On November 16th Uffizi hosted our first Community Collaborative in partnership with RISE – Resiliency Interventions for Sexual Exploitation. We counted 35 partners in the room! It was a very excited kick off meeting but we have a large task ahead of us.
Lisa Conn, the Team Supervisor for the RISE project, shared about her work with local survivors and reminded us that these are “our kids.” I agree with her statement and strongly believe that the entire community must pull together to help the immediate, short term, and long term needs of local survivors of trafficking and sexual exploitation. Our motto for the Community Collaborative will be that we “own this opportunity.” We are asking for at least a two-year commitment from community partners as we move forward together.
So, what’s next?
We will have several working groups who will begin taking action in December to assist local survivors. My role will be to help guide the county wide collaborative and assist with a Flexible Local Dollars fund and housing placements for survivors who are 18 years of age or older. The Flexible Local Dollars fund with be hosted under the Uffizi Order and will be open soon.
Funds are needed to help our partners lovingly care for survivors they are currently working with or with whom they are initiating new relationships. Needs mentioned are anything from basic hygiene supplies, new clothing, assistance with dental work, to a few nights in a hotel for stabilization. Expect some communication from us soon when this fund is opened !
Thank you for your support – it makes all this possible. We know that God is seeking to surround these young women and men with the care they need and He is seeking justice on their behalf.
Even with all these partners engaged there is still room at the table! Contact me any time about getting involved!