PEORIA HOME is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting women survivors of sex trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. Our vision is for women to grow individually, reclaiming their freedom while living in community. Located in Everett, WA, Peoria Home supports women in Snohomish County and across the US.
We are a best practice, community-based residential model where residents and graduates of our programs experience transformative, sustainable change through long-term, rent-free housing, treatment, case management, education, training, and employment.
Making Our Mission Work
As a privately funded 501(c)3 charity, we rely completely on donor support to help us provide a home, supplies, education and medical care for each resident in our program.
The Peoria Home Story
Peoria Home was founded in 2014 by Paula Newman-Skomski, ARNP Forensic Nurse Examiner. As a forensic nurse Paula was providing services to both teen and adult women surviving in prostitution on the streets here in Snohomish County. Through this work and participating in the Sexual Exploitation Intervention Network for Snohomish County, it became apparent that there were no services available to address the needs for this population of women.
Peoria Home became her vision to remove barriers for women who have been trafficked and have records of criminal prostitution, to begin their journey to healing and freedom.
Our program is modeled after our very successful sister community Thistle Farms/Magdalene House in Nashville, TN. The Magdalene program was established in 1997 by an Episcopalian Priest, Becca Stevens, with one home housing 4 women. Their social enterprise, Thistle Farms, was established in 2001 to provide job training for the women and program financial support.
The Peoria Home Name
Our name comes from Peoria, Illinois, where President Abraham Lincoln gave a speech that was a turning point in his political career and the beginning of the Emancipation Proclamation to end slavery as we knew it at that time. We see the name “Peoria” as a symbol for a turning point in a woman’s life and the beginning of her journey to freedom from exploitation and addiction.
We believe, as Becca does, that it takes “a community of broken systems to put women on the streets and it takes a community to lift them back off the streets.” We hope that you will join our community to lift women up to a life of freedom.
We don’t ask, “What did you do?”
We ask, “What happened to you?”
Most of the women we serve first experienced sexual abuse between ages 7-11 and began using alcohol or drugs by age 13, and first hit the streets between the ages of 14 and 16.
Traumatic childhood experiences give way to homelessness, addiction, further abuse, and incarceration, often compounded by poverty.
We believe that women do not end up on the streets on their own but as the result of multiple broken systems and communities.
It takes a loving, healing community to welcome them home.