Beauty From Ashes Videos


Thursday, June 14, 2012

June E-Newsletter

S*X TRAFFICKING IN SOUTH FLORIDA DOCUMENTARY: Beauty From Ashes™ was honored to participate in the docmentary created by the University of Miami, Love Colored Black. The creative piece explores human trafficking happening here in South Florida, what's being done, and includes heart touching interviews with overcomers.  Watch by CLICKING HERE

FLORIDA SAFE HARBOR ACT PASSED:  On Tuesday, June 12th, Governor Rick Scott signed Florida's Safe Harbor Act.  The legislation, consisting of two bills, protects the young victims of the s*x-trafficking industry from prosecution and also provides a course for them to reenter society.  It will potentially be an avenue for funding channels to agencies that provide victim services.  Additionally, the bills toughen penalties for people who prostitute children and it provides new investigative and prosecution tools.  READ MORE

STOP PORN CULTURE:  Contemporary Radical Feminism in the Age of Porn Conference, 6/18-6/19 from the University of San Diego will be LIVE STREAMED

STRIP CLUB OUTREACH REPORT:  On Saturday, June 9th, our FREEdom™ Team served up a home cooked comfort meal prepared by Awaken Ministries in Fort Myers, FL and distributed gift bags that included the Word of God, beauty supplies, toiletries, human trafficking and resource information to the employees of our local "adopted" club. The team, including the Co-Chair of the Defender Foundation based out of Jacksonville, FL established new and deepened existing relationships by being Christ's hands and feet.  For pics of the gift assembly and outREACH, CLICK HERE

EXPANDED OUTREACHES:  Beauty From Ashes™ (BFA) is pleased to announce that we are expanding our outREACH program. On Wednesday, June 27th, we'll begin doing weekly outREACHes into an inner city area of Fort Myers known for high levels of drugs and prostitution.  These outREACHes are in collaboration with Grace Church, located in the heart of this neighborhood.  Every Wednesday evening, they serve 150-200 meals and provide recovery groups and a service for those that want to attend.  Our outREACH team will be partnering with their staff and team, with the goal of identifying victims and building relationships with them.  If you are interested in being a part of BFA's outREACH team, please email us at or call (239) 939-9218.  Training is required and provided. 

LIFE SKILLS & SUPPORT GROUP:  Every Tuesday evening from 7-8:30 in central Fort Myers, we provide a closed life skills and support group for women who have been s*xually exploited, abused, or trafficked. If you are a woman working in or desiring to exit from the s*x for sale industry, this group is for you.  The group is led by a master's level mental health clinician, who is an overcomer.  For more information and to register, call (239) 939-9218 or email Free child care is provided.

EVENTS:  Since December of 2011, we've presented 52 events to 3,499 people.  These events range from human trafficking awareness, intervention, and prevention to ages 8 through the elderly.  Venues include churches, universities, colleges, health departments, and nursing associations, to Girl Scouts and country clubs.  Additionally, our multi-media presentations, ranging from 30-90 minutes, are given by master's level overcomers of s*xual exploitation and abuse.  To see our upcoming events, CLICK HERE.  To schedule an event or BFA to be at your event, CLICK HERE

SUMMARY OF SERVICES:  Beauty From Ashes™, through community partnerships, is able to provide free of charge, comprehensive and integrated services to victims of s*xual exploitation, abuse, and trafficking. Since December of 2011, we've provided direct services to 51 new clients and 226 duplicated clients (received previous service &/or ongoing).  Direct services were delivered to 228 clients through our national help line.  Our current face to face case load is 59.  Services that we provide, in collaboration with agencies such as Lee Physicians Health Care, United Way, the Salvation Army, and Gibbs Law Firm,  include medical, mental health, social, spiritual, as well as advocacy, and legal.  Additionally, we have partnered with 166 governmental and nongovernmental agencies since December 2011. Services to partnering agencies include consulting, program development, and referral.  Furthermore, since December, we've done 220 outREACHes, distributed 212 outREACH gift/care packages (which contain human trafficking information and the Word of God), and trained 20 individuals from across the United States to professionally reach, rescue and restore victims of commercialized s*xual exploitation, abuse, and trafficking.  Our services are victim/survivor centered, not funding channel centered.  We rely on private donations and gifts to do what we do.   We are Florida's first and only, human trafficking, overcomer-led, community service agency.  Currently, we have 3 full time staff, a college intern, and a volunteer base of over 100 people.  

