Hope and Divine Purpose Transitional Living Home Inc. (HDPT) is more than a potential homeless shelter to Israeio Holloway, it’s a testimony.
Seven years ago, Holloway found herself trapped in a mentally and physically abusive relationship. Enduring depression and low self-esteem, Holloway at first did not know how to get out of the situation.
“I did a lot of self talk. I had to make a decision to remove myself from the situation, and the first step was to physically remove myself from that home,” said Holloway.
One day, when her abuser was at work, she decided to pack her belongings and move back to her parents’ home. That day she also took out a restraining order and order of protection to help keep her and her family safe from retaliation.
Prayer and the support from her family is what ultimately gave Holloway the courage to break free from her abuser.
“My foundation is faith and I believe in God. I prayed everyday that God would assist me and really send me from that situation,” said Holloway.
After taking some time and counseling to mentally repair and refresh herself from her trauma, Holloway regained her independence and a new desire to help victims of domestic abuse.
She decided to begin the process to create HDPT Living Home to address the needs of women and adolescent youth who lived in the South Suburbs and did not have easy access to transportation.
Her organization aims to rebuild victims’ confidence and restore their self-sufficiency by optimizing the potential of each individual. The organization also aims to help teens develop pro-social friendships and strong interpersonal skills.
HDPT Living Home will accomplish this by providing therapeutic counseling, quality of life skills training, computer training (basic skills), educational assistance (basic skills), motivational mentoring, employment assistance and Bible study (if requested).
Holloway hopes to provide these services all under a supportive environment with a built-in support system consisting of an assigned motivational mentor for each individual and a 24-hour on-site staff.
Furthermore, Holloway hopes to address the issue of human trafficking occurring in Chicago and the South Suburbs.
According to the 2016 Trafficking in Person Report, child sex trafficking “has a devastating consequences for children, including long lasting physical and psychological trauma, disease (including HIV/AIDS), drug addiction, unwanted pregnancy, malnutrition, social ostracism and even death.” Moreover, the same report also identified runaways and homeless youth as being one of the most vulnerable populations in the United States.
It’s noted in the Human Trafficking in Illinois Fact Sheet that pimps often prey on vulnerable victims, particularly runaways and children from dysfunctional families because child prostitution can potentially earn pimps big profits. It’s estimated that 75 percent of children in prostitution is under control by a pimp. Holloway hopes to bring attention to the plight of the women and children who have had to endure the abuse of human trafficking and ultimately help them get out of their situation with HDPT Living Home.
Holloway plans on hosting a dinner and distributing pamphlets about human trafficking in an effort to educate people about what’s currently happening in Illinois.
Holloway is undeterred by the loftiness of her ambitions, planning to open HDPT Living Home in the Spring; even though it’s currently funded out of her own pocket.
Remembering the situation that she survived and feeling the need to help women and teens alike escape a situation they may feel powerless in keeps her focused and firm on making her testimony into a blessing for others to experience.
“It was basically a journey that I had to go through to mold me for this point in my life, being able to be a founder of a nonprofit and assist other women in their journey as far as domestic violence or any type of situation that’s traumatic for them… where they’ve lost hope” said Holloway.
Learn more about the organization at: https://www.wegiveyouhope.org or call Holloway at (779) 702-2077 if you’d like to inquire about how you can help the organization.
Holloway is also coming out with a book titled “Body Safety for Children: No Secrets,” which will promote a discussion of body safety between children and parents. This book will be available later in 2018 on Amazon and on the aforementioned website. Holloway is also being presented with The 2018 She Rocks It: Woman You Should Know Award at a ceremony in May in Bolingbrook.