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Innovation Award Finalists Offer New Ideas to Support Human Trafficking Survivors

Human Trafficking

Partnership for Freedom logo which shows two hands, a figure of a person and the words modern solutions to modern slavery.By Maria Alves-Rogers, Ph.D., MSW, Office of the Immediate Assistant Secretary (OAS) Trafficking in Persons Administration for Children and Families

Twelve finalists have been selected from the Reimagine: Opportunity award competition, a national search launched by the Partnerships for Freedom to find innovative solutions that would address critical issues facing survivors of modern slavery. The public-private partnership was first announced by President Obama during a speech he gave to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, calling on the nation to give survivors “a chance to forge a life equal to their talents and worthy of their dreams.” 

The Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has partnered with the Department of Justice, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Humanity United in the Partnership for Freedom.

“Tens of thousands of people are trapped in modern-day slavery in the United States, and they face a multitude of challenges when they get out,” said Catherine Chen, director of investments at Humanity United. 

The Partnership for Freedom received more than 160 entries from over 260 community organizations, service providers, hospitals, corporations, universities, governmental agencies and community coalitions in 39 states. Submissions focused on new ideas to improve sustainable housing, economic empowerment and social services.

The following 12 finalists will participate in a three-day innovative workshop in Washington, D.C., in January 2014 where they will pair up with expert coaches from social enterprise development, technology start-ups, medical and mental health experts, researchers, and other professionals before submitting their final proposals:

  • Accelerated Pathways to Recovery: International Rescue Committee, Inc., (New York).
  • Article 25 Project: Heartland Human Care Services (Chicago), in partnership with International Institute of Buffalo (Buffalo, N.Y.), International Institute of Connecticut, (Bridgeport, Conn.), International Institute of Minnesota (St. Paul, Minn.), International Institute of Boston, Inc., Safe Horizon, Heartland Alliance-Social IMPACT Research Center (Chicago), Milk Products Media (Chicago); and Corporate Disk Company (McHenry, Ill.).
  • Collaboration for a Safe Way Home: Covenant House (New York) in partnership with LifeWay Network (Forest Hills, N.Y.)
  • The Empowerment Project: District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH) in partnership with Courtney’s House and Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) (Washington, D.C.)
  • Homes for New Horizon: Pacific Gateway Center (Honolulu)
  • MGH Freedom Clinic: Massachusetts Attorney General Hospital, Division of Global Health and Human Rights.
  • The Networked Survivor: Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (Los Angeles).
  • New Jersey Human Trafficking Locator: Polaris Project (Washington, D.C.) in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.
  • SafeNight: Providing on demand shelter for human trafficking survivors: Caravan Studios, a division of TechSoup Global (San Francisco, Calif.) in partnership with TurnAround, Inc. (Irving, Texas).
  • THRIVE Partnership: Araminta Freedom Initiative (Baltimore) in partnership with TurnAround Inc. (Towson, Md.).
  • Utilizing a Medical-Legal Partnership Model to Provide Legal Services to Human Trafficking Survivors: The Medical-Legal Partnership at the University of Kansas School of Law in partnership with University of Kansas School of Law, Institute for Policy & Social Research at the University of Kansas, University of Kansas Medical Center (Kansas City, Kan.), Rose Brooks Center (Kansas City, Mo.), National Center for Medical Legal Partnership (Washington, D.C.)
  • Value Added Opportunity: GreenHouse17 (Lexington, Ky.)

Learn more about the ideas at

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