Busted pipes set back new home for human trafficking victims

Pipes burst in home for human trafficking victim

OKLAHOMA -- A facility meant to rebuild lives is now rebuilding itself after pipes busted.

Mount Arukah is a donated property east of Tulsa County that was set to open in the coming months as a safe haven for human trafficking victims.

Kristin Weis and her husband, a cyber investigator, started the Demand Project. Last year, someone donated 54 acres and 9 buildings to start a home for recovering children and adults.

Weis said, “We never thought that we would . . . We started painting and carpeting and tiling and doing all of this.”

They got the heater fixed in one of the homes but there was still a problem, and the temperature got close to freezing on the inside.

Weis described, “When I walked in yesterday, I could hear a rumble from the back door. When I came in, water was pouring out of one of the light fixtures in the kitchen.”

Pipes were bursting through the ceiling, ruining the hard work that so many volunteers did to make a difference.

Weis explained, “It looked like it was just a tsunami coming out.”

Fighting back tears, Weis looked around at what appeared to be a huge setback for the March 4 opening date, saying, “I’m not really sure if we might have to push it back a little bit. And that’s ok. It’s disappointing. It’ll be OK. It’ll work out one way or the other.”

Logan Harrison with Mullin Plumbing said, “They’re going to have to come in here and take some sheetrock down. They’re going to have to demo it. We’re going to come in after that and start re-piping it.”

But in less than 24 hours, the community stepped up. Weis said, “For a minute, I was all alone, and this thing looked liked it was going to be destroyed.” Volunteers offered their time and services to get Mount Arukah back on its feet.

The director said, “I feel blessed that we’re in this together and it’s not just us trying to do something good, but it’s the community taking the responsibility to help in the restoration.”

Once the facility is open, Weis hopes to house 30 to 60 children and even some adults to get them back on their feet with classes, therapy and, most importantly, a roof over their head.

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