Introducing the Sunflower Safehouse for Trafficked Girls

Why is everyone at Palate Coffee Brewery SO happy?

It has to be more than just the pumpkin spice. There’s only so much pumpkin spice can do.

The truth is, our Sunflower Safehouse is one step closer to being opened! On Saturday, September 29th, Love Missions shipped a container filled with beds, appliances, dishes, sheets, towels—everything needed for a safehouse—to Guyana.

It’s been 5 years since founders Carl and Tina first envisioned their home for trafficked girls. Now it’s a reality thanks to the team at Love Missions, Palate’s parent nonprofit, as well as the many people who helped, including those from churches, businesses, police officers, colleges, and more.

“There were times we didn’t think it was going to happen,” Tina says. “But we never gave up and have worked and prayed so hard for this.”

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The Sunflower Safehouse will foster girls ages 4-11 who have been rescued out of the sex trade. This will be a place where they can get medical services, therapy, education, and lots of love. Love Missions’ goal is for the girls to be reunited with their family. If their family was involved in the trafficking—which, sadly, can sometimes be the case—the team will be their loving family until the right adoptive parents come along.

These girls have been sold for sex multiple times a day. Love Missions is working with the Guyanese government to find them and break them out of this exploitative system. The team is also able to intervene if they encounter trafficking victims.

“And we have encountered them,” Tina says. “There is no one fighting for these girls right now.”

(Read ‘How to Spot Human Trafficking Victims.’)

The Sunflower Safehouse can hold up to 24 girls. The house has a large room with handmade bunkbeds, each with its own fan, light, and cubby. Now that the container has been sent off, the kitchen will be armed with brand-new appliances, cabinets, and countertops. Out back, there is a huge garden growing veggies, bananas, plantains, pumpkins, bora, and squash. Most importantly, the house is equipped with 24-hour security.

So what’s next?

In November, a team of 11 people are venturing to Guyana to set up the house. (A couple of the people who are going are Palate baristas!) After a final inspection, the children will then be welcomed into the home.

Looking ahead, Love Missions endeavors to open a private school in addition to more safehouses. This means a couple of things: more work to be done and more help needed.

“We are thankful for those that have stayed by our side,” Tina says. “We also realize we have some really important and exciting work ahead. We are still going to need everyone’s help.”

One thing is for certain: Love Missions and Palate Coffee Brewery will never stop fighting to end human trafficking.