Local organization creating safe haven for trafficking victims
Women, even young girls, as well as some men and boys, are trapped in the dark world of sex and human trafficking. Some locals, including at least one sex trafficking survivor and victor, are fighting back and you can help.
Jubilee Havens Founder and Executive Director Sharon Robbins said, “Well, I am a survivor of trafficking, many, many years ago. I’ve had 17 years of counseling-healed, delivered and set free and ready to help those who are still in the mess.”
It’s a crime that hits close to home for Robbins and is happening right here in plain sight every day. “It’s more of a problem than some people realize. Hotels, casinos, major corporations. There’s the street trafficking, the middle trafficking and the high-class trafficking.”
Interstate 10 has been identified as a major corridor, Mardi Gras and other Coast festivals, common venues for human trafficking but Robbins and others like Debra Brown with Jubilee Havens want to provide an alternative for these victims, a safe place to land and the nonprofit is reaching out to the community to make an investment to help them build South Mississippi’s first-ever human trafficking shelter. “Even while we’ve been putting this home in process, we’ve actually been sending girls to locations that have already been established.”
Brown said, “We have an opportunity – a window of opportunity to own or finance a property in South Mississippi. We’re looking for, the campaign we’re on right now, it’s $140,000-that’s what it’s going to be for the owner financing but we have a $10,000 down payment. For the past 60 days, we’ve been on a campaign to raise that $10,000. At this moment, we’re up to $8,000. We have two weeks left – until July 31st – to meet that goal.”
Anyone can help. “We have renovations we need done. We need volunteers to do work in that aspect. We need monthly donors. People that will give whatever amount that might be. You can go to our website or they can send a check to P.O. Box 882, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, 39566.”
While the clock ticks down, there’s still time for those still entangled in this modern day slavery. “We know they have burner phones. our website. They can anonymously reach out to us and we can direct them in the right place.”