Among the many alarming consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City has been the increase in New Yorkers vulnerable to human sex trafficking. As trafficking rates have soared over the past two years, so too has the need for more trauma-informed, survivor-centered housing programs and culturally sensitive services to support New Yorkers in need.
Human trafficking is a devastating and under-addressed crisis in New York City, one of the largest destinations for trafficked individuals in the country. Survivors—the majority of whom are women, undocumented, and immigrants—represent some of the poorest, most disadvantaged, and underserved populations in the city.
Realizing the impact of innovative housing and economic-empowerment solutions, the Foundation provided a grant of $175,000 to Restore NYC, a nonprofit organization making freedom real for survivors of trafficking in the United States by providing safe transitional housing, case management, clinical counseling, and economic empowerment services.
The grant enabled Restore NYC to expand its counseling and housing programs for survivors of trafficking. Survivors received clinical services where staff would provide trauma-sensitive, evidence-based assistance, including: acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, expressive arts, and animal assisted therapy.
As a survivor-centered organization, Restore NYC provides invaluable services to create a path to healing and independence through housing and economic empowerment services. Once a woman is identified as a survivor of trafficking, she can enroll in Restore NYC’s long-term programs to receive case management, safe housing, and job placement.
Women participating in Restore NYC’s programming are ages 18-70 and represent nearly 61 counties of origin. 47% of clients identify as homeless at intake; 58% percent identify as undocumented; 66% are mothers; and 75% have an arrest history.
Organizations like Restore NYC are few and far between, yet vital in helping survivors regain the financial freedom and independence to find a path forward.
To learn more about Restore NYC’s efforts, visit their website here.