I received a call two weeks ago from a father was who leaving work to drive 11 hours to pick up his daughter. As he talked to me, he shared about her love for horses and how she was attending church. His voice would occasionally break, and he repeated himself many times. “How could this happen?” “Why did this happen?” The common comments that we hear over and over at The Covering House. I had no answers. He just needed to talk and the least I could do was listen.
To be honest, I knew already about this girl because Lindsey, our Director of Operations, had been contacted by federal authorities looking to find a place for her. I always know when Lindsey receives a referral by the sound of her voice. Her voice drips of compassion, sadness, and yet hope. The conversation goes something like this.
- Lindsey: “I just got a call from the FBI and they have a girl who needs a place to go. After talking with her, she sounds like she wants help and wants to go through our program.”
- Dedee: “That is wonderful. What do we know about her?”
- Lindsey: “She is 15 but brought into trafficking a few years ago. She is from a small town. I spoke with her dad, and he is willing for her to come and get help.”
- Dedee: “Are her parents supportive and engaged with her?”
- Lindsey: “Yes they both are.”
- (Let me add here that having supportive parents is always a benefit for the success of the girl)
- Lindsey: “Here’s the catch…it is the same as so many of our other referrals. She is in the custody of her father which means she has no funding source. Her parents can’t afford anything. What do we do? Can we take her?”
- (I’m torn. My heart says yes of course bring her. My head says no; The Covering House is already absorbing the entire cost of 2 girls at the home without a funding source. My heart wins.)
- Dedee: “Yes bring her. I’ll figure out something.”
At one point, as I continued to talk with her dad, he said, “I will sell my house. Should I sell my house to help pay?”
I told him, no you don’t need to sell your house. Your daughter is welcome at our home. He expressed his gratitude to me over and over, and I could hear the relief in his voice.
I knew this man didn’t need to be shackled with another burden. His daughter’s trauma was enough for him to have to face.
So… “I’ll figure out something”… is that we need your help. Currently we have 3 girls at our home who have no source of funding which means no funds from Children’s Division or other state agencies.
Being completely transparent; it is expensive to provide care for the girls. One girl for one month costs over $4,000.00. This includes individual counseling, group therapy, specialized therapies such as music, equine, and horticulture, case management, 24 hour staffing, education both academic and experiential, field trips and outings, plus meeting basic needs of food, clothing, and personal items.
I am asking that you help us underwrite the cost of these girls’ care. Would you consider giving a one-time gift or supporting The Covering House on a monthly basis? Please know that your generosity can be life changing for these girls.
Contributions can be mailed to:
The Covering House
PO Box 12206
St. Louis, MO 63157
Thank you for caring,
Dedee Lhamon Executive Director