Freedom Blog

The Flavor of Freedom
support ohio senate bill 4

Freedom Supports Ohio Senate Bill 4

The Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition has been following legislation for Ohio Senate Bill 4 and Ohio House Bill 56 and are asking us to support Senate Bill 4.

Ohio Senate Bill 4 focuses on helping sex trafficking survivors expunge criminal records from when they were trafficked. While Ohio House Bill 56 has the same intent as SB 4 and similar language, it is much more restrictive than the version of SB 4 that passed the Ohio Senate, which means only a very restricted class of sex trafficking survivors will be able to expunge their criminal records if HB 56 passes.

This leaves a number of sex trafficking survivors out in the cold – quite literally, as they will continue to struggle to secure housing and employment with their outstanding criminal records.

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Tawnya celebrating 3 years at Freedom

Meet Tawnya

The amazing Tawnya Dunaway is celebrating her 3-year Freedomversary this week, so we thought it would be a perfect time to reflect on her time at Freedom [Freedom a la Cart].

How did you find Freedom?
After I was released from prison, I was living in a homeless shelter and found a place at Freedom a la Cart. Freedom gave me a stepping stone to get back on my feet. Having the support of everyone, helped we realize I wasn’t alone. It’s a job, but it’s also a support system. Resources are available. It’s really helped me be able to gain traction where I wasn’t able to before. I always fell back off because I would be in different jobs where people were using or partying or going out and drinking and everything. I don’t have to worry about that here. It’s not even an option. It’s not an issue.

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Hearts of Gratitude

At Freedom we love to celebrate the season of giving thanks. Actually, we love celebrating just about anything. Especially if there is food involved!

Every year we look forward to our traditional Thanksgiving feast prepared for the participants of CATCH. This year we added a second Thanksgiving feast for our beautiful Butterflies (those further along in their journey or no longer in CATCH) and their families. The delicious food is prepared by the loving hands of volunteers and staff, and it’s out of this world!! But the true highlight of both feasts is the time of sharing. Everyone in attendance stands and shares one or two things she/he is grateful for. Here are a few we heard:

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Freedom Is ….

What does “freedom” mean to you? We asked a few of our Freedom a la Cart sisters what the word “freedom” means to them. Their responses will inspire you. Read on. Live free!

 

Freedom is having a new beginning. It is about making choices without having any regrets. It is about being compassionate and light-hearted. It helps me to be able to care for others selflessly.

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Freedom is being in the light. Freedom is love and the courage it takes to hold your head up high. It is about putting down all the excess weight you carry from your past. I have learned to let go of what I cannot control. Thank God I am free!

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Freedom is a new way of life. Freedom is about being able to experience new things, taking positive risks, and having new opportunities. Freedom means to me that I am able to make choices and be a productive member of society.

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Freedom is about living in a life of peace, joy, and serenity. It is about being able to make good decisions. It is about having a piece of mind in the midst of chaos. It is about being surrounded by positive people. It is knowing that I can do what I set my mind to do without getting high. I love where I am going and that makes me feel pretty amazing!

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Freedom to me is about a new amazing life with good goals. It is a new way to live, a new way to think, and to involve new people in my life. Freedom means that I am free from the chains that were holding me down.

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Freedom is about being free from drugs and alcohol. It has freed me from being a prostitute. Freedom has given me a new way of life.

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Freedom for me is a way to live without worries of paying bills, having my kids, and wondering if what I say is correct. It helps me to not be afraid to say what I feel. It allows me to not second guess if I am doing things the right way.

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Freedom is about feeling accepted. It’s about letting go and letting God lead me towards freedom.

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Freedom is allowing myself to explore different thinking.

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Freedom is surrendering my old behaviors, habits, thinking process, and myself. I want to change things for the better.

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Freedom is being able to praise my God and not to be ashamed of worshiping my Lord.

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Freedom [a la Cart] is helping me learn what having a job really means. Freedom helps me pay my bills, and be more independent. Freedom helps me surround myself with loving and caring people that support me.

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Freedom allows me to have a peace of mind. It is a new way of life that provides a loving environment that has taught me a lot of different living skills.

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Freedom is about serenity and peace. It is about not having to do things I do not want to. It is about having choices.

Freedom Cafe at Northside Branch

Drum roll please …

Freedom a la Cart is stepping out into our first mini café. That’s right! We’re increasing our footprint in Columbus. Fans of Freedom will soon be able to visit us at the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s new Northside Branch.

The sleek, glass-front Northside Branch is not the library of the bygone days. The exciting space feels more like a modern community center with light infused work stations, large gathering areas, meeting spaces, reading rooms, and plenty of public computers. The setting screams for a bold cup of joe and fresh-baked pastry. It’s the perfect place to introduce a Freedom a la Cart mini café and we are overjoyed and honored to be partnering with the Friends of the Library in this new venture.

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