I’m Katie. I’m 23 years old and I’m from Michigan. Before I got to the Phoenix Dream Center’s Human Trafficking Program, life wasn’t very good. I started doing drugs, heroin, when I was 16 and I started dating a major heroin dealer. I just got into like a really bad relationship at a really bad state of my life. I thought I was stuck forever in my addiction and that I’d never be able to escape.
My boyfriend started locking me in hotel rooms and then the verbal, physical, and mental abuse started. He started trafficking me and he was hard to get away from… he’d go to jail but he’d get out and do the same thing. I thought that I loved him but I just think I was in love with the drugs that he sold me. I ended up running away to another hotel room for a week and eventually had to leave the city and go somewhere else because he was always looking for me. I came to Phoenix and my sister-in-law told me about the Phoenix Dream Center’s Human Trafficking Program.
I had been doing heroin for so long that I didn’t know what my life was like anymore without it. Trying to imagine being a sober normal person and getting out of that lifestyle was so hard, but this place saved my life. If it wasn’t for here, I probably be dead.
The Phoenix Dream Center literally saved my life. They’ve given me so many amazing opportunities and resources. You won’t find anywhere else like this. There are other girls who are survivors of human trafficking and they provide everything we need. You don’t have to stress here – you can just sit back and think, “Okay, what do I want to do with my life and where do I want to be at?”
I want to start going to school to be a veterinary assistant. I’m also going to start working part-time when I don’t have school, and I’ve started volunteering at the local animal shelter because I love animals so much.