Case Study

The Refuge for DMST: A Place of Rest and Restoration

The Refuge for DMST

Company Bio
The development of a place where child survivors of sex trafficking can find safety, and have access to the proper therapeutic services for healing from the trauma they’ve endured, has been a long-time passion of our Founder and CEO, Brooke Crowder. Upon moving to Austin in 2010, she discovered many others with the same passion. With strategic relationships built in her international work with survivors and others in the movement to end trafficking, along with strong community will and leadership in Austin, The Refuge for DMST™ was launched in November 2013. The primary purpose of The Refuge for DMST is to develop The Refuge Ranch, a long-term therapeutic ranch just outside the city of Austin, with on-site comprehensive services for girls, minors through age 19, who are survivors of sex trafficking.

Our Story is the story of a community reaching out to the broken-hearted, the weak and weary, and the one who feels forgotten, in order to bring HOPE for a new life free from violence and exploitation. The Story of The Refuge reflects God's story to all of us: God rescues us from darkness, restores our hearts through His healing love, and brings redemption to our lives for purpose and freedom, rather than captivity and despair.

"I know I’m a few days late but just wanted to tell you HAPPY (late) BIRTHDAY and thank you for all that you do for us at The Refuge!!!!!!!!!! Every week someone in the office is saying “most computer dudes are such duds but I just love Rodney and Forest so much!! They are amazing and kind and patient and actually pretty funny too” --- no joke. Just know that we love and appreciate you guys here everyday!" – Grace Pfeffer

Challenges

Being the first organization of its kind and of its size The Refuge was inventing the wheel for DMST services, at least at such a large scale, and really had no idea of what the organization’s IT needs were.

Building a multi-building ranch geographically distant from the main office and upper management and being able to manage operations remotely.
Building an IT infrastructure that would scale for the prediction of multiple locations in the future.

Making IT secure enough to meet HIPAA compliance and protect the security of the minor girls who have come from dangerous situations.

How ACS Helped:

ACS sat down with The Refuge staff and listened intently to The Refuge’s objectives, concerns, ideas, suggestions, etc. with the goal of understanding their mission for the future.

ACS has worked with The Refuge from start to finish through all the trials and tribulations of bootstrapping a new organization from start to the finish.

Our solutions

  • Designed a robust and secure network that spans more than 20 buildings, including phones, security equipment, printers, and client devices.
  • Designed a network that is easy to monitor and manage, even by non- technical staff, remotely.
  • Worked with client to implement policies and procedures to protect patient data and the physical security of the minor girls.
  • All labor has been either donated or covered under the client’s agreement despite the operations center being 1 hour from the central office and 2 hours from ACS’s main office.
  • ACS has implemented artificial intelligence driven anti-virus, instrusion prevention, web filtering, and other layers of security.
  • ACS has at minimum four layers of security protecting each computer and is looking to implement more.
  • ACS has been highly cooperative with other vendors even when they weren’t responsive, helpful, and weren’t following best practices. ACS acted as a liaison for our client’s best interests and has helped the client pick the right vendors to ensure their success.
  • ACS has trained local IT Directors how to self-service certain items that they felt would make them more efficient even though our 24/7/365 Texas-based IT support desk would be ready and willing to help.
  • ACS doesn’t not withhold passwords and/or documentation and has made that readily available to the client.
  • ACS has helped find non-profit pricing/discounts when applicable saving The Refuge money.

Results, ROI & Future:

ACS has helped The Refuge from start to finish bootstrapping an organization that is the first of its kind. ACS has provided The Refuge an easy to manage, secure, and scalable network for the future. The Refuge being a 24/7/365 operation with ongoing IT support needs enjoys the fact that all the support labor is covered under one predictable monthly rate, and that no labor/services such as after hours, site visits, etc. are NEVER billed extra.