PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Two years ago, Hurricane Michael destroyed nearly everything in its path, including the Trauma Therapy House at the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center in Panama City.
Before it was destroyed, this center was a place for victims of child abuse and sexual violence to come and find refuge. It was a space where these victims could cope, while also trying to move forward with their lives as survivors.
After the storm, the Lauren’s Kids Foundations and the AshBritt Foundation teamed up to rebuild the space that was once a safe place for healing.
“Once we realized that they were doing therapy on the back of pickup trucks, in the McDonald’s parking lot, in a park, just to get these survivors the help that they needed because of the trauma that they were re-experiencing, we knew that we needed to act on it and we needed to act quickly,” Founder of Lauren’s Kids Foundation Lauren Book said.
Friday was the ribbon cutting and big reveal of the new trauma therapy house. Officials hope it will provide survivors with a true “journey home.”
“To know there is this place for when kids have to go right up the street for their final court hearing against a person that has haunted them in their sleep. That there is this safe space. That there are these people that have a place for these kids to me is the most important thing that we can do,” Book said.