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Furman alumna Messick provides hope through Jasmine Road

Paula Argoe (left) shares a moment with Beth Messick (right) of Jasmine Road. Photo: Alex Hicks Jr., The Greenville News

Last updated April 24, 2023

By Tina Underwood

Sex trafficking in the state of South Carolina saw 400 victims in 2022, and arguably significantly more than that due to the underreported nature of the crime.

Clare Amari of The Greenville News crafts an article about one such victim, Paula Argoe, and her plight to free herself from a cycle of addiction, prostitution and homelessness. Integral to her healing is Jasmine Road, an organization launched in Greenville by Furman University psychology alumna Beth Cashion Coe Messick ’90. The mission of the two-year residential program is to provide a path to healing and employment for women survivors of sex trafficking, prostitution and addiction.

“In meeting women like Paula and the others, they’re no different than me,” Messick said, revealing her own struggle as a victim of sexual abuse. “I was able to have the help and the resources to get out of and heal from the things that happened to me. These women don’t have a chance for that, because you can’t do it without somebody.”

Jasmine Road is modeled after the Thistle Farms nonprofit, which was founded in Nashville, Tennessee, by Episcopal priest Becca Stevens more than 20 years ago. The Greenville affiliate was incorporated in 2016 as a result of a partnership between Christ Church Episcopal, Triune Mercy Center and Bon Secours, St. Francis Health System.

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