Our mission is to lead homeless teens away from sexual exploitation by criminals and predators. Here, in a non-judgmental environment, Beulah’s Place will provide victims and at-risk kids help, healing, and most of all, hope.
How a dream was born
In 2008, Ed and Andi were serving Thanksgiving dinner to hundreds of homeless in their community. Several young women had just given birth to their newborns and were living out of their cars. This jarring reality created in the Buergers a determination to do something that would have a lasting effect, be a living legacy in their town of Redmond. The greatest need seemed to be for homeless teens.
Ed’s mother, Beulah, was a woman who loved her three sons, and loved everyone else too. She passed in 1998, just one year before Andi and Ed met. People said of her generosity, “If she had one potato, she fed the whole neighborhood!” Beulah had taught Sunday School for 43 years. In the Old Testament, Beulah Land was that “place between heaven and earth.” It seemed to Andi and Ed that teens must surely know that feeling of being neither here nor there … not quite child, not quite adult.
And the dream became Beulah’s Place. A shelter for homeless teens, to begin in Redmond, Oregon. It would be the perfect partnership of Andi’s organizational talent and Ed’s construction skills. But Andi’s long recovery from an accident, and the economic downturn, put their plans on hold.
Today, Beulah's Place is a reality, thanks to partnerships with other non-profits like Childhelp, America's Allstars and Mothers Against Sexual Abuse, and thanks to volunteers and donors nationwide, and especially in Redmond, Oregon, home of their flagship location.
Ed takes quiet pride in knowing that Beulah’s Place is a special triumph for Andi. She herself survived the intra-familial sex trafficking and abuse that the Buergers seek to prevent for homeless teens. Their hope is to lead these very vulnerable individuals toward a better way of life through the simple kindness of safe shelter, hot meals and loving hearts who seek to serve them without judgment.
Why We Do What We Do
Human trafficking in the U.S. is a $13 billion per year criminal endeavor, with worldwide tentacles. In America, an alarming number of young people are targeted by human traffickers dealing in child prostitution, pedophilia, sexual slavery and pornography. After the illegal drug trade, human trafficking is the second largest criminal enterprise. Many teens leave home seeking a safety net away from abuse, but are lured by traffickers with the promise of a hot meal and a place to sleep. The traffickers use these children until they can be used no more - until they are too sick to earn, or dead.
Beulah’s Place began as a vision to feed these hungry, homeless teens on a daily basis. Teens make better life decisions when they receive mind-body-spirit sustenance. After working with youth from ‘normal’ households for many years, Ed and Andi Buerger knew that even in the best of conditions, being a teenager is challenging. The challenges increase where there is no home, no family unit, no regular meals, and no safety.
The Buergers saw that the homeless teens of Central Oregon needed something other than living under bridges and on the streets. Most of all, they needed to be safe from unscrupulous predators.