October 6, 2022

Agape House

About SCORE

The Mentor Program

Gabriel Abraham 

Questions & Answers

1. What is your organization and what was your motivation for starting it?

THE AGAPE HOUSE, a faith-based organization founded in 2014 by Rev. Kiti Ward, is a non-profit 501c3 agency,. Our mission and vision are to provide a proactive program, non-time limited housing, employment, and educational opportunities, as well as mental health counseling to homeless or about to be homeless, aged-out of foster care, marginalized women. These are the underserved, overrepresented, mostly BIPOC young women who have suffered trauma, are potential victims for human trafficking and sexual exploitation. We utilize therapists, mother and business mentors, and peer-to-peer counseling, as well as partnering with other agencies to provide wrap-around services.

2. How is your organization going and what does the future look like for your organization?

Our business is in a new day. We are moving into phase five of planning and implementation. We are growing, in significant part, to Gabriel Abraham, our mentor. Living “hand to mouth” has not been an efficient model of service. Our lack of resources meant that THE AGAPE HOUSE service providers were unpaid volunteers since its inception. The following are ways in which we are moving towards stabilization and empowerment of the women we serve, as well as meeting the organizational and financial needs of the staff who serve those women. We are in communication with Amara, a 100-year-old agency (previously known as Medina) as we have been exploring different ways to meet the needs of BIPOC homeless women. who have experienced the child welfare system and are making the transition to adulthood. Amara has invited THE AGAPE HOUSE to participate in long-term planning to develop a 29-acre property in Pierce County owned by Amara aimed at reducing child welfare involvement for future generations. We are also in conversation and partnership with GSPS (Global Social Business Partners) in their efforts to build a campus, the “Iseed University Ecco Village”. Here, food systems, education, virtual learning, housing, as well as holistic health will be provided on a country as well as a worldwide basis with THE AGAPE HOUSE being a major housing contributor. Amongst many other great paths ahead for THE AGAPE HOUSE.

3. When did you first reach out to SCORE and why?

We first reached out to SCORE in 2015.  Don Horowitz, a family friend,, recommended that we as a fledgling agency should seek out SCORE’S expertise. The only outside professional help we had at that time was pro bono from the renowned law offices of Perkins Coie. The community, of course, had stepped in to help. We were desperate to establish services, to raise our visage and funds, to be vetted in the community of youth and justice programs. All SCORE volunteers, in whatever capacity, have been professional and helpful. Gabriel has been the most exemplary.

4. How long have you been working with your mentor?

We first met with Gabriel Abraham August 6, 2019. He noted that we had not received compensation since the agency’s conception, yet those involved were willing to give their utmost. We had a “can do” attitude that intersected with Gabriel’s positivism. We were living out the proverb of “building the airplane while we are flying it”. He endorsed knowing that if you don’t make it the first time, go back, try again. It is his attitude that we are in this together; that he actually saw us (imagine that) and what we were doing, that reinforced our courage, our hope.

5. How has your mentor and SCORE helped you and your organization?

Gabriel has helped our business grow by being a trusted confidante, one who speaks honestly and thoughtfully as we encounter challenges and victories. Ironically, Gabriel does for THE AGAPE HOUSE what THE AGAPE HOUSE is committed to do for underserved and overrepresented women. The following are just a few examples of how Mr. Abraham has been a change agent in the life of the agency:

  1. Introduced THE AGAPE HOUSE to the University of Washington’s Foster’s School of Business for free technical assistance. The UW provided in-depth analysis of the organization.
  2. SCORE’S encouragement to THE AGAPE HOUSE to proceed in certain areas was indirectly responsible for a small grant given to the agency.
  3. Amongst countless other ways.

 6. How has SCORE helped you grow your organization?

Very frankly, SCORE, through Gabriel Abraham has renewed THE AGAPE HOUSE’s hope for a future; it is being met with newly identified goals, action plans, strategies and proposals to work better to enable success and growth for the community, for the young women served, for the staff and volunteers who serve the women.

7. Can you give us one or two short narratives about how your relationship with SCORE helped your organization? Ex: An important success, connection, revenue growth, etc.

Gabriel Abraham is a “can do” person. It is one thing to be optimistic, it is quite another to not only see possibilities but to come equipped with ways and procedures to engage those opportunities with intelligence, appropriate skill set and tools. Mr. Abraham does just that. He has been one of the major “elevators” of the agency exploring possibilities for our maintenance and growth. Gabriel introduced THE AGAPE HOUSE to the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business for technical assistance. They provided us in-depth analysis of the organization, SWOT analysis and proposals. We believe a recent financial contribution to THE AGAPE HOUSE can be traced back to them knowing about Foster School of Business’ involvement. This important document serves as a foundation that THE AGAPE HOUSE often references for ideas, clarification, and outside perspective. The document supported that the THE AGAPE HOUSE’S greatest needs are a grant writer and a marketing person.

This second example of Gabriel’s commitment as a mentor exemplifies his innate ability to not only keep his word but to also recognize the importance and impact a volunteer mentor can have in a brainstorming meeting with another agency, Amara. Gabriel was that man who showed up in a casual suit with a myriad of ideas, helped find common ground, revealed an ability to compromise while supporting the mentee (me) for THE AGAPE HOUSE.  It was a commendable start, in part, due to Gabriel/s contributions.

8. What would you tell others who want to start or grow their business about SCORE and it’s services. What is/was your favorite part of working with SCORE?

It would be my honor to tell others that SCORE is one of my all-time favorite agencies. It gives us hope to observe the renewal of SCORE. Now, SCORE recruits the most diverse group of interested and interesting people from varied backgrounds, ethnicities. ages and skill sets. In the last several years the scope of services have increased in juxtaposition to the diversity of people including a variety of ages, races, a mix of male and female. The energy and brilliance that come out of this change allows a deeper dive into subject areas with more thoughtful and reality-based perspectives.  I believe anyone from a neophyte to a seasoned businessperson (or non-profit person) can benefit from SCORE.  Our favorite part of working with SCORE has been working with the excellent Gabriel Abraham.



Kiti Ward
Executive Director & CEO
The Agape House
A BIPOC Agencyj
206-579-6648
To Save a Life, To Save a World

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September 1, 2022

Senator Amy Klobuchar and Senator John Cornyn Introduce the Abolish Trafficking Reauthorization Act of 2022 to Reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act 

National victim advocacy and youth justice organizations hail the inclusion of trauma-informed responses to youth crime as watershed moment for the country
 

Washington, DC, March 30, 2022 – Late yesterday, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX) announced the introduction of the Abolish Trafficking Reauthorization Act of 2022 which will reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017. The TVPA is a crucial piece of legislation that provides the legal framework for the U.S. to combat, monitor, and prosecute human trafficking crimes, and simultaneously addresses the way children who have experienced severe trauma are treated in the criminal legal system.

“ECPAT-USA applauds the Senate for introducing the reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Prevention Act,” said Nina DeJonghe, Director of Public Policy at ECPAT-USA. “For over 20 years, the TVPA has helped protect vulnerable children and provide services for survivors of exploitation. Crucially, this bill includes provisions that will better prevent child trafficking victims from becoming trapped in the legal system. Far too often, the judicial system penalizes minors who have been exploited, without consideration given to the awful abuse they endured as a result of their trafficking. Treating children in a trauma-informed and age-appropriate manner is critical to both their psychological and physiological well-being.”

This version of the TVPA contains vital provisions that would reform current standards for child sex crime victims who are being prosecuted within the criminal justice system. It takes a meaningful step to addressing an abusive pipeline that traps children within the system, with no consideration given to the harmful, exploitative and life threatening circumstances they have endured. Under the legislation, courts would be allowed to deviate from harsh sentences for child sex trafficking and sex crime victims who commit serious offenses against their traffickers or abusers. It also requires judges to consider the diminished culpability of children relative to adult offenders any time a child is sentenced in adult court. Finally, this provision would end life without parole sentences for children prosecuted in the federal criminal legal system by creating judicial sentencing review after 20 years of incarceration.

