First Resident Graduates Emergency House Program

Refuge for Women Pittsburgh celebrates the graduation of its first resident, “Virginia,” who has successfully completed our 90 day Emergency Housing and stabilization program and has been accepted into a two-year program where she will continue her journey of freedom. 

Refuge for Women Pittsburgh celebrates the graduation of its first resident, “Virginia,” who has successfully completed our 90 day Emergency House Program and stabilization program and has been accepted into a two-year program where she will continue her journey of freedom.  Her application for this long-term program, located in another state, was accepted, in part, because of her determination to be “all in” as she works to rebuild herself and her life.  “For the first time, in a long time, I feel a purpose,” she said. “This is hard work, but it is good work.  I am rebuilding myself.”

“Virginia”, who arrived at Refuge for Women Pittsburgh after years of battling addiction and being sex trafficked and exploited, explained, “For so many years, I worked and everyone else reaped the rewards. I was hung out to dry.  I was just existing.”

When Virginia arrived at Refuge for Women Pittsburgh’s recently opened Emergency Home she said she felt safe for the first time in years. “I woke up in a home that gave me safety, stability, and sisterhood.  Coming out of the hell of neglect and abuse, I feel loved and protected here, not just by the women who have helped me, but by God.”

While living at the Emergency Home, Virginia enjoyed taking care of the house plants, decorating for the holidays, and WHAT.  She also appreciated the individual therapy sessions that she attended. “I now understand that I need to deal with stuff that happened when I was younger.  The therapy here just scratched the surface, but it showed me that I have a lot of work to do.”

She liked the weekly House Meetings where all residents could share their weekly goals, help each other to be accountable, and provide one another with support. “Before this, I couldn’t trust any of the women around me because he would play each of us against the other.”

“I am so humble and grateful that I was given this opportunity,” Virginia said. “I am sad to leave, but excited to move forward in my life.  I am going to show up and be a reflection of God and who he sends to walk along with me in this journey,” she said.

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