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Justice with Jessica: Safe house for trafficking survivors needs your help

Safe house for trafficking survivors needs your help
sex trafficking
Posted at 8:21 AM, Feb 03, 2023

Tens of thousands of people are trafficked in and through the U.S. each year. When people escape trafficking, they often don't have anywhere to go.

That's why the organization Covered Colorado opened a safe house for survivors of sex trafficking in January.

"They just need a place to take a breath," says Johanna Spille, the founder of Covered Colorado. "I think for a survivor to step into the safe house, it's meeting that basic need of safety. It's giving them a chance to breathe, and think about what their next steps should be."

For many survivors, sorting out their futures can be difficult when they're still unsure about their lives right now.

"I think a lot of them go, 'I don't know (what I want to do), I haven't slept a full night, in a very long time. The last time I ate was a few days ago,'" says Spille.

The people staying at the safe house will get the chance to participate in a six to eight month residential program to create stability in their lives and decide what they want to do next.

They'll also receive counseling and job training.

Covered Colorado is still collecting donations to fill the safe house with items with will make it feel like home.

To purchase an item on their registry, click here. To donate money, click here.

"They get their own bed, new bedding, all of that," says Spille. "New towels, new clothing, coats. You know, many of them don't have the warm clothes that they need here in Colorado."

The organization also collects are supplies, as some of the survivors heal through art.

One survivor, who wants to remain nameless, painted a picture of darkness with a light spot in the middle.

The light represented the small amount of hope she had of overcoming her past trafficking experiences.

"I was able to just express how I was feeling," she says. "People had started donating art supplies to me and just encouraged me to continue that healing until it became just like a gift that I was able to use."

That survivor has come a long way since going through the program.

She now sells her art online through this shop on Etsy.

To visit her Etsy store, click here.

She also uses her talent to help others.

"I teach classes art classes to survivors sometimes," she says.

Spille says the safe house is already having a positive impact on the one survivor who is staying there now— she was able to sleep soundly for the first night in a long time.

As more survivors fill the house, Spille hopes that the secure sense of community will help them thrive.

"It's helping them be able to restore through counseling, restore through art," she says. "To get back on their feet. To have a safe place to raise their children. To step into the life that was intended for them, instead of what was stolen from them."

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