I'd like to take this time to say THANK YOU to our partners.  When I looked at the above report, as I prepared for this quarter's board meeting last week, I was deeply touched, amazed, and incredibly thankful.  Thank you for believing in the vision God gave to me for BFA and coming along side me to develop something so much bigger than me.  Together, we are making a difference and I could NOT do this without you.  This is not my ministry, it's God's, and it's yours, as a partner.  Our gains and successes are to be celebrated together and together we will continue to build and sustain,  so that ultimately, more victims can receive the integrated and comprehensive services they deserve to receive, locally and nationally.  We do what we do, so that they will have the means to become overcomers and lives that reflect beauty from ashes.  

As we move into the second half of 2012, I am excited to see what else God will do as we continue to abide in Him with hearts and willing spirits to be His hands and feet.  On behalf of our clients, board, and staff,  thank you for partnering with us.  Know that we love you and are praying for you. 

In His love and service,

Julie Shematz
Executive Director/Founder 

BFA E-Newsletter Sign Up:  CLICK HERE

BFA Prayer Requests:  CLICK HERE

BFA Current Needs:  CLICK HERE


Monday, June 11, 2012

HHS Webinar: Trauma-Informed Care for Runaway and Homeless Youth

HHS Rescue & Restore to 
Host WebEx Training

“Trauma-Informed Care for
Runaway and Homeless Youth"

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is hosting a series of free, online WebEx training sessions on a variety of topics related to human trafficking.  The information session on Tuesday, June 12, will focus on how to provide trauma-informed care to runaway and homeless youth (RHY), including trafficked youth, and address the following:

·         The prevalence and consequences of trauma among RHY;
·         How to appropriately assist traumatized RHY; and
·         The Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency (ARC) framework for providing trauma-informed care to youth.

TC Cassidy, Senior Program Development Specialist, Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (RHYTTAC), University of Oklahoma      

Today many young people are living on the streets, escaping abusive or neglectful homes or parents with drug or alcohol problems. These children are at high risk for being exploited through sex or labor trafficking (commercial sex or forced labor) and they often experience trauma.  The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) within the HHS Administration for Children and Families (ACF) administers Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Programs, which conduct outreach and provide services to these children.  FYSB funds the following programs: Street Outreach, Basic Center, Transitional Living, and Maternity Group Homes. 

Ms. Cassidy plays a key role in the assessment, design, and provision of technical assistance services for RHYTTAC, which is a centralized national resource that provides training and technical assistance to FYSB-funded RHY grantees. She has extensive experience in the field of youth services and has worked in both direct care and supervisory positions in Basic Center, Transitional Living, and Street Outreach Programs.

How to Register:

To register for the Tuesday, June 12th, 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) training session, please click on the link below (or place it into your Internet browser):

 Multiple participants from an organization are encouraged to register one individual for the session; participants can view the training through one computer and a speaker phone. 

For those of you not familiar with WebEx trainings, all you need is access to a computer, the Internet, and your phone. 

After you register, the WebEx system will send you a confirmation e-mail with login information for both the web and the teleconference portions.  Please save the confirmation email because it includes the following information:

         Toll-free phone number and participant passcode for the audio portion of the training session; and
         Web site link and passcode (same as the phone passcode) so you can view the PowerPoint (ppt) presentation as it is being presented.  The ppt will advance automatically during the training session. 

As part of the WebEx session, you can ask the presenter questions.  Once on the call, the technician will guide you on how to ask questions orally.  The speaker will answer questions during the last 15 minutes of the presentation.

Accommodation Request:
In the event that any participant requires reasonable accommodations, such closed-captioning services, please submit your request to ATIP at by COB June 8, 2012.    

We look forward to your participation!


Maggie Wynne
Director, Division of Anti-Trafficking in Persons
Rescue & Restore
National Human Trafficking Resource Center • 1-888-3737-888