In 2012 we learned about a 14-year-old girl who had been sold for sex across the state of Virginia. Law enforcement recovered her but could not transport her home right away. Without any other safe housing options, she spent that night in a juvenile detention center.
Our hearts were burdened. We knew other girls in our community needed a safe place to go and individualized care after experiencing unimaginable abuse and exploitation.
After a year of prayer and seeking council, The Lampstand was founded in 2013 as a ministry of Straight Street Roanoke Valley to address this need.
We started by educating the community about sex trafficking and meeting immediate needs of victims and surviviors through partnering with law enforcement and service providers.
But we knew God was also calling us to open a safehome where girls who have been sexually exploited could rest, heal, and grow. In His perfect timing, God led us to a property on 30+ acres. On October 31, 2016, we purchased the property and started renovations the next day.
As we witnessed many shelters open and quickly close, we took the time to raise sustainable funding, train our staff in trauma-informed care, learn from mentors and survivors, and develop our program according to best practices.
In 2022 our vision became reality, and we opened our doors!
over the years
Straight Street founded
Founder Keith Farmer started “Straight Street”, a ministry serving vulnerable youth
Our eyes were opened
Law enforcement approached Straight Street about a 14 year old girl being trafficked in Virginia
The start of something new
‘Street Ransom’ was founded to bring awareness about trafficking and provide support to victims and survivors
Purchased the safehome property and began renovations
By the summer, all major renovations were complete and the home was furnished without going into debt
All necessary staff hired and trained in preparation for opening our doors
A new name
‘Street Ransom’ changed its name to ‘The Lampstand’ to better reflect the heart of our mission
Our safehome became fully licensed and opened in March to serve child survivors of sexual exploitation in Virginia
The Lampstand exists to empower the lives of those vulnerable to and affected by sexual exploitation
A transformed society freed from the impacts of sexual exploitation
Our name “The Lampstand” is derived from Jesus’s teaching found in Matthew 5:15
“No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house”
Our hope is for everyone we serve to experience the light of Jesus and shine for Him. As we share His love, we pray every survivor finds true healing and hope.
come as you are
While our program is faith-based, we do not discriminate against who we serve. We offer services to anyone who meets our program criteria regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, religious views, belief system, or background.