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It's The Climb

Recently I stood at the bottom of these steps, knowing it was the path to my car. These steps exposed my need to spend more time getting in shape and to embrace the climb. It required me to pace myself, with moments to catch my breath, until I was able climb to the top of these 150+ steps. From the bottom it was difficult to fully see the top, and it reminded me that Xquisite and me personally is entering a new season. A season that will propel us into new impact, new places of influence and new opportunities to serve survivors. We can’t fully see what is at the top of our steps, but we know what our mission is (bringing hope, courage, and a voice for survivors) and with that to guide us, we are committed to the climb with great excitement and anticipation to serve. “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NLT We are honored to walk together in the steps that God has determined for us as a team.

Steps with no clear resolve in sight are what many of our “Diamonds” face every day. The task and path to freedom seems unattainable alone. We have the honor to walk with them, at their pace one step at a time. There are times where we must stop, and take a moment to catch our breath, but together we keep climbing. It’s a process, one that is driven by their courage to embrace each step on their own terms. This stairway reminds me of the lyrics to The Climb.

The lyrics speak to the journey our diamonds face every day. “I can almost see it, that dream I'm dreaming; but there's a voice inside my head saying ‘You'll never reach it. Every step I'm taking, every move I make feels lost with no direction. My faith is shaking but I gotta keep trying, gotta keep my head held high. There's always gonna be another mountain, I'm always gonna wanna make it move, always gonna be an uphill battle, sometimes I'm gonna have to lose, ain't about how fast I get there, ain't about what's waiting on the other side. It's the climb! The struggles I'm facing, the chances I'm taking, sometimes might knock me down, but No, I'm not breaking. I may not know it, but these are the moments, that I'm gonna remember most, gotta keep going, gotta be strong and just keep pushing on, it’s not about what's waiting on the other side. It's the climb!”

We are committed to the climb! This past month Xquisite had 9 new clients reach out to us for resources and help, we also had 17 clients actively continuing to come in for encouragement and resources for their climb. We have hosted 19 Carson City Juvenile Probation (CCJPO) youth in our office for programs taught by the CCJPO Juvenile Services Outreach Specialist.

We participated in four community engagement presentations: a community event for Sheriff’s Night Out; Human Trafficking Awareness event with the regional Human Exploitation And Trafficking law enforcement unit and Carson City Sheriff’s office; Human Trafficking Awareness presentations at the Hub Connect, Sierra Nevada Republican Women, and Crosswinds Fernley.

We were able to provide secure emergency housing and a law enforcement escort through TSA for a “diamond” that needed to escape her trafficker, who was a ‘hell’s angel.’ He had taken her out into the desert and showed her the grave he had dug for her if she tried to leave him. She was able to get away from him with only a few personal items but none of her ID, which he had taken from her. Together with our law enforcement partner we were able to safely get her to a safe program with another partner in Las Vegas. Partnership is key, without partners, the climb is daunting.

We were able to assist a trafficking victim finally get their case heard by federal law enforcement and a victim statement taken after months of trying. The trafficker is a well-known promoter with money and power used to exploit his victims, leaving them to feel hopeless their voice could ever be believed or heard to fight for their freedom. We climbed! “That was the experience I needed with law enforcement. I felt he really cared and wanted to help. Thank you for making that happen, this is one piece of the journey to healing I REALLY needed. Thank you so much, it has been draining for sure but was much needed for me to turn the page and keep fighting and making progress in my mental health. Your kindness, compassion, and empathy were really refreshing.” – a diamond.

These are just a few of the moments that we climbed for and it propels our passion to see steps toward freedom realized.

We are excited to share that in the next two months we plan to have a survivor led support group weekly, where survivors can come together over a meal and encourage each other.

We realize that proper training and insight for anyone wanting to serve in this capacity is vitally important not only for those serving but, also to be trauma informed as we care for the survivors that come to climb with us. We are creating an online Xquisite Advocate Academy which will allow anyone to apply, go through the application process and be trained online through our Advocate Academy. This will allow our reach to serve to go farther with the confidence that they will be able to serve with compassion, kindness, and empathy as well as understanding trauma for every step we will all climb together. The Academy will be an extension of Xquisite and will be carefully monitored to protect everyone we serve, both the “diamonds” and our trained advocates.

So, now looking at these steps, guided by God, we are very excited for the climb into our new season.

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