Garden of Hope (GOH), a culturally specific organization serving Chinese-speaking victims of gender-based violence since 2004, will use grant funds to support its Human Trafficking Intervention Program. The majority of the human trafficking (HT) victims served by GOH are residents of Chinese enclaves in NYC, where approximately 29% of residents live in poverty. Beyond poverty, these communities also exhibit high unemployment rates, low levels of English proficiency, and limited access to economic resources – all of which place many HT survivors at heightened risk for various forms of victimization. To combat these issues, the GOH Human Trafficking Intervention Team was founded in 2015, with the mission of serving HT victims within NYC and beyond. Between 2018 – 2020, over 200 potential HT victims and 81 identified HT victims were provided with various services including mental health counseling; case management; legal assistance; housing and financial assistance; and job training. Aside from direct services, GOH is also dedicated to raising awareness of HT by establishing partnerships and educating other organizations on HT issues within the Chinese community.
With support from OVC, GOH strives to build upon its past work and to fill critical gaps in services that currently exist for Chinese immigrant women who fall prey to sex and labor trafficking. To achieve this outcome, GOH has set six goals to be accomplished over the three-year grant period: (1) Provide case management services to 450 potential HT victims and 150 identified HT victims. (2) Promote women’s empowerment project through medical assistance and workshops, counseling, “survivor give back” initiatives, and job training. (3) Increase victim outreach through the dissemination of HT survival guides and the marketing of GOH services on social media platforms. (4) Provide transitional housing services, including emergency shelter and short-term rental subsidies, to 15 victims. (5) Raise community awareness through the media publishing two interviews with HT victims; nine awareness workshops; and five conference presentations. (6) Facilitate program monitoring and evaluation by an independent researcher. GOH’s Human Trafficking Intervention Team is led by GOH’s Executive Director, and the Program Manager, and is staffed by three bilingual professionals – each who possess a master’s degree in mental health counseling and who have extensive clinical experiences. Finally, the team is augmented with a community outreach coordinator who is proficient in conducting outreach and social media campaigns.