We are living in a world that has changed substantially over the years – a world that has brought a better way of life for many while, for others, unimaginable devastation.
Our Commissioners Court recognized one man who has dedicated his life to helping young people devastated from human sex trafficking by giving them hope for the future.
Bob Williams, who has worked in child welfare for a number of years, launched Ranch Hands Rescue in 2008 pairing victimized children with special needs animals. Through Ranch Hands Rescue, Bob and his team of onsite licensed counselors have already served more than 1,700 children and rescued an estimated 550 special needs animals.
Realizing through his work that many young men and boys were victims of sex trafficking and had few resources available to help them, he began working to develop a program that would provide them total wrap around care for up to three years to help them reintegrate into society.
“These young men will be the forgotten ones no longer,” Williams said at the recent opening of Bob’s House of Hope. “If we don’t provide shelter for victims of sex trafficking, their abusers are extremely likely to find them and haul them back into the trade,” he said. “No person should be subjected to such a monstrous situation, but trafficked boys in particular are being overlooked, and we are going to change that starting now.”
The home provides residents with basic medical and dental care, individual therapy, meals, clothing, established routine and responsibility, mentorship and education assistance, and access to community and religious services. Williams worked with law enforcement and other entities to create Bob’s House of Hope.
As he developed the plans, Bob worked with local law enforcement and area social services to create partnerships to provide the needed assistance. Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree and his department are one of the many partners.
“We’ve entered a new era in law enforcement,” said Sheriff Murphree as he talked about how law enforcement now works closely with non-profits to provide victim assistance. “We are seeing things we’ve never expected to see. Human trafficking is a scourge on our country. Law enforcement isn’t enough. We have to take care of these victims.”
Though we wish these kinds of services were not needed, we are proud to know that, in Denton County, such a program is available to help. Bob’s House of Hope, which opened on June 1st, began offering services within the first week.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Dianne Edmondson phrased it so well in her comment to Bob as the Denton County Commissioners Court honored him with a proclamation recently: “What you are doing is a ray of sunshine in a dark cloud.”
We owe Bob and his team much thanks and gratitude for not only recognizing the need but finding a way to address it and help these young men find a new path in life – one they so richly deserve.
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If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. My email is [email protected] and my office number is 972-434-4780.