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WellHouse founder to speak at Southside

A chance to help young women who have been caught up in a life that can only result in a dead end is coming to Greenville.

Tajuan McCarty, found of The WellHouse, will be speaking at Southside Baptist Church this Sunday afternoon, June 25, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The WellHouse is a non-profit, faith-based and Christ-centered organization dedicated to rescuing women from sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

McCarty, who holds degrees in public health, public administration and social work, has more than “book knowledge” of this societal problem.

She herself was sexually exploited by a “boyfriend-turned-pimp” when she was just 15. Trafficked to Birmingham many times, McCarty became a passionate advocate for others who had fallen victim to the same life.

McCarty formerly worked with the Samaritan Woman Ministry in Birmingham, helping women being prostituted in the Woodlawn community. However, there were no shelters set up to house these women.

She came up with the idea of a refuge with no prerequisites or requirements, other than being a victim of sexual exploitation.

The WellHouse, located in Pell City, offers both immediate shelter and long-term housing for girls and women who, like McCarty, fell victim to sexual exploitation and human trafficking. The facility tries to provide for all the needs—physical, mental and spiritual—of its inhabitants.

In addition to food, clothing, spiritual guidance and medical assistance, referrals for substance abuse treatment, GED preparation,  job skills training and other programs offered through the WellHouse help the women become more self-sufficient, giving them the sense of self-worth that has been stripped from them. The ultimate goal is for the women to recover full and productive lives and experience much-needed healing and restoration.

The WellHouse is the only 24-hour shelter offering immediate housing assistance to women being prostituted in the southeast.

Following McCarty’s talk on Sunday, attendees are invited to the church’s living room to enjoy a time of fellowship and refreshments. While a love offering will be given to WellHouse, donations of goods are also being taken which can be used by the women served by the organization. These include: liquid laundry detergent, “forever” stamps, Visa, Mastercard, Walmart, Home Depot, Publix and Amazon gift cards; feminine hygiene products and toiletry items, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, shampoo and conditioner and African-American haircare products; paper products including paper towels and toilet paper, office supplies such as letter-sized file folders, pens, pencils, white copy paper, white letter envelopes and large and small manila envelopes;cleaning products, including dryer sheets, Pledge, Clorox wipes, dish detergent, large and small garbage bags; light bulbs of all standard wattage, non-perishable items such as peanut butter, grits, individual packets of instant oatmeal, flour, coffee, creamer, sugar, pasta, jarred pasta sauce, canned goods; new ladies’ underwear in sizes small to extra large.

“As important as it is for us to hear about and become more aware of the problem of human trafficking, I also believe it is a mission field in which we all can come together and make a difference in the lives of these survivors,” says Debbie Blackmon, director of Women on Mission for the Butler County Baptist Association. “Any donations, whether they be monetary or of some of these goods, will certainly be appreciated.”

For more information about the event, contact Blackmon of the BCBA at 382-2513. To learn more about The WellHouse, visit the website at www.the-wellhouse.org.  If you or someone you know needs the assistance of The WellHouse, call the toll-free helpline open 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-991-0948.