Nobody ever expects to be a victim of human trafficking. But it happens every day.
A young woman gets sick and is unable to work and loses her job. Income disappears. The rent falls behind. And then… homelessness.
Or a teen, angry at her parents, runs away from home in a fit of teenage emotions. She, too, is now out on the streets… alone and vulnerable.
What most people don’t realize is that homeless women are prime targets for human traffickers. They’re desperate. They’re hopeless. They don’t have a lot of options.
I’ve met so many young women – victims of abuse in their own home – who have no choice but to walk out their front door with nothing except the clothes on their back. They have no idea where they’re going to sleep that night. An alley? Under a bridge? A bus stop? Or worse?
There’s hardly any chance they’ll find shelter on that first night. Or even the first week. So they sleep wherever they can lay their heads.
And that’s when they are most vulnerable to a human trafficker’s tactics.
These are the people we work with every single day. The Phoenix Dream Center works to help them build a new future – a future built on God’s love and His purpose for their lives.
It starts with the things that you and I usually take for granted. Food… showers… clean clothes… a safe place to sleep. We also provide for all of their medical care and – if they’re pregnant – their prenatal and postnatal care.
But we know the brokenness goes much deeper than material needs. That’s why part of our program includes mentoring and spiritually encouraging each of them on their path to healing.
That path often includes working towards a high school diploma or G.E.D. and then on to college or vocational training. It also includes life skills like teaching them how to manage their money, pay down debt, and save up for a place of their own.
We know that if we don’t equip these women to be strong and independent, they run a high risk of becoming a victim to human trafficking again.
Most of the women who come to the Phoenix Dream Center have spent years struggling with feelings of low self-worth, fear, isolation, and abandonment. They believe the cycle will never be broken. They’ve lost all faith. But through our Human Trafficking program, these lost and hurting young women find confidence through a relationship with God.
This was the case with Natasha. Natasha found herself homeless at the age of 17 when she left home after a bad fight with her parents. A trafficker noticed her and asked her if she wanted to go to a party. With few options at her disposal, she said yes.
That’s when she was forced to make choices no human should ever have to make.
Afterwards, she was defenseless against the lies her trafficker told her… “No one is going to help you after what you’ve done.”
She believed him. Why wouldn’t she? Look where she was.
Even though Natasha thought many times about escaping, she felt trapped and hopeless. She was afraid for her life. And, to make matters worse, what if her trafficker told her parents? How could they ever love her again after what she had done… what she had been forced to do??
So, she started stockpiling pills her trafficker gave her so she could kill herself.
She was done. She just wanted her life to be over.
But right before it was too late… God brought her to us.
A police raid on the hotel Natasha was staying at introduced her to a detective who worked with the Phoenix Dream Center and our Human Trafficking Program. The detective was able to talk Natasha into coming here.
So far, it’s been six months since Natasha first walked through our doors.
“I’m a much different person now,” she says. “I remember the thoughts I used to have – that I was worthless and no good. Now, I know that’s not true. I know I am somebody and I do have a future.”
Instead of ending her life, Natasha learned that God loved her, and His plans for her were “for good and not evil to give her a future and a hope.”
Hope. It was something Natasha had given up on. But because of your generous support, we were there for her to help her hope again.
“Now I know that the love and acceptance I’d been searching for can only come from God.”
Through His grace, He brought Natasha to the Phoenix Dream Center and through His grace, she has come to know Him in a real and personal way.
Natasha is currently enrolled in Phoenix College and will be transferring to Arizona State University next year. She wants to be a counselor, so she can minister to girls like her who have gone through similar situations.
“I want to help other young women like myself – to believe in themselves again.”
I’m so glad we were able to be there for Natasha before it was too late!
But other women need your help.
There are women just like Natasha… girls – some as young as 13! – who are facing the same desperate situation. Homeless. Trapped in trafficking. Ready to give up.
Now, more than ever, it’s vital that the Phoenix Dream Center’s efforts increase to rescue these young girls before it’s too late!
Did you know that it costs $115 to help one woman for one day at the Phoenix Dream Center? This includes everything she needs to be safe and secure and to begin her path to recovery and healing… from food and clothing to medical appointments and counseling.
We also have an extremely urgent need for baby supplies. Almost one-third of all of the young women who come into our Program are pregnant. And we want to make sure that all of their needs AND the baby’s needs are provided for them.
That means diapers, wipes, diapers, bottles, diapers, formula, diapers, pacifiers… did we mention diapers??
It might not seem like much, but a gift of $25 can help us purchase a pack of diapers for our new mothers.
Or, a gift of $100 can help with the cost to cover a young woman’s doctor’s appointments.
It’s impossible to put a price tag on saving a young woman from trafficking. But through your generosity, we can give women like Natasha a new beginning and a hope in a better future.
I can’t thank you enough for your incredible support. Together we’re bringing the hope and healing to those most in need.