Sex Trafficking

What is Human Trafficking? Human Trafficking is a crime that exploits men, women and children. Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, which is induced by force, fraud, or coercion. When an adult is coerced, forced or deceived into prostitution–or maintained in prostitution through coercion–that person is a victim of trafficking.

Human Trafficking in the Northwest: There are a lot of facts and statistics about sex trafficking. Because the nature of this dark industry is not only subversive, and constantly changing, such numbers are difficult to confirm and become outdated quickly. We do know human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world and growing at an alarming rate in the Portland/Vancouver area. It exists in every community and crosses all social and economic borders.

Estimations:

Local law enforcement estimates approximately two hundred girls may be trafficked at any given time in the Portland area. The statistics are much higher when including the victims who have not been identified.

Approximately 80-90 percent of sexually exploited children have a history of being sexually abused.

About 90 percent of those sex-trafficked are runaways or missing children.

It’s estimated that 75% of runaways are approached by a pimp within 48 hours.

  • Door To Grace
  • Janus Youth
  • SARC
  • Adorned In Grace
  • Mending The Soul
  • Transitional Youth

The vision of Door to Grace (DTG) is to “restore life to children” rescued from sex trafficking in Oregon. DTG was launched in 2009 as an initiative by one Portland-area church, and quickly grew as other churches and organizations learned about its vision. DTG received its IRS tax-exempt status in November 2009. In 2012, DTG became licensed by the state of Oregon as a child-caring agency. Currently DTG is recruiting, certifying, and training host homes and providing daytime support services for minor sex trafficking victims in Oregon, primarily in the Willamette Valley. Door to Grace’s goal is to foster healthy relationships and move these children from surviving to thriving with productive lives in our communities.

As part of its mission, Door to Grace:

Certifies host homes for minor victims of sex trafficking.

Provides as-needed support services including medical, educational, recreational, relational, and faith development through all host homes and its REACH (Restore, Educate, Activity, Community, Home) daytime program.

Trains and equips Christian churches, their members, and communities at large to provide safe, healthy relationship and long-term support to sex trafficking survivors.

Collaborates with local social service agencies who are also working with these youth.

How You Can Help:

Door to Grace needs:

HOMES: Interested married couples or single women to provide both long-term and short-term homes to minor girls who have been trafficked.

VOLUNTEERS: Interested individuals to help with its daytime services, which includes 1:1 mentoring of girls, REACH daytime program, administrative help, and/or one-time projects.

DONATIONS: Financial and gift card donations contribute to the success of the REACH program and help achieve the goal of providing host homes for the youth.

Door to Grace provides training on trauma and abuse, adolescent growth and development, and behavior management for volunteers who work directly with the girls. If you are interested in volunteering at the Day Home, becoming a certified host home, please use contact information below. You can also visit their website for more information: Door To Grace

Janus Youth Programs originated in 1972 and has grown to become one of the largest nonprofits in the Northwest operating over 20 different programs. Based on best practice models, some of their programs for the vulnerable, exploited, homeless and runaway youth are:

Harry’s Mother, founded in 1976, serves runaway and homeless youth ages 9 to 17. Harry’s Mother provides comprehensive a 24/hour crisis intervention line (503-233-8111), emergency shelter for  runaway and homeless youth (Garfield House, a 12 bed shelter facility) and individual and family counseling to runaway youth ages 9 to 17 and their families in the Portland metropolitan area.

Services for Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC)  Harry’s Mother  serves commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC) by providing two dedicated shelter beds at Garfield House for CSEC-identified youth and a CSEC-specific counselor at Harry’s Mother.   In December, 2011, Janus Youth Programs opened a seven-bed residential program for CSEC-identified youth ages 14 to 17. This program works collaboratively with the Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC), Lifeworks Northwest, and the county Department of Human Services Child Welfare Division to provide intensive services. Youth may stay in the program up to 18 months.

Willamette Bridge Programs provide a continuum of services ranging from street out-reach and needs assessment to emergency housing and case management to serve the homeless youth in the Portland metro area.

Yellow Brick Road is a nightly street outreach program run by community volunteers since 1984. It focuses on providing information, referral and crisis intervention services directly to street-dependent youth.

The Access Center is the entry point for street-dependent youth, ages 14 to 24, seeking support services through Portland’s homeless youth continuum.

Street Light Shelter provides short-term housing for 30 homeless youth, ages 14 to 24, who are attempting to make changes in their lives, guiding them through the process of exiting street life.

Porch Light Shelter provides emergency housing for 30 youth, ages 14 to 20, who are new to the street or in immediate need of shelter and aid.

Bridge House provides transitional living house situation for previously homeless, pregnant or parenting youth, ages 16 to 20.

The Juvenile Reception Center is a 24-hour immediate intervention center for youth, ages 11 to 17, picked up by police for non-violent crimes. It also provides crisis counseling and other support services to help alleviate future problems.  The Reception Center is a joint effort with the Portland Police and is part of Multnomah County’s alternatives to detention program

Changes is an independent living program designed to provide basic financial and case management support to youth who are ready to live independently but cannot afford the initial move-in costs of an apartment. This program serves previously homeless youth ages 16 to 20.

Project Metamorphosis is a peer advocacy collaboration group to help support change, exiting street life and breaking the cycle of addiction. It provides peer-given support from people with personal experience going through this process.

