iCare began as Co-Founders, Walt & Ginger Amerson, were serving in a downtown ministry where they met a run-away teen who changed their view of "troubled" kids. As they began to get acquainted with the teen's story, they were surprised to find that she had grown up near their suburban home but ran away to escape abuse. Her abuser was later incarcerated, but sadly there had been severe damage to the teen's identity and self-worth. Upon running away, she was quickly taken into the dark, shadowy world of sexual exploitation.
Within about four months of meeting this first victim, they met six other women/girls all of whom were mothers who had been or were being sexually exploited,trafficked, or working in the clubs. Recognizing the need for long term restorative care for the victims and protection for the children who were being adversely affected, they met with several community leaders and service providers who expressed concerns over clients they were seeing. The need for a place of long term, specialized, restorative care was confirmed through research into community resources.
As the Amersons joined with a few of those providers to form iCare4,Inc. and obtain non-profit status, they realized that not only was there was no long term residential care in the CSRA or GA that was specifically tailored to the needs of these trafficked/exploited victims to heal alongside their children, none have been identified nationwide! (There are a few long term residential facilities for victims, but none of them provide a place for the victims' children in the same program. There are also a very few places where mothers who suffer with drug or alcohol addiction may go with their children, but none of those places are tailored to the specific needs of trafficked mothers whose children also need protection.)
Moving forward on a mission to help the identified victims heal and to prevent another generation from becoming victims, the iCare team began to cast the vision for prevention, intervention, and restoration. The long term restorative home would be called RiverTree Ranch and securing the tract of land and raising the cash to build it began in earnest in 2013. In these several years, the team has expanded, the land was purchased, and the home is being built with a projected completion of early 2017. iCare continues to operate through raising public awareness, responding to victims through intervention, and by connecting mentors to at-risk youth and families.