Delaware United Way first in Ohio to fund human trafficking victims

Delaware is combatting human trafficking every day.

Delaware County's United Way is one of the first in the country - the only United Way in the nation - that directly funds services for victims who have been preyed upon, hidden and are trapped.

United Way’s mission is to use volunteers and advocacy to empower social service movements within communities.

Photo via Delaware County Against Human Trafficking Coalition

Most coalitions are compilation of multiple counties, but in Delaware County the coalition focuses strictly on this area.

In January 2017, the coalition began an awareness campaign for National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention month. The campaign focuses on incorporating the community, state and national anti-human trafficking leaders into a solid group to fight for the freedom of trafficking victims.

Opportunities are offered to the community for training about this issue and what can be done to help the enslaved. Once any Delaware County resident has attend a workshop, they’re qualified to be a part of the Speakers’ Bureau.

Within the coalition, Salvation Army welcomes Delaware residents to be a part of their community street outreach program. Members of Salvation Army and community residents drive into neighborhoods where women commonly walk and wait around to be rapped, mugged or worse. They provide personal care supplies to the women along with a phone number and address of a drop-in help center. They also provide warm embraces to show the community cares.

The coalition brings together a community through volunteering while also opening their eyes to the secret slavery industry that’s happening in one’s own backyard.

Delaware County’s United Way is partnered with several agencies, including The Salvation Army, which provides a first response service to human trafficking cases, such as the street outreach program.

Delaware’s Salvation Army also provides a safe house for survivors and recovery programs for victims. Help includes basic human trafficking training sessions for the residents and once fully trained, community members can work directly with survivors.

The Delaware coalition hopes to increase awareness and education within the county by being the voice for these victims.