About Us

Refuge for Women is a non-profit, faith based organization providing specialized long-term housing and emergency housing for women who have escaped human trafficking or sexual exploitation. With multiple locations across the U.S., Refuge for Women offers up to twelve months of safe housing, at no charge to the resident, with around the clock care as clients progress through evidence-based, trauma-informed programming. We strive to help each woman complete the program with a vision for her future, equipped to succeed and sustain a life marked with dignity and hope.

Learn more about what we have accomplished in 2021 by reading our 2021 Annual Report.

Vision

THAT EVERY WOMAN WHO IS SEXUALLY EXPLOITED WILL HAVE THE HOPE, SUPPORT, AND TOOLS NEEDED TO PURSUE HER DREAMS AND LIVE A LIFE OF FREEDOM

Mission

TO EMPOWER SEXUALLY EXPLOITED WOMEN TO LIVE A LIFE OF FREEDOM THROUGH FAITH-BASED, RESIDENTIAL HEALING PROGRAMS

Values

Safety

Refuge for Women provides long term safe housing. The locations of the homes are unpublished, providing the opportunity for residents to be free of fear. Each resident is accepted, loved and given a pathway to a better life.

Healing

Licensed and loving personnel assist residents each day on their path of wholistic healing as they are equipped with life and job skills for a successful future.

Growth

We are committed to creating more space across the United States for victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation to have long term care. Current sites will continue to be strengthened and new sites will be opened.

Faith

We are a Christ-centered organization. Opportunities for spiritual growth occur each day. We welcome residents into our program regardless of their personal beliefs.

Program Phases

Each resident receives weekly, individual and group counseling therapy. An individualized plan is developed, building on the resident’s unique strengths and addressing specific needs. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and other therapeutic strategies are implemented in order to help the residents achieve their goals and experience healing.

PHASE ONE:

Healing

Phase 1 provides stabilization and safety for victims of trauma. We provide a therapeutic atmosphere for our residents to sustain safe relationships, rebuild trust, and maintain a lifestyle of structure that promotes recovery and maturity. We have a daily schedule that includes classes, devotionals, recovery meetings, recreational activities and exercise, Bible studies, and group and individual counseling. Our classes are designed to aid in healing from things such as trauma, substance abuse, codependency, domestic violence, sexual addiction, and spirituality.

PHASE TWO:

Life Skills & Employment

During this phase, we equip women with the tools, training, and support to achieve and maintain a healthy, well-grounded life. Tools and training include computer education, preparing a resume, participating in mock interviews, exploring careers through internships, and receiving job placement assistance. Also, the residents are assisted with setting personal goals in the areas of higher education, financial planning, and personal growth. The women receive continued support through individualized counseling, life coaching, and attending weekly support meetings.

PHASE THREE:

Optional Aftercare/
Employment

During this optional portion of the program, we continue to offer support, assessment, and accountability from the Program Director. Individual counseling and additional Life Skills classes are made available.

Program Types

RESIDENTIAL

EMERGENCY HOUSING

Refuge for Women operates the Emergency Housing program providing shelter, developing, and rebuilding support networks, and promoting self-sufficiency for women in need of a safe environment.

The Emergency Housing program of Refuge for Women was established to provide emergency, non-conditional, temporary shelter to women who are either survivors, or at risk, of human trafficking, sexual exploitation, dealing with substance use, and involved in prostitution, thru access to multi-sector services. As the words emergency and non-conditional indicate, the housing program offers free (Medicaid is billed for those who are enrolled), safe housing for adult women.  

The goal of the emergency housing program is to work together with female survivors to:

  • Ensure their safety and security.
  • Provide tailored, individualized services.
  • Empower them to support one another and themselves.
  • Develop service plans with them to establish or rebuild their support networks and support their reintegration into the community

 

After admission to the Emergency Housing program, the survivor goes through an intake phase during which she is welcomed and made familiar with the program’s philosophy, objectives, and services. Survivors in the emergency housing program are offered many different forms of support during their 30 to 90 day stay, including:

  • Immediate basic assistance: Including food, clothing, and hygiene items.
  • Security: The Emergency Housing program has established security measures, including cameras, locked entry’s, alarm system, and established direct communication with law enforcement to ensure protection in the event of a security incident.
  • Medical care: Including a nurse to provide medical services and triage other important medical needs.
  • Psychosocial and Therapeutic Support: Individual therapy is offered to support survivors to develop their capacities to understand their own emotions and learn how best to enter recovery. Group therapy activities, including substance use disorder treatment, art therapy, music, and life skill development are part of the psychosocial support program. All psychosocial services are provided in-house, and support is available 24/7.
  • Case management: Targeted case managers provide survivors with the opportunity to express their strengths, needs, abilities and preferences and work with them to develop an individualized service plan. Such plans are designed to facilitate the survivors’ access to health services, mental health and psychosocial support, legal assistance, job placement, vocational training, social services, longer-term housing, and other services.
  • Education, skills building and job placement: Different educational activities are provided such as vocational training and activities to build life skills, for example in communication skills, stress and anger management, resource allocation and budgeting. They are also encouraged to participate in targeted psychosocial support activities (yoga, community service, etc..).
  • Recreation: Weekly activities are offered.

How we are structured:

Safety

Refuge for Women provides emergency housing. The location of the emergency house is unpublished, providing the opportunity for our clients to be free of fear. Each client is accepted, loved, and given a pathway to a better life.

Healing

A structured program is in place for daily progress towards the clients desired goals.  Clients can stay in Refuge for Women Emergency Housing program for a maximum of 90 days.  Professionally licensed mental health providers, medical personnel, and loving direct service professionals assist clients each day on their path of holistic healing as they are equipped with life skills for a successful future. 

Faith

Refuge for Women Emergency Housing program is a Christ-centered organization.  Opportunities for spiritual growth occur each day.  We welcome clients into our program regardless of their personal beliefs and all religious activities are completely voluntary.

*We are unable to serve women with children that also need housing, women in need of a  medically supervised detoxification program or women who are experiencing acute mental health crises.

TRANSITIONAL LIVING

The Refuge for Women Transitional Living House is offered to women who have graduated from the Refuge for Women program and/or to women who have graduated from a similar program within the last 12 months. (Similar program must be for women exploited by the sex industry and a minimum of nine months in length). Qualification for Transitional Living is based on your application, availability of housing and the recommendations of the Program Director. Women applying for the Transitional Living House that did not complete the Refuge for Women nine-month program will need to have a letter of recommendation from the Program Director of the program they completed. 

TRANSITIONAL LIVING SUPPORT OPTIONS

Upon completion of program requirements, you will be an official graduate of the Refuge for Women. After graduating from our 9 month program, you may be eligible for one of 3 options:

  • On site after care in the program house (only available for current residents of Refuge for Women)
  • Transitional living/casework in Refuge managed housing (where available)
  • Transitional care/casework while you live off site in housing of your choosing

Our History

Refuge for Women, Incorporate, a 501(c)3 organization, formed in January, 2009 in Lexington, KY, and was founded by Ked and Michelle Frank. Ked currently serves as the President of the national Refuge for Women organization. During the time prior to starting Refuge, Ked had a series of pivotal conversations with the leader of a group doing outreach to women in local strip clubs. Although the outreach had been ongoing for three years, the women who wanted help with escaping had no long-term places to go. In response to this need, Refuge for Women opened its first location in Kentucky in 2009. It is a non-profit, faith-based organization that provides long-term care for women who are survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, offering them a new beginning. Since that time, Refuge for Women has served more than 100 women and received $3 million in donations contributed by more than 3,000 supporters.

National Leadership

Ked Frank
Founder | President

Ked is the Founder/President of Refuge for Women. Ked is a graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Liberty University with a degree in Professional Counseling. Ked spent two and a half years working in a men’s recovery facility in southern Ohio before serving on staff at Southland Christian Church. He has been married to Michelle for 20 years and has three children, Nathaniel, Julianna and Bailey.

Jade Cook
Financial Manager

Jade was the Bookkeeper and Administrative assistant at Refuge for Women for 2 years before becoming the Financial Manager. She was born and raised in Lexington, KY. After graduating from high school, she attended UK, where she fell more in love with Christ through attending the Christian Student Fellowship. After joining the staff there in 2003, she quickly realized she had a heart for ministry and non-profits. Helping women out of the sex industry was a burden on her heart, and she had already been volunteering with Bruised Reed at Southland Christian Church for almost 2 years. Jade and her husband have 3 daughters.

Leigh Ranson
HR & Corporate Communications

Leigh is involved with Human Resources and Corporate Communications for Refuge for Women. She began with our organization as a volunteer – leading a Bible study each week in our safe house. In 2014, she transitioned to a staff position. Her previous experience is in Human Resources at Southland Christian Church. Leigh is a graduate of the University of Louisville and lives with her husband and three children in beautiful Danville, Kentucky.

Nancy Francis
Executive Assistant

Nancy is the Executive Assistant. She comes to Refuge with over 30 years experience in Administrative, Accounting, and Operations in a wide variety of industries. Nancy has experience with ministry creation and administration from creating an accredited preschool/elementary school with a local church coalition. Originally from Wisconsin, she has called Lexington home for over 25 years. Nancy is widowed and has one daughter (26).

Nikki Instone
National Program Director

Nikki serves as the National Program Director. She is also a Clinical Psychologist in private practice and with Teledoc Health, Inc. She was on the Refuge for Women National Board of Directors for 2+ years and served as Committee Chair. Nikki is passionate about sex trafficking and travels to India with a non-profit that helps women who’ve been rescued from sex trafficking.

Board of Directors

David Diers – VP of Technology for Cox Communications Southwest with over three decades of engineering experience

Duncan Gardiner – CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM  Professional with Thrivent Financial since 2016

Marty Lamb – Currently an amateur baseball scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers, working in the Dodger organization for 22 years

Bud Simon – Mission Consultant with TMS Global 

Curtis Swisher – Retired after 30.5 years with The Dow Chemical Company.  Owner of MyCareerQuest.com and the Career Launch Club podcast

Lori King – Head of Global Strategic Program Office, Amadeus IT, a travel technology company.

Todd Veirs – Assistant General Counsel & Associate VP at Humana.