I hope all is well with you as you enter this New Year and begin, again. For me, January has included and will continue to include a focus on community awareness, particularly within faith communities about the realities of human trafficking locally. I presented to Santa Barbara’s Soroptimists about trafficking in Santa Barbara County and how our community is responding against it. Jeff and I will also be leading a workshop at the Santa Barbara Missions Conference, highlighting information from the Needs Assessment I worked on last year.
I’m continuing to work with faith communities, tying interested churches and individuals into partnership with local agencies and organizations to meet particular needs experienced by survivors. We are in the middle of solidifying a core team, identifying the resource-needs we will seek to meet, and coordinating educational awareness for the church-body as a whole.
This winter, I am also hoping to identify people interested in developing and funding creative housing solutions, as well as a daytime treatment center connected with a project launching locally called RISE (Resiliency Interventions for Sexual Exploitation). Please reach out to me if you’re interested!
Over the next four months I will also be working with Uffizi’s new intern, Haley! As a sophomore at Westmont, Haley is participating in the college’s new Downtown Center for Social Entrepreneurship, which involves finding an internship in Santa Barbara. She will be working with friends in the park at Bread of Life, a Thursday night meal sharing in Alameda Park, and immersing herself in restorative court, responses to human trafficking, and other rehabilitation efforts for vulnerable people. I look forward to working with her this semester!
Thank you (truly!) for your continued support and interest. May we continue to address problems as opportunities by God’s abundant grace and creativity!