Community House Damaris is a healing community that provides safe housing and long-term therapeutic recovery programs. It is designed to guide sexually exploited and trafficked women, from ages 18 to 29, to a restored life in Christ. The ministry is named after the Athenian woman who converted to Christianity after hearing the apostle Paul preach the good news in Athens (Acts 17:24).
This ministry was birthed by Dina Petrou (Argyris Petrou’s wife), who ministered to victims of exploitation and trafficking in some of the 300 brothels located in downtown Athens. During her ten years of ministry, she found that the girls she was serving faced significant barriers to escape their situations. Most were far from family, did not have Greek language proficiency, lacked financial resources, and had limited skills to help them find work. After years of prayer, and with help from AMG, Dina started Community House Damaris.
God has blessed, sustained, and grown this ministry over a short period of time. Restoring one’s life after extensive abuse can take a significant amount of time, and the staff at Community House Damaris cares deeply for the women and babies whom they serve. Throughout the recovery process they introduce participants to the radical love of Christ by leading weekly Bible studies aimed at pointing women to the true source of restoration.
At the beginning of September 2021, Community House Damaris acquired a second house, which will be a home to 7-9 women and their babies. This will expand the ministry to reach a total of 14 women and their babies. They also have acquired two apartments for Phase II of the program. Each apartment can accommodate two women and their babies.
To date, 14 toddlers have been saved from vulnerable life situations, 7 babies have been born into stable and secure environments, and 29 beneficiaries have sought refuge at Community House Damaris (asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East). Five of the 29 were emergency placements; 20 of 24 beneficiaries (excluding emergency placements) who have gone through the program have achieved independent living.