News and Advocacy Alerts

Runaway and Homeless Youth Documentary Screening in St. Pete Beach, Florida

Lost in America is a feature documentary that follows Rotimi Rainwater’s journey to expose the truths about youth homelessness in America. The film takes an all-encompassing look at this pandemic highlight issues like: human trafficking, the foster care system, youth rejected because of their sexuality, domestic violence, abuse, and more. It also examines what many organizations, politicians, and other public figures are doing (or not doing) to help these youth.

The production company will host a public screening of the film on Wednesday, November 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the TradeWinds Island Resorts in St. Pete Beach. The screening will be held in the Tarpon Key / Sawyer Key room just off the Grand Palm Colonnade. 

To learn more about Lost in America, please visit: http://www.lostinamericafilm.com/

Click here to view a teaser of the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6kEHSNunlI

 

NSPN Receives Grant from The UPS Foundation


From left to right: Zola Marshall and Rhonda Whitted from UPS's Community Relations Department share the awarded funds with Laurie Jackson, NSPN's President / CEO.

National Safe Place Network (NSPN) received a $22,200 grant from The UPS Foundation to implement the Family Focus Awareness Program which will help create more resilient communities by strengthening families and ensuring the well-being of youth in crisis.

“We are grateful to be selected as a recipient of funding from The UPS Foundation,” said Laurie Jackson, president and chief executive officer of NSPN. “The funds will be used to support the Family Focus Awareness Program which brings together UPS employees and the wider community to help raise awareness of NSPN’s Safe Place program and ensure youth know how to access immediate help in times of crisis.”

The Family Focus Awareness Program will be developed with input from UPS volunteers drawn from the company’s diverse workforce. NSPN will conduct focus groups with UPS employees to gather feedback on the most effective and preferred methods of communicating information about Safe Place with families and youth. The organization will use input from the focus groups to produce a full spectrum of tools and resources to educate youth and adults about Safe Place.

NSPN will execute a replicable Family Focus Awareness Program with families and adults across Greater Louisville and share the program with more than 1,400 Safe Place communities across the country.

“The UPS Foundation is honored to support NSPN’s efforts to supply Safe Place resources to youth and adults, strengthening the national safety net for youth,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and chief diversity and inclusion officer at UPS. “Our goal is to fund powerful programs that make a lasting difference to the global community.”

Established in 1951 and based in Atlanta, Ga., The UPS Foundation identifies specific areas where its backing clearly impacts social issues. In support of this strategic approach, The UPS Foundation has identified the following focus areas for giving: volunteerism, diversity, community safety and the environment.

In 2015, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $110 million in charitable giving around the world. To learn more about The UPS Foundation, visit www.ups.com/foundation.

About National Safe Place Network
National Safe Place Network (NSPN) provides quality training and technical support for youth and family service organizations across the country. Along with being a leading membership association offering tailored organizational development, training and professional development packages, NSPN also operates the nationally recognized programs Safe Place, HTR3, and the Family and Youth Services Bureau’s Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (RHYTTAC). To learn more, please visit www.nspnetwork.org.

 

A Way Home America: An Unprecedented Group of Stakeholders has Come Together to End Youth Homelessness

A Way Home America (AWHA), a new national initiative to build the movement to prevent and end homelessness among young people, formally launched on June 3. Together we are building on Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. National Safe Place Network is thrilled to be a part of the effort, adding our local knowledge and expertise.  

Youth homelessness remains a persistent challenge for our nation.But we are at a critical time to leverage local, state, and national efforts to end youth homelessness.

Efforts in local communities throughout the country are underway, efforts which often build on decades of experience with young people. The time is also ripe because federal agencies are addressing this issue in greater coordination than in the past and there is increased philanthropic commitment, research focus and public awareness.

The launch of A Way Home America corresponds with the White House Policy Briefing on Ending Youth Homelessness co-hosted by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness and the True Colors Fund.

