TRM Officials support hiring director with past felony conviction

The Topeka Rescue Mission is reassuring the public after concerns about one of its staff members hit social media.
Published: Jul. 10, 2023 at 10:33 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Topeka Rescue Mission is reassuring the public after concerns about one of its staff members hit social media. We sat down with the mission’s Executive Director, LaManda Broyles who says this story is about second chances.

Hope Center Director, Rachel Flenniken admitted involvement in a prostitution ring six years ago.

Some people question if she should oversee a facility housing women and children but TRM Director LaManda Broyles, says Flenniken is using her past to help others.

Rachel Flenniken did not want to speak on camera Monday, but she has shared her story on a past TRM podcast, Our Community, Our Mission.

“You deserve so much better and having someone who relates that knew what I was going through, that knew both sides of the situation just was a big help for me to say you know this just isn’t right this is not where I want to be and life is so much better with God,” says Flenniken.

Flenniken pleaded guilty in 2016 to working for a man who ran a prostitution operation with as many as 20 women.

She arranged their travel, tracked meetings with clients and collected money.

She served three years of supervised probation and in October of 2021, she started working at the Rescue Mission.

“TRM before we are considered a social service we are considered a ministry which means we take on the beliefs of Christ that we all have redemption opportunities and that our future does not have to be determined by our past only,” says Broyles.

Broyles says after an intense vetting, an extensive interview process, reference checks and supervision. Flenniken was appointed director of the hope center in October 2022.

“We are in big support of Rachel she has a powerful story that she’s excited to share. She has often shared her testimony which for any of us if we have had a vulnerable time in our life or things that we aren’t proud of which we all do to be able to share that isn’t always easy but I have seen Rachel do that because she wants to use her story to help reach other women who are currently victims,” says Broyles.

Broyle says Flenniken’s story is one of second chances.

“We see staff members who have powerful pasts be the ones with the most determination to bring healing to someone that crossed their paths,” says Broyles.

Rachel gave us permission to tell her story and says she is excited to share more of her journey with us at a later time.