How You Can Help

Join the community of volunteers working with Yellow Brick Road doing nightly street outreach to connect with youth on the streets and develop trusting, appropriate relationships with them in order to provide support and information/referral.  Help out at Street Light or Porch Light shelter. Visit their website for more information : Janus Youth

SARC’s mission is to promote social justice by eliminating sexual violence through advocacy, education, and support. Founded in 1977 by two sexual assault survivors, SARC seeks to provide immediate response and support to sexually assaulted survivors and empower them to heal and regain control of their lives

Services:

24 Hour support line: (503) 640-5311 or toll free at (188) 640-5311. Volunteers man the line to offer immediate care and support to callers/survivors of ALL forms of sexual violence.

Comprehensive case management: special focus on helping English speaking Latinas in a culturally sensitive manner, and helping sexually exploited children.

Free mental health care: clinic offers long-term services.

Support groups: for care and support further down the line; groups are ongoing.

Nine week prevention curriculum focused on sexual assault prevention(for high school ages)

Seven week prevention curriculum focused on preventing the sexual exploitation of children (for middle school ages)

How You Can Help

Volunteer to man a support line that provides crisis counseling, information, referrals and resources. Deliver education through their prevention program to high school and middle school students. Inform and assist Latina survivors as they move through the social, criminal and civil system. Man tables and booths at fairs, colleges, community events. Annual fundraising help each fall. Help with office support. Make financial donations. All programs and services offered are supported and made possible by volunteers. Visit their website for more information: SARC 

If you need Help you can call their Help line: (503) 640-5311

Adorned in Grace raises awareness and provides funds to bring hope and healing to at-risk girls and victims of human trafficking by repurposing and redesigning new and gently used bridal, formalwear and accessories.

Through the Adorned in Grace Bridal and Formalwear Shop in the Fred Meyer Raleigh Hills Marketplace complex, sales associates and facilities caregivers create a non-threatening environment where customers prepare for the special occasions in their lives while giving the gift of hope to women and children they may have never met.

Through the Adorned in Grace Design Studio Outreach to At-Risk Girls in SE Portland, donated gowns and accessories are used to connect with vulnerable girls in low-income, high crime neighborhoods through design workshops. Designers, seamstresses and mentors come alongside the girls to envision and re-create the prom dress of their dreams, a one-of-a-kind purse, unique vest or a special gift they can give away. Our desire is to build personal, healthy, love-of-God connections, using their love of fashion as the draw, so that they never have to experience the devastation of trafficking.

Sustainability is a happy side-benefit that exquisitely aligns with Portland’s signature environmental ethic. Every item that moves through the ministry is one that is finding a second life outside of the closet or the landfill, “liberated” for re-use, often on the happiest day of its new owner’s life.

Adorned in Grace exists under the guidance and the 501(c)3 status of Compassion Connect, Inc., an organization that brings together churches to transform their communities.

How You Can Help

Volunteer as a sales associate, facilities caregiver or promotional representative on Portland’s Westside location.

Teach design, sewing or craft skills at design studio workshops.

Train to mentor at-risk girls.

Create reproducible designs from donated silks, satins and jewelry to inspire young girls to think outside the obvious.

Donate bridal, formalwear, purses, jewelry and accessories. To donate, drop off at 4949 SW 76th Avenue Portland, Oregon 97225. 

Visit their website at : Adorned in Grace

Mending the Soul Ministries, Inc. (MTS) is an educating and equipping ministry, located in Phoenix, Arizona, that empowers communities and equips churches for ministry to those impacted by abuse. The integration of scientific and social research on abuse, with biblical and theological truth, is the foundation of MTS. Mending the Soul Ministries is a non-denominational, evangelical, nonprofit organization that offers hope and healing to the wounded and vulnerable in the name of the Lord Jesus.

MTS offers support to leaders and organizations that desire to begin or strengthen ministry to the many men, women, and children who struggle with the wounds of abuse.  They facilitate seminars for church, para-church, and community organizations.

MTS has a team of experienced speakers and trainers that facilitate conferences nationally and internationally.  MTS Ministries also has available a selection of modules and teachings that can be used for training events and conferences (e.g. small support group facilitator training). Educational and training resources can be purchased through their website and at bookstores.

How You Can Help

Become informed about the reality of abuse that exists all around us.  Receive training and access the resources provided by MTS to support and advocate for survivors of abuse.

Transitional Youth was founded in 1991 by Bert E. Waugh, Jr., President of Prudential Northwest Properties, in response to the desperate needs of homeless youth.  This faith based, non-profit organization was created to bring meaningful assistance to local, homeless youth.  In 2004 they created their first transitional home for homeless youth in Portland. Since then, they have opened another home in Vancouver and a rural “Home on the Range” near Battle Ground, Washington. Under the loving guidance of a caring “parent” who also holds a strong faith in God, the homes serve several youth at a given time. All residents are required to either be involved in educational programs or employed.  In the future, Transitional Youth hopes to add more transitional homes in the Portland/Vancouver area.

In addition to providing a sense of “home” to many who have never experienced it before, Transitional Youth operates an outreach center in downtown Portland as a connection point to homeless youth.  There they serve warm meals and offer clothing.  Transitional Youth runs a scholarship program which helps to support education for youth transitioning off the streets. They also help youth obtain full time employment in order to move on to independent living situations.

How You Can Help

Make financial donations. Donate new and used men’s and women’s clothing in sizes M-XXL (especially jackets, sweat shirts, gloves, socks and underwear).  Donate items that can be used for weather protection such as stocking caps, blankets, wool socks, sleeping bags or rain gear.  Donate work and school supplies and personal toiletry items.  Also, gift cards for movies, music, department stores, coffee shops and book stores are appreciated.

Check out their website for more information: Transitional Youth