NSPN is a part of this national collaboration because we know that we are jointly responsible and must work together.  AWHA is unique in that it includes the involvement of over 50 different organizations addressing youth homelessness.  Federal partners are engaged and at the table, including the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness which leads the coordinated federal response to homelessness and its member agencies. For more details, please visit www.awayhomeamerica.org

We must work together to leverage this momentum. In the coming year we will:

  • Learn from and authentically engage young people who have experienced homelessness about how to solve the problem.  
  • Identify actions and policies necessary to eliminate youth and young adult homelessness.  We’ll then be able to speak in a collective voice about what is needed.  
  • Accelerate our efforts in local communities by launching 100-Day Challenges that set ambitious goals for housing homeless youth and by sharing successful outcomes for replication nation-wide.
  • Elevate the issue of youth homelessness nationally.  

NSPN wants you to join the effort. Sign up for the A Way Home America newsletter at www.awayhomeamerica.org, join our social networks, connect with us and spread the word.

 

NSPN Member and Licensed Safe Place Agency, Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development, Works to End Human Trafficking


Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development, Arizona Partnership to End Domestic Trafficking 

How long has your agency provided RHY services?
Tumbleweed has been providing homeless and runaway services since 1974. Tumbleweed was awarded the Demonstration Domestic Trafficking grant on October 1, 2014. The Arizona Partnership to End Domestic Trafficking has been in providing trafficking specific services and community efforts for 15 months. 

Which RHY funded programs do you currently operate?
Our trafficking specific program is funded by the FYSB 2014 Demonstration Grant for Domestic Trafficking. We also have a Basic Center and Transitional Living Program. 

Briefly describe your service area:
Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development work with runaway and homeless youth age 12-25. Our partner agencies provide services for homeless youth and young adults and individuals who have experience trafficking age 18 and older.

What are some of the aspects of your DVHT program that you would highlight as successful?
The Arizona Partnership to End Domestic Trafficking combines three direct service agencies, along with a legal provider and two training and education agencies. The direct services agencies are able to leverage each other’s services if a client might need alternative placements, services and/or access to additional programs one might offer. Within the Partnership, we can follow best practice and keep a trauma-informed lens by being able to share information with the client’s consent to avoid client re-traumatization and provide more streamlined services access agencies. This has been a success that impacts our clients, case managers and improves program development by having a vast understand of our clients’ needs. Another success is our capacity to train, with our trainer Dr. Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, the Arizona Partnership to End Domestic Trafficking has trained 682 professionals and community members in the first year on human trafficking.

What are some of the challenges you have faced as an RHY grantee serving victim-survivors of human trafficking?
Our clients are homeless and extremely vulnerable to traffickers. Our client’s desire to achieve stability; however the process can be lengthy and can face many challenges. Many of our clients are in intimate relationships with their traffickers, experience domestic violence and have years of traumatic experiences that impact their ability to function in traditional educational and vocational programs. For some of our clients, the reliance on supportive services to meet their basic needs have been immense while establishing stability. Finally, the need for counseling services was an initial barrier as many clients do not have health care or even identification making the process complex and often frustrating for clients.  

Please share a short story of success, keeping in mind the confidentiality of all involved:
Sarah* arrived at Tumbleweed’s day resource center in February 2015. She had been trafficked through strip clubs and ended up in Arizona to reconnect with her birth family. She found herself homeless and being exploited. She was able to leave the life of trafficking shortly after being able to get into a shelter for young adults. Sarah has accessed our Learning Center, job skills development programs and regularly attended our Sex Trafficking Awareness and Recovery group while in the shelter. With the assistance of this grant, Sarah’s case manager connected her to our legal provider as she had concerns about warrants for her arrest in other states. With the knowledge provided about her criminal record she is moving forward toward applying for a finger print clearance card. After residing in our shelter for a couple months, she was able to move into her own place with the assistance of our program. In November 2015, she received multiple job offers, has been working full time and is able to pay a portion of her rent and bills.

