In January 2012, David Mitts watched a music video by Luke Dowler, called "Our Silence is Shameful," which depicted the struggle of a young teenage girl being taken against her will into a house of sex-trafficking. It deeply touched his heart and inspired him to encourage his wife, Lisa, to produce a music video to a song she had recently written, entitled "Where Has Love Gone?" from her newest released album at the time, "You Found Me." This song was dedicated for the purpose of relaying the increasing and unknown epidemic of sex trafficking happening right here in the U.S, as well as pointing people to The Defender Foundation, an organization committed to rescuing girls both domestically and abroad. In the process they also established the Seattle Chapter of the organization.
Given this would be a first music video for Lisa, as well as very limited funds for the production, money was raised through an online campaign as well as their small church community, One New Man Ministry and by April, filming began in Tacoma with local actors. The music video was produced and directed by Gary Voelker of Experience Studios, who worked with Lisa on the idea and script, as well as auditions for the different roles. Since it was released on May 31st 2012, the gripping and true-to-life music video, "Where Has Love Gone?" has been seen by many people all over the world, and earned Best Music Video at the 2015 Awareness Film Festival in Los Angeles.
On June 16, 2012 the first benefit concert and fundraiser was held in Bellevue, WA on behalf of both The Seattle Defender Foundation as well as Destiny House Restoration Center. Several V.I.P.'s attended that evening, including former Seahawk, Mack Strong; Councilman Reagan Dunn, the majority of the cast and crew from the WHLG music video, as well as representatives from other anti-trafficking organizations such as Compassion2One and Genesis Project.
By the time the music video was finished, David and Lisa realized that an even more pressing need was to have a place of real healing and restoration for the women who wanting healing and to get out of 'the life'. After meeting with a handful of local volunteers, the name Destiny House Restoration Center was agreed upon.
Over that next year, much work went into developing a business plan, budget and establishing relationships in the community. Another big fundraiser was planned on behalf of Destiny House and held at the Vessel Winery in Woodinville, WA on Sept. 17th, 2013. The evening included a silent auction as well as a concert featuring Born to Be Wild with Lisa Mitts and Band opening.
In early 2014, David and Lisa were introduced to Stacy Cecchet, Ph.D. Dr. Cecchet is one of the leading experts in the U.S. and the only Ph.D. in sex-trafficking, having done her thesis in what is the 2nd largest crime and growing to number one. She also has appeared before Congress and has the support of both WA State Senators.
Together, David, Lisa and Dr. Stacy created what will be a breakthrough, data-based, vetted holistic program with measurable results of healing, entitled "H.E.A.R.T.S" (Healing, Education And Restoration Treatment for Survivors), which includes integrative holistic health care for women 18 and over who have been the victims of sex-trafficking.
Over the last 6 years, Lisa has become the spokesperson on behalf of Destiny House, performing in many venues such as coffee and winebars, restaurants, churches and homes in the Puget Sound area, dedicating a portion of her music sales to the mission. In September of 2015, she was nominated and approved by the Board of Directors to be the Director of Fundraising and Administration. Since then, she has continued to reach out to other anti-trafficking organizations for alliances including Washington Trafficking Prevention, interviewed on many radio programs and established several fundraising programs including corporate matching funds with Boeing and Expedia; community service giving programs through QFC/Fred Meyer; Amazon Smile program; as well as annual benefit auctions to increase monthly and annual partners.
Our story continues to unfold as we help connect the next survivor to a qualified residential program until we are able to open ours full time. With limited funds, we work to advocate and support those asking for help, as well as educate the community on the realities of sex-trafficking in our backyard and how they can make a difference. Our hope is to open a full time residential program in King County as soon as possible.