Grounds for Justice fueling home for trafficking victims

Grounds for Justice fueling home for trafficking victims

TYLER (KYTX) - There's a new coffee shop in town, and this one has more than just a good brew.

CBS 19's Jennifer Heathcock takes us inside Grounds for Justice for a look at it's message and how it's pouring profits directly into the community.

It's not just a cup of coffee.

Grounds for Justice is one part coffee shop, one part mercantile, local art gallery, and a way to invest in the community.

"The cause is something that breaks my heart," says Ellen Winegeart.

Winegeart is a volunteer with Refuge of Light, which works to meet the needs of teenage girls who've been victimized by sex trafficking.

"The more I've learned, and the more research we've done, the more I've seen, the more I feel like even the community needs to get involved in because it needs to stop," says Winegeart.

Winegeart along with many others will be serving brew, espresso, tea and cocoa, but all the money made here goes directly into funding a safe home for the sex trafficking victims.

"It's not just happening in Dallas or Houston, it's really happening in Tyler, Texas. People don't want to believe that, but it is happening," says Winegeart.

"We've been blinded for so long, or else we've chosen to be blinded to the issue," says Missy Zivney, the assistant director for Refuge of Light.

The organization running the coffee shop.

The store front is a means of funding the program, helping raise the $500,000 it would take each year to run the house.

"And at the home, we'll be able to provide them counseling, education, there will be alternative education on site, mentoring. We want it to be a home," says Zivney.

Education continues at the shop, with a room dedicated to teaching customers about trafficking problems.

A twist on an afternoon pick me up.

"The importance of opening on Valentine's Day, it's a day of love and we just want these girls to know that they're loved ," says Winegeart.

Helping pick up those who need it most.

The grand opening will be Friday, Grounds for Justice will be open from 10 to 5.

They plan to have the home fully operational by the fall of this year, it's currently under construction.

Thirteen girls will be able to live there once it's opened.




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