FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) —A Florence nonprofit is hoping to empower women who have lived through human trafficking, prostitution and addiction.
Holos Hope says they are fighting back against the billion-dollar human trafficking industry by helping women change their lives.
“Taking that first step takes a lot of courage, and you can still be afraid. And so, I would encourage them to take that first step and know that they have a group of people that are rallying around them and supporting them the whole way,” Amy Daughtry Thompson, Director of Holos Hope, said.
Holos Hope is becoming a safe haven for victims of human trafficking, prostitution and addiction. While many would think that it’s not happening in Alabama, some say because Alabama is so central – that’s why this is the ideal place for it to occur.
“Alabama is the number one state for family trafficking, which is a family member trafficking another family member, and here in the Shoals we’re really close to Huntsville, Birmingham, Atlanta, Nashville – so there just that corridor, I-20 is a sex trafficking super highway of the United States and so it’s a prevalent area. Where there’s an interstate, there’s trafficking. Anywhere there’s movement, there’s trafficking,” said Thompson.
Holos Hope says a lot of the women who make it out of trafficking and return to their lives have been written off by their family or friends, and they walk into the facility hopeless. The nonprofit says its role is to give them a chance to be heard, and if anyone is currently still in the situation, they want them to hear this message:
“There are people here who view their life as worth living and the future can seem really scary you know a two-year program seems impossible sometimes and just taking it one day at a time. I would just want to tell that person one their life is worth living two we see them we hear them and we know that their there and we would be more than honored to be a part of their story,” Thompson said.
Holos Hope says it takes $50,000 per woman to provide medical, dental, therapy, food and other basic necessities for women who come to their facility they have recently had a fundraiser, but they say they need monthly donors to keep going.