Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $928,123)
The proposed New Life Refuge Ministries (NLRM) project will expand the trauma/survivor-informed, culturally competent New Life Refuge Long Term Restorative Care Program from 6 female minor victims of sex trafficking (MVST) to 10 female MVST at any given time, an addition of 4 MVST. The average program stay is six months; and educate three healthcare systems (approximately 50,000 employees each) with in-depth trainings related to human trafficking.
NLRM receives referrals which staff reviews, then schedules a virtual interview with the MVST to determine her interest in entering NLRM’s residential program. After admittance is mutually agreed upon, arrangements are made for transportation. Offering 24-hour awake care, NLRM staff work to make the intake process as stress free as possible. Week 1, victims become acquainted with the house, house rules, other residents, and staff members. Rest and recuperation is prioritized for all new residents. Often minor victims who escape sex trafficking are exhausted and need to sleep. If they have medical needs, these are addressed immediately. Within 3 days of arrival, once they feel ready, new residents meet with staff and complete intake paperwork that includes identifying their preferences, strengths/weaknesses, and personal life goals. Using motivational interviewing, NLRM staff and the MVST develop an individualized, culturally competent treatment and permanency plan. Week 2, after residents learn about house rules, counseling begins and residents become more familiar with program activities. All residents are enrolled in online educational programs and participate in daily family-type house activities. Implementing specialized survivor/trauma-informed counseling/therapy activities, NLRM provides coping strategies and treatment for complex trauma. Life skills training helps survivors learn ways to transition into productive and successful lives. Intensive case management/advocacy ensures linkage to all necessary services.
NLRM collaborates and trains a wide array of partners (governmental agencies, law enforcement, mental health workers, healthcare workers, hospitality employees, educators, community leaders, education, faith-based organizations, businesses). Future trainings will include specialized training to three healthcare systems. Deliverable will include long term residential housing and specialized supportive services for up to 4 MVST at any given time with an average stay of six month for a total of up to 24 MVST over the three year grant period. Additionally, the program will educate three healthcare systems (approximately 50,000 employees each) with in-depth trainings related to human trafficking.