In 2003, while completing a Master’s Degree in Social Work at UCLA, I founded Treasures as a dream born from a broken past and a heart healed by the love of God. Having overcome sexual abuse, rape, abusive relationships and a life inside the walls of a strip club working as an exotic dancer, I am truly passionate about seeing women reached and restored.
Today, Treasures is a faith-based 501c3 providing outreach and support to women in the sex industry, including victims of commercialized sexual exploitation and trafficking.
As the only organization of its kind based in the adult industry capital of the world (San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County) and one of the few survivor-led organizations in the country, the Treasures mission is to reach, restore and equip women in order to help them live healthy, flourishing lives.
At one point I seriously considered renting a motor home and driving to every strip club across the US knowing that there are women all over this nation, all across the globe really, that are feeling trapped and alone like I once was.
I quickly realized that this was not going to be the most effective way to see women in the sex industry reached. For this sort of outreach to truly impact lives, I strongly believe that it has to be done at a local level, by people in the community. This is why the vision of Treasures is inextricably connected to the local church.
In 2006, with a few years of outreach under our belts, the Treasures team and I began training leaders to reach women in the sex industry in their communities.
After training a few dozen ministries, many of which continue to run thriving ministries, we realized that there was also a need for ongoing support and mentoring. Once these outreach leaders returned to their communities and started doing outreach under the umbrella of their local church, they were left with questions about things like fundraising, training and recruiting volunteers, and what to do when you get that first call from a woman you reached in a club.
In order to provide a forum for this kind of ongoing training and support, in 2011, Treasures teamed up with XXX Church and The Strip Church Network was officially formed. Together we are developing women & churches across the U.S. who hear God calling them to reach out to the women in this industry.
Through Strip Church, we provide 2-3 Training Conferences each year, developing 20-30 people each time. These leaders are trained to do strip club ministry in their cities across the U.S. Our Strip Church Network is supported through monthly training conference calls, resources, networked websites, blogs, prayer, and branded materials to use inside the clubs.
What started as a small grassroots effort to reach women in the sex industry in LA has turned into something far greater than I could ever imagine. I believe that each leader we train and develop represents an entire community of women who will be reached and impacted! And, each time a woman is reached and her life transformed, she has the potential to reach and impact the people in her sphere of influence!
Do you have a heart to reach women in the sex industry in your community? Get equipped at the next Strip Church training in Miami, Dallas, Sydney or Los Angeles. Dates and info available at www.StripChurch.com
Read amazing stories of women coming out of the industry here!
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