Holding Out HELP (HOH) is focused on providing full-service care to people coming from a polygamous background. The HOH team and trusted volunteers have worked diligently to understand the distinct needs of this population. HOH provides housing, food, clothing, counseling, education and other services through its network of partners. The “HELP” in our name stands for Helping, Encouraging and Loving Polygamists.
It is estimated that there are 60,000-100,000 polygamists living in the Western United States, Canada and Mexico, with a majority of them residing in or around Utah. Each group, family and individual has a unique story, but most of the individuals HOH serve have faced forms of bondage and trauma. When someone leaves or is kicked out, they often experience loss of family, financial ruin, feeling judged, abandonment and loneliness. HOH is a safe place for them, providing a loving and caring body of people to extend hope for a new and bright future.
Holding Out HELP (HOH) began in 2008 after a family fled their polygamous community and ended up on our founder’s doorstep. Tonia was shocked at what was happening in the United States of America in God’s name — right in her very own backyard. She learned of closed communities that had a prophet who told them what to wear, eat, read and whom they could associate with. Marriages were arranged, education was a low priority and child labor and abuse were very normal and accepted. Sadly, when members leave or get kicked out, they lose their family, friends and entire social structure. Tonia realized the importance of having an organization that could walk this path of freedom with them — someone that would listen, encourage and provide the many resources needed. The core of Holding Out HELP is unconditional love and acceptance that allows healing and hope while the client discovers what their new life will look like.