Nicole's Journey to Freedom

Jan 6, 2020


        Nicole came to us from our partner organization, Project Kinship, after a three-week stint in jail due to an existing warrant for her arrest. Three years ago, police identified her as a victim of trafficking and put out a warrant for her arrest in an effort to pressure her to testify against her trafficker. Afraid of testifying, she fled California and ended up with another trafficker that took her to Texas and isolated her from friends and family.  She eventually made it back to California and was under the control of a third trafficker when she was picked up by police and arrested. When released from jail she had: no cell phone, no birth certificate, no state id, no social security card, no health insurance, no access to income, no communication with family, no clothes or belongings. Her progress outlined below shows her journey into a life beyond human trafficking.



  • The staff took Nicole shopping on the first night and got her clothes, shoes, and personal items (2/13/19).
  • On Day 2 at Thatiana’s House, we were able to get her a replacement ID (2/15/19).
  • She went to court to testify against trafficker and was cleared of all charges (2/21/19).
  • Submitted FAFSA paperwork to begin applying to Cal State Fullerton school of cosmetology (2/27/19).
  • Started therapy (2/28/19).
  • Got on Medi-Cal and was able to access necessary prescription medications (2/28/19).
  • Had her first eye appointment in over two years courtesy of a free clinic. Was able to get glasses and new contact lenses, which she needed desperately. This was a huge deal because she had been wearing the same pair of contacts – without taking them out – for over a year (2/29/19).
  • Interviewed for long-term housing with Orangewood’s The Lighthouse (3/5/19).
  • Once replacement ID arrived, Nicole applied for a new copy of her birth certificate via Vital Chek.  Her birth certificate arrived days later (3/13/19).
  • Began part-time employment at International Sanctuary (3/15/19).
  • Applied for her social security card on 3/13.  Her card arrived (3/29/19).
  • On April 9, 2019, Nicole moved into long-term housing.


        Nicole stayed at our safe home, Thatiana’s Home, for 55 days.  Through our programs, therapy, and the support we provided her, Nicole was able to find housing, obtain a stable job, and start to live a life of freedom!

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