There is a big issue that continues to plague the streets of Texas, and the numbers are still shocking.
Texas is number two in the country for human trafficking. Dallas ranks second in the state. At any given time, there are 234,000 victims in Texas. Nearly 80,000 of them are minors; 400 teens are sold on the streets of Dallas each night.
This is why the battle against human trafficking is even harder during the pandemic.
Dallas-based nonprofit New Friends New Life is on a mission to continue their promise to help survivors, despite their recent lack of resources. They say this is a time when those services are needed most.
"People are seeking help, and we have to be ready," said New Friends New Life CEO Kim Robinson at their 2019 luncheon.
Their mission is to restore and empower formerly trafficked teen girls, and sexually exploited women and their children. The nonprofit organization provides access to education, job training, mental health and spiritual support, as well as a variety of support services.
With the inability to host in person events, which are the lifeblood of most nonprofits in terms of raising money, Robinson says it makes it challenging to be able to serve its members.
The latest news from around North Texas.
“We are dealing with cutbacks. We are dealing with the possibility of not having a substantial portion of the income that we had planned at the beginning of the year. Our services are needed more now than ever, so that survivors who are feeling the desperation maybe of losing their job, maybe of having their hours cut, not being able to feed themselves or their family, don't turn to something from their past as a way to earn some quick cash,” said Robinson. “They need to know that you're going to be available in the good times and the bad. So we work hard establishing those relationships. Keeping in contact with them is a critical element during this pandemic, because that's a part of the trust relationship, letting them know that we're still going to find ways to be there for them and to continue our clinical services."
COVID-19 has also brought about an uptick in online exploitation. Robinson says they've seen a significant rise in the number of individuals, particularly young people that are being exploited online.
The organization wants people to step up and donate in any way they can, and not just financially. You can donate your talents as well to the organization.
For more on how you can help: https://www.newfriendsnewlife.org/