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Great Life Church and Voices ministry plans for a human trafficking shelter in Hernando

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It is the life’s mission of Laurianna Doire to give a voice to victims of human trafficking. In doing so, she has se a goal to have a brick and mortar safe-house and educational center for those who are victims of human trafficking. Now with the help of her associates at Great Life Church in Brooksville, her voice will join the many others in a rousing chorus to help trafficking survivors across the state. Doire is the director of Voices, which is a locally based non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to help those who have fallen victim to this heinous crime. Voices is a ministry of Great Life Church, which is headed by Pastors Stephen and Ellen Bilsborough. Voices’ mission is to meet these girls right where they are in life & come alongside them. They want to give them hope and a future to celebrate. Their goal is to build a safe home in the county to be able to bless them, offer life skills classes, dance classes, an equestrian center, and holistic therapy, among other things. They are seeking to be a main source of light in the community.

To fund this mission, Great Life Church and Voices are hosting the first annual Voices 5k: Run for Victims of Human Trafficking. This event will be held on May 21, from 9 am–1 pm at Great Life Church’s Brooksville Campus located at 14494 Cortez Blvd, Brooksville. An event flyer read, “Hundreds of individuals, families, and businesses from all over are welcomed to be a part of this cause to free women and teenagers in our state from human trafficking. Everyone involved brings us one step closer to building the first safe home for victims in our county. This community centered 5k is created to shine a light on a cause many know little about.”

Doire herself knows a great deal about this cause because she is a survivor of childhood sex abuse and she recently learned that her mother and grandmother also suffered abuse as children. She stated, “God told me that I needed to stand up for other girls. He put it on my heart to help. I have a passion for this.” She joined Great Life in starting Voices, a nonprofit organization, and an accompanying website at https://www.voicesfl.com/. This site offers some eye-opening statistics regarding human trafficking.
For example:
Florida is the 3rd in the nation with leading human trafficking cases
Florida in the last year has had 896 cases. 640 of those cases were sex trafficking
Humantraffickinghotline.org, 734 victims were female, 172 of the victims were minors
In 2019 one in six runaways were human trafficking victims
The average age a minor is trafficked is between 11 to 14 years old

And while she currently counsels two trafficking survivors, Doire felt pressed to do more.
She explained, “We want to build a safe home in Hernando, a place for them to live and learn.”
Planned for an undisclosed location to ensure resident safety, this facility will feature six to seven bedrooms to accommodate 6-8 girls at one time, along with living and eating areas and spaces for teaching and learning. Once this home is established, a separate facility for trafficked boys is planned for the future.

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Doire explained what the educational aspects are, she stated, “They’ll need to learn life skills like balancing a textbook, writing a resume, cooking and sewing. We want them to enjoy fun stuff to do, but also help them with job placement.” Volunteers at Great Life already have come forward to offer their services as tutors and mentors in these and other subjects. “There’s been such an outpouring of love,” shared Doire.
The Voices 5K starting line will be at Great Life Church’s open parking lot at 14494 Cortez Blvd. Runners will be directed to a separate parking area and then head to secure check-in stations, where they will retrieve items for the run and sign-in based on their age group. The church parking lot also will feature refreshment stations, local vendors, music, etc., available during the event. Registration includes admission into Voices 5k: Run for Victims of Human Trafficking, a Voices 5k T-Shirt, bottled water and refreshments, completion medal, and a sponsor bag.

Registration options will include:
• Children (0-11 Years) Free (Complete registration to participate)
• Students (12-17 Years) $25.00
• Adults (18-65) $50.00
• Seniors (65+) $35.00

The 5k schedule will be:
6:00 am – Volunteer Arrival Time
7:30 am – Check-In Opens
8:30 am – Runners Assemble
9:00 am – 5K Start Time (9 am Competitive Runners, 9:30 am Non-Competitive Runners, Walkers, Families)

Register here: https://greatlifechurch.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/1039959.

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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