The season can be a time to create warm, cherished memories with loved ones. But at The Rogers Home, our transitional housing program for victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking, it can also bring added stress and sadness.
In Ethan’s childhood home, it was as if all his family members fought for centre stage as they played out their struggles. He needed to grow up quickly to meet the high emotional needs, but there was no room for his own.
Josh’s mom worked hard to provide for her three kids on her own, but there was love and understanding in their house. When she met her future husband, everything changed. He was a bully to her kids and her, but she could not find the strength to leave.
Andrea’s parents were often absent and overwhelmed with work and family. She fell in with the wrong crowd and made some of the poor decisions that many young teenagers make. But her mom’s anger and impatience with her pushed her further away until she no longer felt welcome at home.
Joel remembers walking along the deserted city streets one peaceful winter morning two years ago. Snow fell gently as he passed by the darkened storefronts. It was Christmas Day and he was homeless.