Survivors of human trafficking find healing in farm life as local nonprofit expands

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HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — A metro housing program for survivors of human trafficking has expanded.

Restoration House of Greater Kansas City showed off its new farm location and products it will sell made there by survivors. 

RH Farms is a quiet seven acres, nestled in Harrisonville. A church community donated its building, a warehouse center and a house to the organization, which aims to offer long-term residential housing and recovery to women rescued from human trafficking. 

Roxie Loyd is the executive director of adult services for Restoration House, and the women there lovingly call her “mom.” She took FOX4 around the property Wednesday for a tour.

With pride in every step and a beam in her eyes, she introduced us to the women who call themselves survivors as opposed to victims. They showed off their individual bedrooms, their shared living areas and the spots outside where they participate in small animal therapy and gardening.

“As victims out there, there’s not a lot of beauty. There’s not a lot of thriving. Everything is oppression,” Loyd said. “Being out here, having those freedoms, having the space to grow and nurture things and help them grow, it’s just a really good experience.”

Loyd said she herself is a survivor, so loving these girls and watching them thrive is a form of therapy in its own way.

Each of the women bragged on Loyd, about how much she and the program have helped them.

“Honestly I wish that anybody that was in the street could come here. I really do,” one of them said. “Home is not a building. It’s the people in the building.”

Another cried as she recalled recent events where she was first introduced to unconditional love.

“I just love this program. I actually had a relapse three weeks ago, and they went searching for me and I’ve never had that. They were showing pictures around asking everyone for me, and I’ve never had that. And that is family,” she said.

Their most recent addition to the house wants to be a chef. She loves cooking more than baking because she said she can be more creative mixing food and flavors.

Another resident is studying to be a CNA. She said she felt she’s treated as an adult here; she didn’t have to worry about hiding things or having her phone taken away, like she’d experienced in other rehab programs.

Yet another woman said she’s finishing her high school degree in order to study to become a police officer; she wants to eventually work in human trafficking.

These women work in both group and individual settings daily, in a wide range of subjects, including Healing Arts, which is where Loyd has taught them how to make soap and decorate tumblers. The items are uniquely marked.

“We have personalized stickers we put on the bottom that say, ‘Made with love by a survivor,’ and that means a lot because it shows that we’re not victims — we’re survivors,” one woman said. “We came through a lot.” 

ReHope Cafe and Market opens at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, off Main Street in Greenwood. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. The coffee shop will carry products handmade by survivors, including soap, tumblers and keychains.

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