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Safe house rises: Freedom Ranch to serve girls rescued from human trafficking

Rising Hope Foundation is building the first of three "freedom ranches" for victims of human trafficking. The faith-based, nonprofit organization was founded by Park Rapids residents David and Vicki Leckie.

Leighton Straight, house mover, (left), Cade Moore, contractor and Duane Blanck, representing area Lions Clubs, inspect the original house Wednesday, May 29, that was on the 10-acre site near the Dewing Highway south of Brainerd. With the main floor added, the home is destined to be a Freedom Ranch, a fully staffed home for homeless trafficked girls providing therapy and a safe home for the victims. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch
Leighton Straight, house mover, (left), Cade Moore, contractor and Duane Blanck, representing area Lions Clubs, inspect the original house Wednesday, May 29, that was on the 10-acre site near the Dewing Highway south of Brainerd. With the main floor added, the home is destined to be a Freedom Ranch, a fully staffed home for homeless trafficked girls providing therapy and a safe home for the victims. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

Rising Hope Foundation is building the first of three "freedom ranches" for victims of human trafficking. The faith-based, nonprofit organization was founded by Park Rapids residents David and Vicki Leckie.

On May 11, they broke ground in Brainerd for their first safe house. Each ranch is intended to be a center of healing and restoration for rescued girls, ranging in age from 12 to 17.

The foundation's goal is to construct dormitory-style centers in Brainerd, Park Rapids and Bemidji, organizers reported, that will be staffed with trained counselors, educators and health care professionals who will provide psychotherapy, schooling, life skills and job training.

The Brainerd site will accommodate eight girls. The 10-acre property will include a new pole building with concrete floor and pasture land for a corral and barn. An existing 30-by-60-foot building is slated to be remodeled.

Rising Hope Foundation is working with two organizations-True North Ranch in Merrifield and Rae's Hope in Brainerd - to implement equine therapy as well.

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In the coming weeks, Rising Hope Foundation reports it plans to establish a GoFundMe page.

They also reported they are welcoming volunteers with carpentry skills.

With the original house on blocks, Cabe Moore, contractor,(left), Leighton Straight, house mover, and Duane Blanck, representing area Lions Clubs, talk Wednesday, May 29, about the ongoing construction at the Freedom Ranch house on the Dewing Highway south of Brainerd. The main floor and office space will be added to the building providing room for counselors and kitchen facilities for trafficked girls. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch
With the original house on blocks, Cabe Moore, contractor,(left), Leighton Straight, house mover, and Duane Blanck, representing area Lions Clubs, talk Wednesday, May 29, about the ongoing construction at the Freedom Ranch house on the Dewing Highway south of Brainerd. The main floor and office space will be added to the building providing room for counselors and kitchen facilities for trafficked girls. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

Related Topics: NONPROFITS
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