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Shana Goodwin’s education ended at age 12 when she was trafficked by her mother’s drug dealer. At 18, she took to the streets until her last arrest in 2010.
Now 39, Shana is a sales representative for Thistle Farms, an initiative of the Nashville nonprofit Magdalene, which runs a two-year recovery program for former prostitutes that includes free long-term housing and counseling. It also provides job opportunities for the women like Shana to make and sell scented candles, lotions and lip balms.
“I cannot imagine you sticking me in a program and giving me 28 days and saying, ‘You’re healed! Shazam! Go out into the world and find a job,’ ” Shana says. “I have 167 arrests, I have never held down a job, and that would have never worked.”
Thistle Farms’ sales grew by about 40 percent this year, and this week they celebrate their first million-dollar mark in annual sales – enough to hire 15 more women this fall!
Read more via Nashville Public Radio.