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Holly Smith, Clarity Ohio and Freedom a la Cart

Soaring Stories is a collective sculpture created in a collaboration between Clarity Ohio and Freedom a la Cart. This project was a therapeutic art activity inviting the women of Freedom a la Cart to share their stories. These women are all survivors of human trafficking who have been impacted by the justice system in various ways. They used to origami paper as an expressive material to write about their stories. Then, the papers were fashioned into butterflies- a symbol of transformation and recovery. Some of the women courageously agreed to share their stories.

“If it weren’t for CATCH [Court] I wouldn’t be here. Without the people in CATCH [Court] I wouldn’t be here. I’m so glad to be here. I never really thought I would live this long. I’m happy to be living life and not surviving it anymore. I wish everyone could be here with me now, but sadly a lot of us don’t make it. I thank God He gave me the chance to live my life.
[We need] An understanding of this disease of addiction and less judgment. It’s hard for an addict to see themselves. So they need a very supporting nonjudgmental system. Addiction is truly a disease. No one would choose the live the life I lived.” – Jessica Doone

“I was in and out of jail many times before I was offered CATCH Court. I’m grateful beyond measures for CATCH. It saved my life. Before CATCH I was just treated like ‘another drug addict’ and CATCH treated me like a wonderful woman. I needed every experience I’ve had, good and bad, to get where I am today! There needs to be more restorative justice programs for all types of ‘offenders’. People who need help often don’t know it or how to get it. You don’t know what you don’t know.” – Mandie Knight

“Love overcomes all evil! Beautiful things often grow out of dark, dirty places! What was meant to hurt me was used by God for my good. We are people, not our charges!”

“Every person deserves love, compassion, and dignity. When we work together to create pathways for healing and restoration, we all soar!”