Additional provisions in the bill include, but are not limited to:

●  Grants for human trafficking prevention and assistance for victims of trafficking;

●  Ensures protection and confidentiality for human trafficking survivors;

●  Bolsters the ability of state, local and tribal child welfare agencies to identify and respond to vulnerable children at-risk of trafficking;

●  Exempts restitution for trafficking survivors from federal taxes.
 

“Rights4Girls applauds today’s introduction of the Abolish Human Trafficking Reauthorization Act – a bipartisan bill updating and strengthening our national response to human trafficking,” said Yasmin Vafa, Executive Director of Rights4Girls. We are especially grateful for the inclusion of language that allows trauma-informed sentencing for child trafficking survivors accused of harming their exploiters – a decisive step in dismantling the abuse-to-prison pipeline that disproportionately harms girls of color who have suffered violence. We thank Senators Cornyn and Klobuchar for their leadership and unwavering commitment to centering the rights and needs of survivors.”

Research has shown that 73 percent of girls experienced physical or sexual abuse prior to becoming involved in the criminal legal system. Nearly one-third of girls in the juvenile justice system were sexually abused and nearly half experienced five or more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Over the last 15 years, high-profile cases like those of Sara Kruzan, Chrystul Kizer, Cyntoia Brown, Patrice Smith, and Alexis Martin have brought into the public consciousness the additional human rights abuses that child trafficking victims face in the criminal legal system.

Their trauma histories and the circumstances surrounding their offenses largely went ignored by the courts. Because of similar legislation in New York and California, Kruzan and Smith were released from prison, but not before serving lengthy prison terms. Unfortunately, it took an act of the Governor in Ohio and Tennessee to free Martin and Brown. Kizer is still fighting her unjust prosecution in Wisconsin.

“For me, this bill is a recognition that the harm I experienced as a child was a moral wrong and that leaders on both sides of the political aisle are working to rectify that wrong, ” said survivor-leader Sara Kruzan. “If as a 16-year-old child I was treated with the empathy, compassion, and human kindness envisioned by this legislation I would not have endured nearly 20 years of unjust incarceration. This bill is about providing hope to other survivors in similar circumstances as mine and sending a clear statement that our justice system will no longer tolerate human rights abuses against child trafficking victims.”

“Children who have endured sexual abuse must be met with kindness and compassion, not additional trauma,” said Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR), who first introduced these policy changes in Congress. “Through this legislation, judges will have increased discretion in their sentencing of children who commit crimes against their abuser, allowing rehabilitation instead of a life in prison without the chance of parole as faced by those like Sara Kruzan. I look forward to supporting this legislation in the House and continuing to fight for the futures of these vulnerable children with my colleagues across the aisle.”

Beyond these particular cases, the failure to protect vulnerable children at every stage is system-wide and has resulted in an overly punitive response to children who come into conflict with the law often exacerbating the underlying traumas that lead children to commit crimes in the first place. The criminal legal system must be reformed to recognize that the overwhelming majority of children who commit crimes were previously victims of human trafficking, physical and sexual abuse, rape, familial/domestic violence, and other forms of community violence.

“Sentencing children, the vast majority of whom have been victims of abuse, neglect, and human trafficking, to lengthy prison terms, including life imprisonment, has rendered the United States the largest abuser of children’s human rights in the world today,” said James Dold, CEO of Human Rights for Kids. “Conservative and liberal-leaning states alike are creating second look opportunities for all youth and giving judges greater discretion at sentencing to ensure that we treat children who come into conflict with the law in a trauma-informed and age-appropriate manner consistent with human rights norms. We are honored to stand with Senators Klobuchar and Cornyn, and our partners and allies in law enforcement in applauding the introduction of these long-overdue reforms.”

