In 2002, when Julie Shematz, began doing strip club OutREACHes, there were less than 5 ministries doing this specialized type of outREACH in the United States and none in the rest of the world.
Established as a a 501(c)(3), not for profit, public charity, Beauty from Ashes (BFA) Ministries, Inc. is a grass roots, pioneering ministry dedicated to reaching and assisting women and children involved and/or associated with the sex industry; commercialized sexual exploitation, trafficking and adult entertainment.
Recognizing the need for outREACH training to this marginalized populace, in 2005, Julie Shematz created a faith based, strip club outREACH training and began the process of training ministries and laypersons nationwide to do this unique type of outREACH. In 2010, after experiencing second hand trauma from serving this clientele, Mrs. Shematz enrolled as a full time graduate student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master of Arts program at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU).
Using her education and experiences, she began developing and implementing victim centered, comprehensive programs and services. In 2010, BFA was awarded a Department of Health and Human Resources Capacity Building Grant which enabled BFA to expand the original training and share the prevention, intervention, and restoration model BFA established. In 2012, BFA launched a best practices, faith based curriculum for Sex Industry OutREACH and AfterCARE and Mrs. Shematz began specializing in Equine Therapy and Equine Assisted Learning, an evidence based treatment for many of the behavioral, emotional, and mental challenges from which sexual abuse survivors suffer.
In August of 2013, Mrs. Shematz received a Master of Arts degree from FGCU and in 2014, The Salvation Army officially approved the training curriculum and began utilizing it.
As of August 2016, there are nearly 300 ministries now doing strip club/sex industry outREACH in the United States and worldwide.
Today, Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries, based out of the Tampa Bay Area, provides best practices, scope of services that prevent, reach, and restore victims of sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking.