Our Groundbreaking New Program: Housing Assistance For Trafficking Survivors

Our Groundbreaking New Program: Housing Assistance For Trafficking Survivors

Dear Friend,

We hear this story far too often: a human trafficking survivor completes the first part of their recovery and then, after all that hard work and courage, they have so few options moving forward that they must return to the Life. 

It’s frustrating. It’s tragic. And most of all, it’s preventable.

With your support, UAHT is launching a groundbreaking new program: housing for trafficking survivors.

 Vanessa suffered trauma all her life: from childhood sexual violence to homelessness to substance abuse. This made her vulnerable to trafficker recruitment, and she eventually became trapped in sex trafficking.

Vanessa finally escaped and got help from a local victim services program. She is working tirelessly to process her experiences and prepare for a new life free from exploitation. 

Vanessa will exit the program soonShe has a job ready and new tools for coping with trauma… but no place to stay.

Lack of housing stability can be a major reason why survivors stay in trafficking situations or fall back into them.

Because how do you leave if you have nowhere to go?

Just $35 can give a survivor of exploitation a session with a case manager who can help them find housing. And $150 can provide them with supplemental peer support groups to build their own network of care.

The clock was ticking for Vanessa. Luckily, she got into contact with UAHT before services ended. Our Program Manager, Anna, reached out to partnering agencies for help.

Vanessa will get rental and deposit assistance while she finds her footing in her new life. 

Nobody should have to worry about not having a roof over their head at the end of the day. And nobody who worked so hard to forge a path to recovery should have to retrace their steps.

Your generosity has helped UAHT develop a program for people like Vanessa.

With this in mind, UAHT will launch our own housing program for survivors of human trafficking in early 2021.

ALL survivors deserve a bright future and a place to call their own. But not all of them get the chance. It is critical that Houston build up more housing programs to ensure survivors like Vanessa can access the support they need when they need it.

 

Please, make your tax-deductible year-end gift today to help more survivors keep moving forward. Thank you for continuing to fight exploitation! 
One Statistic That Will Make You Drop Your Jaw

One Statistic That Will Make You Drop Your Jaw

Robin met her boyfriend on a dating app and was thrilled to be with someone who genuinely accepted her. 

They had a great time together until Robin was evicted from her apartment. 

Ready with a solution, the boyfriend suggested Robin move in with him for free. Then everything changed. 

After a couple weeks, the boyfriend demanded Robin “pay off the debt she owed him” by having sex with his friends.

At first, Robin refused, but was frightened when her boyfriend asserted he was secretly a police officer and could throw her in prison if she didn’t comply. 

As a trans woman, Robin was terrified of being thrown into prison – so she did what he said. 

Finally, Robin couldn’t take it anymore; she knew she needed to get away.  

To escape her trafficker, Robin needed to secure a safe place to live. 

So she called us. But we can’t always find a shelter. 

There are around 313,000 trafficking survivors in Texas, but only 529 beds designated for survivors in the entire United States

 Houston lacks short-term housing for trafficking survivors while they wait for long-term placement.

There are only 529 beds exclusively for trafficking survivors in the entire United States, but an estimated 313,000 trafficking victims in Texas alone. 

Even survivors who are connected to support groups and legal services may not have a safe place to sleep. Left with no other option, they resort to laying on the concrete, resting on a park bench, camping under a bridge, or sleeping in a temporary shelter. 

You may be thinking, “what about shelters that aren’t only for trafficking survivors?” 

While some trafficking survivors find a place to sleep overnight at homeless shelters, most shelters lack the resources trafficking survivors need to stay safe.

Many shelters only offer a place to stay over-night, leaving survivors with nowhere to go during the day. Reports to the National Human Trafficking Hotline show that traffickers even recruit victims in homeless shelters. 

Thankfully, our team connected Robin to a shelter where she could escape her trafficker!

But as we move forward in our fight against human trafficking, it’s critical that we fill this gap in services.

We must face this reality: we need more inclusive beds and safe homes established specifically for trafficking survivors.  

 

Why Do Survivors Need Case Managers?

Why Do Survivors Need Case Managers?

Survivors can focus on healing, rather than maneuvering through logistics.

 

A survivor’s healing plan is extensive and can be confusing. Each person’s process differs. That’s why a trained, professional Case Manager is necessary to build a custom plan to meet their needs: from immediate necessities like food, clothing, and tonight’s shelter to sustained needs like healing from trauma and substance dependency, building life skills, and living independently.

Survivors have accountability to attend every counseling session, job training, and support group they need.

 

Trauma rewires the brain, limiting new information. When a survivor takes the first step in their healing plan, they are overwhelmed by appointments that they were initially excited about.

But it’s nearly impossible to remember their schedule because their brain is still stuck in survival mode. Our Case Manager will ensure that the survivor has the encouragement to make it to every appointment vital to their healing. 

Survivors have a trustworthy professional to help them overcome the barriers of healing.

 

Survivors often trust the person who exploited them – a parent, a friend, a romantic partner, an employer. It takes work to learn how to trust again and time for us to earn it.

Our Case Manager will be a reliable guide, someone survivors don’t need to worry about judging or abandoning them.

With this strong foundation of trust, a survivor can turn to our Case Manager to remove language barriers, to provide a sense of safety, and to even navigate the frustration of small confusions like phone menus.

We care about each person’s entire story, and we want to walk with them the whole way – not just the first step.

 

Thanks to your support, we hired a trained Case Manager.

Thanks to your generous support, we hired Erin Martin, a trained Case Manager with over 12 years experience. She joined our team to work alongside survivors from the day we meet them until full recovery.  We need to make sure survivors don’t fall through the cracks. A survivor who feels isolated today can have a reliable and caring guide because of you.

$50 can provide a month of transportation for survivors to attend therapy, medical appointments, and job interviews.

$100 can supply clothes for job interviews for survivors to become fully independent.

$600 can ensure a month of case management for a survivor to navigate the challenges of healing.

$1,000 can provide the Family Huddle Series for a survivor and their family to learn vital coping skills.

What’s the Key to Long-Term Healing?

What’s the Key to Long-Term Healing?

CORA

Cora’s knee bounced nervously as the phone rang in her ear. It clicked then she heard a soft, “United Against Human Trafficking, this is Briana.”

Cora hesitated—then, “Hi, I’m Cora,” she swallowed hard. “I need help.”

It didn’t take long to realize that repeated sexual assault from countless solicitors meant Cora needed a long-term plan to help her recover physically, mentally, and emotionally. She needed a Case Manager, but we don’t have one.

Briana contacted a partner with a Case Manager, but their caseload was overflowing. They lacked the resources to help Cora, too.

I know how much Cora’s suffering weighs deeply on your heart.

You want to know that victims like Cora receive care, and you want to make sure they live free. We have a solution – one you can make a reality.

I have good news and I have bad news for you.

First, The Good News:

UAHT expanded to a second location in February!

Our new office is home base of our case management for trafficking survivors. Your 2019 donation funded the growth of our survivor support groups and preliminary case-management services!

Now, the bad news:

full-time Our program isn’t fully funded.

Right now, there aren’t enough Case Managers to guide the healing of tens of thousands of trafficking victims in Houston. Too many survivors like Cora have fallen through the cracks because there aren’t enough resources to meet every need.

We’re taking responsibility to make sure that all the survivors we meet get the long-term, comprehensive care they lack.

You – our community – have called on us to fill the gap by hiring a Case Manager to work alongside survivors from the day we meet them until full recovery. But we don’t have the funds to make this happen yet, especially after COVID-19 hit.

 

You helped us get the building, will you help a sex trafficking survivor live free from his abuser’s control – for good?

You’re the key to case management.

We need to make sure survivors don’t fall through the cracks. A survivor who feels isolated today can have a reliable and caring guide because of you.

$50 can provide a month of transportation for survivors to attend therapy, medical appointments, and job interviews.

$100 can supply clothes for job interviews for survivors to become fully independent.

$600 can ensure a month of case management for a survivor to navigate the challenges of healing.

$1,000 can provide the Family Huddle Series for a survivor and their family to learn vital coping skills.

How You Can Fight Human Trafficking From Home

How You Can Fight Human Trafficking From Home

With parks closed this weekend, we thought you may be looking for something to do while you’re stuck inside. Check out these 4 virtual training opportunities and stay tuned to our social media for more to come!

1. A 2-Minute Video to Help Your Kids Navigate Social Media and Video Games Safely
2. An Open Letter of Encouragement to Survivors
3. La Trata De Personas

A Mini Human Trafficking 101 Training in Spanish

4. Human Trafficking Webinar: For the Community

Monday, April 13th | 5:00PM-5:30PM

A Chance to Give – Holiday Newsletter

A Chance to Give – Holiday Newsletter

The holiday’s are filled with family, friends, and community celebrating together. However, UAHT deals with the sad reality that there are victims of exploitation all around us, even during this wonderful season. Our role as an organization is to be the voice of those trapped in exploitation. You can help provide strength, support, and hope to individuals in our community.


A gift of $25.00 can provide incentive items for youth in our programs. Incentive items help UAHT build rapport and has been the difference between receiving disclosures and youth walking out the door


A gift of $50.00 or more can provide 10 Hygiene Kits with human trafficking information for our outreach on the streets of Houston. These kits provide more than essentials, each contains a hand written note bringing joy to those who receive them.


Awareness keeps our communities safe. Give the gift of peace knowing that $250.00 or more can provide 30 youth with critical prevention education.


Prevention is key to ending cycles of exploitation. A gift of $1,000.00 or more can help 30 youth create a safety plan as we walk them through our 5 module youth prevention program. This program helps youth understand that kindness can go a long way in the path to prevention.


A gift of $1,800.00 or more can provide our 10 module Real Talk program to individuals considered high-risk for exploitation yet remain unidentified. Give love this holiday season and help UAHT built trust with individuals to help them out of these exploitative situations.


If you would like to give a gift in honor of someone who has made an impact in your life, simply leave a note when you donate online along with their contact information. We will send them a letter informing them of your donation, and include the special note you provided. It’s the perfect gift for the anti-human trafficking advocate in your life!

A Note From Our Youth

“I learned that it’s very easy to get manipulated by somebody you don’t know. A lot of human traffickers look like a normal person and innocent”

“I was one of them. I stayed with him because it seemed like he cared about me and I never felt loved before but I knew it was too good to be true because he made me do all the drugs in the world. But I over came it and now I share my story to other girls and also the world.”

*To view our original publication, please visit http://mailchi.mp/uaht/a-chance-to-give*