Love’s Arm has moved into the MetMin Impact Hub to provide additional services to local women survivors of sex trafficking, prostitution, and addiction.
The North Georgia I-75 corridor is listed with the U.S. State Department as one of the three most heavily human trafficked regions in the nation. Metropolitan Ministries bought the property, at 4001 Rossville Blvd., to create a one-stop-shop for residents needing relief services.
Five agencies are inside the hub at this time, including Love’s Arm, Cempa Community Care Clinic, the Chattanooga Tumor Clinic, The Pursuit of Happiness, and The Hamilton County Community Bail Fund Project. Metropolitan Ministries is a 42-year-old nonprofit that stops homelessness before it starts and provides recovery services for those who’ve already fallen into homelessness.
The ministry bought the 10,233 square foot building, formerly known as the Choo Choo Printing facility, in 2019. MetMin’s Executive Director Rebecca Whelchel says she chose the location because 55 percent of residents live below the poverty level and unemployment is well above the regional average.
Love’s Arm Founder Mimi Nikkel says they have worked with women in this area for years. “We’ve been reaching out to women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction in this area for 15 years. We are very grateful and excited to work side-by-side with MetMin and these incredible service providers to continue serving this community of broken-hearted people."
Love's Arm was founded in 2005 by Ms. Nikkel while teaching at a local detention facility. The nonprofit sends volunteers to Chattanooga and North Georgia to engage and foster relationships in the streets, strip clubs, jails, and motels with women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. During weekly outreaches in these communities, volunteers introduce themselves, offer COVID-19 and hygiene supplies, resources, and prayer. Many of the volunteers are thriving survivors themselves, offering a level of support and encouragement few else can. The foundations of these relationships are unconditional love, continual prayer, and grace-filled wisdom. Love’s Arm also operates a 24/7 Helpline listed on Polaris Human Trafficking Hotline and Rahab’s Rest, a two-year holistic recovery home for women survivors desiring a safe, therapeutic home in which to heal and grow.
The Impact Hub was designed and created by BB Ryan, Studio Lyzon South, LLC and it has a price tag of $2 million. Publix Charities supported the commercial kitchen, while Downtown Rotary of Chattanooga supported the construction of the classroom.