Restore NYC's mission is to make freedom real for survivors of trafficking in the United States.
Martha first came to the United States 17 years ago to start her new job. Her new job was as a babysitter for a couple who lived in New York. When she arrived in New York, however, there was no babysitting job. Martha was forced to give up her documents, and she was put to work in different venues where she also had to give up her wages to the couple she lived with. If she didn’t comply, they threatened her family and threatened to have her deported. She was eventually coerced into working at a strip club. For 17 years, her family had no idea what was happening to her.
Martha was finally able to escape when one day she visited a church, where a woman approached her because she sensed something was wrong. The woman gave Martha her phone number. After being abused by her trafficker, Martha fled and called the woman she had met at the church. The woman knew of Restore NYC and connected Martha to us. After referring Martha to Restore NYC, the woman accompanied her to Restore NYC’s office in February of this year.
Thank you for generously supporting Restore’s mission and helping to make freedom real for survivors of trafficking. We can not do this work alone and are so grateful for your partnership!Jenna Conarroe, Restore NYC
From there, Restore NYC began crisis intervention and resource coordination for Martha. First, we did safety planning and helped her to turn off location settings on her phone so her trafficker could not find her. Then, we reached out to our partner organization, Polaris, to find a hotel for Martha where she could be in a safe and confidential location until longer-term housing was found. For the next few days, Martha stayed in hotels and worked with our on-call team to receive her basic necessities, as well as receive emotional support. She was then moved into a safe temporary shelter.
Afterwards, Martha enrolled in case management with Restore, which focuses on the unique and individualized needs and goals of the survivor. Martha was soon referred to Restore’s Housing program. She met with the Housing Manager for an intake and visited the transitional home. Martha loved it and decided to move in.
Martha also decided she would benefit from clinical counseling to process her trauma from her trafficking experience. So Martha was enrolled into Restore NYC’s clinical counseling and began receiving trauma-informed and client-specific interventions. A few weeks later, she began Restore NYC’s Supportive Services class, where she received extensive life skills and job-readiness training to equip her in her transition into the workplace. Even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, she completed the class and graduated with a certificate of completion.
Martha is thriving in the Safehome, and she meets with her clinical counselor weekly. She and her case manager continue to work on her goals and needs, and now she is preparing to enter the workforce.