*Name and some dates where changed

What information or experience would you be willing to share with other grantees?
The Arizona Partnership to End Domestic Trafficking hosted a Trafficking Summit in 2015 and is planning another for 2016; we created supportive materials available for distribution to assist in training and education. We are happy to share our documentation, flyers and program development to agencies!

What information would be helpful for you to receive from other grantees?
We believe it is important to understand other programs developed for trafficking victims, what is going well and obstacles. We would love more information on engaging domestic labor trafficking victims.   

How does your organization address Human Trafficking?
Our case managers are trained on sex and labor trafficking to help identify signs, techniques for engagement and how to assist victims of trafficking. We provide educational materials developed by Arizona State University and the Blue Campaign to agencies in Pima and Maricopa County to distribute. We table at events including victim services, LBGTQ events and host our own Summit to engage the community on learning about human trafficking in our community.

To learn more about Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development, please visit: www.tumbleweed.org

Contact Name: Melissa Brockie, MSW, Director of Health and Wellness
Phone Number: 602-741-7353
Email: [email protected]

 

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

On December 31, 2014, President Barack Obama called upon businesses, national and community organizations, families, and all Americans to recognize the vital roles we can play in ending all forms of slavery as he proclaimed the month of January to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. 

We encourage you to join us throughout January as we come together to increase awareness of human trafficking and combine our efforts to prevent it. Each week, the following topics will be highlighted to help move awareness and prevention efforts forward.  These topics include: About Human TraffickingRaising AwarenessHuman Trafficking Prevention, and Celebrating Survivors. The topics were created to make it easy for YOU to make a difference. Learn more, share the resources with others, take action if you suspect trafficking, and celebrate the survivors of this terrible crime.

Ready to start making a difference now? 

1.    Spread the word. Let others know what you’re learning about human trafficking each week. If you’re using social media, use the primary hashtag #EndHumanTrafficking as well as the corresponding hashtag for the week. Show your support to #EndHumanTrafficking.

Sample Social Media Posts:

Facebook:
While slavery is often considered to be a thing of the past, we know that millions of men, women and children are trafficked in the U.S. and other countries around the world. Traffickers use force, fraud or coercion to lure victims into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, a time to share information about slavery and human trafficking in order to effect change that will ultimately #EndHumanTrafficking. To learn more and get involved, please visit: http://www.nspnetwork.org/national-slavery-and-human-trafficking-prevention-month

Twitter:
It’s National Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Learn how you can get involved in the fight to #EndHumanTrafficking http://bit.ly/1mGJmF2 

2.    Check back. Visit this page each week for topic updates, resources, and social media post samples.

About Human Trafficking:

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines “severe forms of human trafficking” as:

  • The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for:
  • Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is inducted by force, fraud, and coercion, or in which the person inducted to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or,
  • Labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, and coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

Trafficking in persons, or human trafficking, is a widespread form of modern-day slavery. It is a crime that involves the exploitation of a person for the purpose of compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. If a person younger than 18 is inducted to perform a commercial sex act, it is considered a crime regardless of whether there is any force, fraud, or coercion. Human traffickers target all populations around the world and in our own neighborhoods: women, men, youth, children, citizens, non-citizens, English speakers, non-English speakers. Some groups, such as runaway and homeless youth, native individuals, domestic violence victims, and LGBTQ population are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking. Victims are recruited and lured by traffickers with the false promise of a better life, love, and job opportunities. Later, traffickers use violence, threats, and manipulation to controls their victims. Homeless youth who are forced to trade sexual acts with an adult in exchange of something of value (i.e. shelter, food) are considered victims of domestic sex trafficking.

Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise of this century, growing from a nine billion to a 32 billion dollar global industry in a little over a decade. There is no typical trafficker, and it has been shown that traffickers can be parents or other close family members, family friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, employers, smugglers or strangers.  Traffickers can be part of an organized enterprise or can work alone. Street gangs, for example, are known to traffic minors into the drug and sex markets. Don’t ignore the facts. Slavery exists and we can work together to end it.

