Organization provides housing for women in need

This mosaic displays how much of the goal has been reached for raising funds for the renovation of The Ranch House at Garden Gate Ranch.

Courtesy of Garden Gate Ranch

This mosaic displays how much of the goal has been reached for raising funds for the renovation of The Ranch House at Garden Gate Ranch.

Logan Metzger

One group in the Des Moines area is providing housing for abused and sexually-exploited women and their children.

This group is called Garden Gate Ranch. It is a faith-based Christian organization that provides housing and transitional services for the women and children impacted.

“God started to speak to me about human trafficking, which I knew so little about,” said Brenda Long, founder and executive director of Garden Gate Ranch. “I heard women say, ‘No one is looking for me,’ ‘No one cares,’ ‘They look right at me but don’t see me,’ ‘They don’t think I’m worth fighting for,’ ‘Will somebody come? Will someone help?’ I felt their pain that day, and I felt God’s pain. At that moment, I knew these were the ones I was to help and that this was my mission field.”

The organization provides three different housing options for women.

The Pathway House is the first one of these housing options. It serves women over the age of 18 who need immediate shelter with or without children for up to 45 to 60 days.

This housing option provides a secure and safe home environment to meet basic needs, such as clothing, meals, health, beauty aids and transportation, and to assist women in choosing the next step. This option also offers choices for community services, such as medical, housing, transportation, counseling, therapy and continuing restoration programs.

The Pathway House is a 24-hour immediate rescue home intended to get women off the street and into safety as they begin their path to wholeness. At the Pathway House, the group works with local community services and collaborates with other residential restoration homes across the U.S. to offer women choices in their recovery, should they choose that path.

The Ranch House is the second of these housing options. It is a continuing restoration home in rural Iowa serving women over the age of 18 who are pregnant or have children. Women can stay as long as they need to.

This housing option offers strength-based, trauma-informed services and holistic healing based on “Seven Pillars to a Restored Life,” which are physical needs and safety, medical and psychological treatment, spiritual and emotional counseling, social formation, legal assistance, education and social development and career planning.

The Ranch House will be available to each survivor for as long or as little as they need, giving each woman the opportunity to grow and heal at her own pace.

“Each woman will have a personally designed healing path built according to her needs and designed by the expert, her,” according to the Garden Gate Ranch website.

The Ranch House provides strength-based, trauma-informed care; individual, group and family counseling; healing and encouraging prayer; and therapies such as EMDR, art, dance, music, culinary, pet, gardening and equine. Education and career training is also available for each woman, along with classes in household management, budgeting, financial wisdom, parenting and more.

The Cottages is the final of the three housing options. It is open to women who have graduated from phases one and two. The women can stay as long as they need.

This housing option offers an independent cottage and transportation, daycare for children and continued support as women attend school or work in the local area.

The Garden Gate Ranch Independent Cottages offer each phase-two graduate the opportunity to further her independence without losing her support system.

“Each graduate will walk out her newfound freedom in work or continued education with the safety and support of her Garden Gate Ranch community around her,” according to the Garden Gate Ranch website.

To get in contact with Garden Gate Ranch for those who need housing or want to take part in any of the programs, go to the Garden Gate Ranch Website.

Currently, Garden Gate Ranch is renovating the Ranch House and is looking to raise money for the renovations. The group is planning to open the doors to the Ranch House in 2020.

On the Garden Gate Ranch website there is a mosaic that ties into the fundraising campaign.

“As the Hearth & Home Campaign runs, you’ll get to watch the golden heart fill up with a beautiful mosaic, signifying the many necessary pieces for her healing coming together to make her heart whole,” according to the Garden Gate Ranch website.

To make a donation, go to the Garden Gate Ranch website.