Kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard and her children have relocated to a safe, private location in a rural part of the East Bay, within driving distance of the house near Antioch where Dugard was kept most of her life, according to sources who have been helping the family.
For the past four months, donations from East Bay Fellowship — a Danville church whose leaders have a background helping victims of human trafficking — have been used to pay the rent on Dugard's new home, said East Bay Fellowship Associate Pastor Mari Hanes.
Though the church has offered to pay rent for a year, the family is in dire need of financial support, Hanes said Friday.
In California, the most any abduction victim ever receives in financial aid from the state is $2,000, she said.
Media attention does not always translate into money for the victim, either.
"People think once your name is out there you get paid — but unless you have (attorneys) to broker a deal for you, that's really not the case," Hanes said.
In October, Dugard — who was kidnapped in 1991 in South Lake Tahoe and found alive in August at the home of suspected kidnapper Phillip Garrido — appeared in People Magazine as part of a story about the case.
The publicity gave many the false impression that she had profited substantially from the story, Hanes said.
The family received some money for interviews, but it was not enough to pay for housing Jaycee and her two girls, or the long-term counseling they need to recover, Hanes said.
She said a church member, a police officer who has been counseling the Dugards, first told her about their financial situation.
"(The church member) just said 'Let's be praying for them. It's as bad a situation as we've seen,' " Hanes said.
A fund was started to help pay the $2,500 monthly rent for the home chosen by law enforcement for its location away from the public eye.
About $13,000 worth of cash and furniture has been collected, Hanes said. Church members also donated jewelry, which is being sold at an Alamo jewelry store to benefit the family.
"We are happy to be able to help out for such a good cause," said Mark Kahn, owner of Mark Kahn Jewelers. You can't help but feel for these girls and what they have gone through."
Kahn is also donating a portion of the proceeds from his store's inventory.
Before coming to Danville last year, Hanes and her husband, Pastor Cliff Hanes, led churches in Oregon and England.
Hanes, with a social work background, says she also worked with agencies in Washington and Oregon assisting of human trafficking victims.
At some point Dugard likely will pursue a book deal, but counselors say that is probably a year or more off. Until then, the family needs all the help it can get, Hanes said.
To donate to the fund for the Dugards, call the church at 925-736-5100. For information on the jewelry sale, call 925-837-3262.
Contact Jeanine Benca at 925-847-2125 or email@example.com.
Suspect's lawyer says Jaycee, Garridos were a "happy family." Page AA2
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