Resources:

Sample Social Media Posts:
Share this week’s information and resources on your social media page(s).  Use the hashtag #SlaveryExists. Feel free to use the following sample social media posts below and download this week’s social media image at: https://nspn.memberclicks.net/assets/images/stop%20labor%20trafficking.jpg

Facebook:
There are several types of #humantrafficking. Learning more is the first step to making a difference. #EndHumanTrafficking: http://www.nspnetwork.org/national-slavery-and-human-trafficking-prevention-month

Twitter:
Believe it or not, #slaveryexists. Chances are, it's happening nearby. Learn more: http://bit.ly/1mGJmF2 #EndHumanTrafficking

Raising Awareness:

Are you “aware” of how much raising awareness makes a difference?  It’s not uncommon to hear someone ask “How does raising awareness actually help make a difference?”  Unfortunately, some people choose to ignore awareness campaign efforts because they believe they are not making a difference. If you’ve heard this question – or even asked it yourself – try breaking the term “raising awareness” down.

Raising – to increase the amount, level, or strength of.
Awareness – knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.

Now ask yourself – Have you ever been able to make an actual difference for something you know nothing about?  Raising awareness increases the amount of knowledge you have about a specific topic such as human trafficking, therefore increasing the efforts to put an end to it. You are strongly encouraged to learn more about human trafficking.  It’s up to you to work together with others to end human trafficking. Consider the cost of your decision. 

Resources:

Sample Social Media Posts:
Share this week’s information and resources on your social media page(s).  Use the hashtag #ConsiderTheCost.  Feel free to use the following sample social media posts below and download this week’s social media image at: https://nspn.memberclicks.net/assets/images/NSPN/consider-the-cost.jpg

Facebook:
Today is Human Trafficking Awareness Day – a time to share information, statistics and resources about human trafficking that occurs in the U.S. and across the world. In order to combat modern slavery, it’s crucial to inform and educate one another about the issue. The more people who know about human trafficking – the more people who may be willing to join the fight to #EndHumanTrafficking. Please click here to view resources and information that will help you raise awareness of human trafficking: http://www.nspnetwork.org/national-slavery-and-human-trafficking-prevention-month  #ConsiderTheCost

Twitter:
Make some noise and raise awareness about human trafficking: http://bit.ly/1mGJmF2 #EndHumanTrafficking #ConsiderTheCost

Human Trafficking Prevention:

Understanding human trafficking is just one of the first necessary steps that must be taken in order to #stopslavery.  But what’s next? Take steps to stop slavery by learning how to recognize the signs, talking to youth about what steps they can take to protect themselves and others, reporting suspected trafficking, and more.

By the time someone has been trafficked the system has already failed at what should be its primary goal: PREVENTION. We need to work to prevent human trafficking from occurring so the need for services doesn’t exceed the availability of services. Prevention efforts are not often sensational; however, focusing on preventing some of the risk factors that lead to an increased vulnerability to human trafficking will prove the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  

Have you ever wondered what to expect from prevention efforts?  A recent NSPNsights blog An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure shares:

Prevention efforts:

  • provide information, resources, and safety planning skills to potential victims;
  • attempt to reduce the likelihood that an individual will become a trafficker;
  • change societal norms that blame victims;
  • empower community members to recognize and respond to instances of trafficking; and,
  • advocate for changes to policies and laws to reduce the occurrence of trafficking across vulnerable populations.   