“As someone who joined a gang at age 11 in search of love, a sense of belonging, and safety, I cannot overstate how many broken people – particularly adults – told me that they cared for me, but clearly did not always have my best interests in mind. And yet, I would have done anything to retain their love and respect, a factor that played a big role in some of the most regrettable decisions and mistakes of my life,” says Xavier McElrath-Bey, Co-Executive Director of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth. “It is crucial for the federal government to recognize that no child is born bad, and just as the toxic combination of negative influences, trauma, and immaturity can manifest in poor and harmful behavior on the part of our children, so can positive influences, healing, and hope of a better future contribute to the wellbeing of our communities.”

These criminal justice reform measures on behalf of youth are supported by a broad coalition of victim and child advocacy groups, including: The Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Boys Town, the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, Campaign Zero, the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, ECPAT-USA, First Focus Campaign for Children, Human Rights for Kids, Human Rights Watch, the National Juvenile Justice Network, Rights 4 Girls, RISE for Youth, R Street Institute, Represent Justice, Karina Rising, the National Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Coalition, and World Without Exploitation.

Kiti Ward

Executive Director & CEO

The Agape House

206-579-6648

To Save a Life, To Save a World

_______________________________________________________________________

August 8, 2022

Good Morning Friends of The Agape House,
Please find the information on the upcoming, no-cost information session this Friday.  I have been able to discuss this with most of you. For those I was unable to please give me a call.
For all, I strongly recommend Mr. Abraham as a coach and advisor. See you there.
Rev. Kiti    206-579-6648
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
Dear All,
I hope this email finds you in good health. I am organizing a free workshop to help you setup your Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). The meeting will be held on Friday, August 12, 2022, at Renton Library from 11:00am – 4:30pm. 100 mill Avenue S, Renton, 98057.
 The meeting room can accommodate 43 but for safety reasons, we accept 20 participants maximum. Please confirm if you are interested to attend (first come, first served). 
Please don’t forget to bring your labtop. Face mask as well!
 Please note – it takes +4 hours to setup your UEI. Plan your day accordingly.
 The federal grants and loans free workshop will be held sometime in August and September. We have limited space, please let me know if you want to be in the shortlist.
 Who may attend:
 You may want to attend this workshop if you are interested in the following:
  1. You want to apply for federal grants and loans.
  2. You want to do business with the Washington State and federal government.
  3. You want to certify your company to the following:
    1. 8(a) certification
    2. SDB certification
    3. MOSB certification
    4. WOSB certification
    5. VOSB certification
    6. HUBZone Certification
  1. You would need the following:
    1. Legal Business Name
    2. Entity Start Date
    3. EIN or Social Security Number
    4. Physical address including Zip+4
    5. Bank information for wire transfer including bank address.
I look forward to seeing you there.
 Kind Regards
Gabriel Abraham
Business Coach / Certified
SCORE Volunteer Business Mentor
+1 (206) 631 9002

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August 1, 2022

Gabriel Abraham

Good Morning,

We are honored to have Gabriel Abraham as the Chair of THE AGAPE HOUSE Advisory Committee. We were introduced to this generous man through SCORE (Seattle core of leaders, business men and women). Please see the link below that tells a little more about Gabriel.

 

In addition to that listed in the link, Gabriel is a professional mentor. 

In that light, he has offered to provide a year long program to those interested in engaging in ways that will empower them to move forward. We are pleased to invite you, and others with intentions to reach further professionally, to these sessions.

 

Please also feel free to connect any other folks you know between the ages of 18-40  who might also be interested.

Gabriel sees this as a way to give back to the community. Dr Martin Luther King said, ” At the heart of all that civilization has meant and developed is community, the mutually cooperative and voluntary venture of man [woman] to assume a semblance of responsibility for his brother [sister]”.

The particulars of that first Zoom meeting  are coming soon to your email.

We look forward to you being there.                                                      ff

May God’s Blessings Overtake You and Yours,

Rev. Kiti

206-579-6648

agapewomen7@gmail.com