on services to children. The mission of EmberHope is “Sparking Change to Improve Lives.”  Our Youthville division mission is “Giving Children Back Their Childhood”.

Our Youthville Secure Care program in Newton is the only facility for females in Kansas that provides this level of service. Our program serves youth that have been adjudicated by the courts as a Child in Need of Care (CINC) and we serve youth from all areas of the state. The girls in this program have experienced significant trauma from abuse, neglect etc, along with their running behaviors,  this places them at significant risk for being victimized by human traffickers.  The girls’ stay is limited to 180 days. Upon discharge, many of the girls are returned to a community setting unprepared to properly monitor the girls’ activities.  The girls go from a structured lock-down facility with staff and counseling support to a foster family or group home in the community unprepared to understand their trauma, the risks they face, or how to best help them readjust. Discharge planning has been a difficult piece with this population, as unfortunately there are not many resources to serve this population. Secure Care was awarded a grant from the Attorney Generals office to offer “aftercare” services, which is in place to help support the youth when they are discharged into the community. However, we are interested in opening a “step down” facility from Secure Care, to assist in the transition back to a community setting. We have previously submitted information to our referral sources about a step down program. The interest is there, however, the start up costs to open such a program have been a barrier, as well as, coming to an agreement regarding the daily rate for placement in this type of program. Our current goal has been to enhance the programming offered to our girls. While we currently have a large array of services and supports offered, we want to do more. We would like to purchase additional services that can be offered to our girls at the facility, and some of the ideas they have expressed in is yoga, art therapy, “boot camp” (structured exercise routine) etc.

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Secure Care Cottage- located in Newton, KS serving girls from all over the state.

Join us Saturday September 6th as we Race for Freedom! Online registration is open now and Early Bird pricing is available until July 4, 2014. REGISTER HERE

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