Read more of this blog, including Nine Principles of effective Prevention Programs here: https://nspnetwork.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/an-ounce-of-prevention-is-worth-a-pound-of-cure/

 Resources:

Sample Social Media Posts:

Share this week’s information and resources on your social media page(s).  Use the hashtag #StopSlavery.  Feel free to use the following sample social media posts below and download this week’s social media image at: https://nspn.memberclicks.net/assets/images/NSPN/stop-slavery.jpg

Facebook:
How do we #EndHumanTrafficking and #StopSlavery? It all starts with prevention. Learn the signs of human trafficking, know who to contact for help and understand what you can do to make your community a safer place: http://www.nspnetwork.org/national-slavery-and-human-trafficking-prevention-month

Twitter:
How do we #EndHumanTrafficking? It starts with prevention. http://bit.ly/1mGJmF2 #StopSlavery

If you think you’ve encountered a victim of human trafficking, call the national human trafficking hotline. In addition to the above indicators, the hotline’s multi- lingual operators can help service providers with identification. This hotline may also help you connect victims-survivors to available resources and connect you to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.  NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE: 888-373-7888

Celebrating Survivors:

Individuals who overcome tragedy, such as human trafficking, are survivors.  They are a living example that a person can get beyond their victimization and become a survivor. Organizations serving victims of human trafficking often work with survivors to offer positive coping strategies and act as role models for those in desperate need of relief.  Many organizations use the survivor-leadership model which helps develop the leadership and advocacy skills of human trafficking survivors for awareness-raising and advocacy efforts in the anti-human trafficking movement.  This model allows organizations to work with survivors by providing opportunities to selflessly share their stories without the risk of further exploitation. 

As survivors are celebrated this week, it’s also important to recognize organizations working to support survivors and end human trafficking.  NSPN would like to highlight a member organization and licensed Safe Place agency, Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development. 

Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development shares one of their success stories below: 
“Sarah* arrived at Tumbleweed’s day resource center in February 2015. She had been trafficked through strip clubs and ended up in Arizona to reconnect with her birth family. She found herself homeless and being exploited. She was able to leave the life of trafficking shortly after being able to get into a shelter for young adults. Sarah has accessed our Learning Center, job skills development programs and regularly attended our Sex Trafficking Awareness and Recovery group while in the shelter. With the assistance of this grant, Sarah’s case manager connected her to our legal provider as she had concerns about warrants for her arrest in other states. With the knowledge provided about her criminal record she is moving forward toward applying for a finger print clearance card. After residing in our shelter for a couple months, she was able to move into her own place with the assistance of our program. In November 2015, she received multiple job offers, has been working full time and is able to pay a portion of her rent and bills.”

*Name and some dates where changed

You may see more of this NSPN member highlight at:  http://www.nspnetwork.org/nspn-member-and-safe-place-agency-works-to-end-human-trafficking

Here are some additional organizations working with and celebrating victims-survivors of human trafficking: 

 Resources:

Sample Social Media Posts:

Share this week’s information and resources on your social media page(s).  Use the hashtag #StandWithSurvivors.  Feel free to use the following sample social media posts below and download this week’s social media image at: https://nspn.memberclicks.net/assets/images/NSPN/stand-with-survivors.jpg  

Facebook:
We stand with victims-survivors of human trafficking and celebrate the incredible work being done by organizations across the country working the #EndHumanTrafficking. Their experiences, challenges and triumphs are both heart-breaking and awe-inspiring. Click here to read stories of victim-survivors of human trafficking: http://www.nspnetwork.org/national-slavery-and-human-trafficking-prevention-month #StandWithSurvivors

Here is a NSPN Member and Licensed Safe Place agency who is sharing their efforts to combat human trafficking in their community: http://www.nspnetwork.org/nspn-member-and-safe-place-agency-works-to-end-human-trafficking 

Twitter:
We stand with victims-survivors & celebrate the great work being done to #EndHumanTrafficking #StandWithSurvivors http://bit.ly/1mGJmF2

Our work to end human trafficking does not end in January.  This issue continues and the work to end and prevent this crisis should continue as well. Together we can end human trafficking.

 

 

 

 View 2017 NSHTPM Campaign Resources View 2018 NSHTPM Campaign Resources

 

 
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