Alicia's Story

Jan 27, 2020 | by Salvation Army Orange County

“As a survivor and all of the sacrifice I’ve been through, I know with the help of this program, we will be out of danger... The Salvation Army will be there anytime we need them.”

                                                                                   -Alicia

There’s an invisible crisis happening in Orange County. And The Salvation Army needs your help to fight it.

Orange County is a hub of human trafficking. Many victims are teens and young women who have been physically or sexually abused. Some are runaways. Others are foster kids who’ve been moved from one home to another, never knowing a family’s love.

One Orange County victim who has experienced this is a young woman named “Alicia.”

Alicia never met her parents. She spent most of her teens in foster care. Sadly, she fell victim to a predator who pretended to care about her. Soon Alicia was being sex trafficked. Only substance abuse helped numb the pain.

Eventually, Alicia came to Orange County where – thankfully – local police arrested her trafficker. They brought her to The Salvation Army’s shelter for sex trafficking victims, called Thatiana’s Home.

At Thatiana’s Home, she received food, clothing, and referrals for medical and mental health care. In addition, we helped her obtain badly needed dental care and eyeglasses.

The Salvation Army also provided Alicia with counseling, job training, and other services to help her start over. Today, she is employed and substance-free. She has also been reunited with her 3-year- old daughter. After she earns her high school diploma, she wants to pursue a higher education so she can support her daughter independently.

 

“Human trafficking in Orange County occurs in plain sight"

 

Shockingly, nearly a third of human trafficking victims like Alicia are girls under 18, according to the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force.

The Salvation Army is committed to fighting this despicable crime. With your help, we’re restoring the lives of trafficking victims in Orange County.

We run two safe houses. Thatiana’s Home is the first 24-hour staffed emergency shelter for sex trafficking victims in Orange County. We also operate the Guest House for foreign-born victims of labor trafficking.

We meet survivors’ most pressing needs first: safe shelter, food, clothes, and referrals for medical and mental health care.

The Salvation Army also provides the longer-term resources that trafficking victims need to journey from crisis to healing.

When possible, we help them reunite with their families. We also provide educational assistance and job training. Some of our clients receive culinary training, while others become certified nursing assistants. When they’re ready to live on their own, The Salvation Army provides rental assistance and furnishings.

These services help transform lives. In a report by OCHTTF, one of our clients summed it up this way:  “As a survivor and all of the sacrifice I’ve been through, I know with the help of this program, we will be out of danger... The Salvation Army will be there anytime we need them.”

Your gift to The Salvation Army will provide shelter, food, counseling, and much more to trafficking victims like Alicia and others in crisis, so they can build new lives of dignity and purpose.


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