In 2018 the SB Coalition for Freedom was able to launch its working groups advocating in their work advocating for survivors across SB County.
The Education working group hosted its first “Train the Trainers” in June, an event in which over 25 people were prepared to deliver human trafficking prevention trainings across the county. Prevention education is a major need, especially for those working in SB County’s bustling tourism industry (hotels, bars, and more). This year alone, over 1200 received human trafficking prevention education through more than 17 education events including an International Women’s Day mixer, a “Trace the Case” event at the Faulkner Gallery, and multiple trainings for homeless service providers.
The Housing & Supportive Services working group began bringing together all county housing & service providers to discuss the reality of needs for local survivors and how best to streamline services. Through the support of SB ACT staff and this working gorup, Good Samaritan Shelter (Santa Maria) was able to open SB County’s first-ever emergency and transitional shelters for adult survivors of trafficking. Additionally, partners from this working group have begun to work on a plan to build a long-term Continuum of Care for survivors of trafficking, from discovery through reintegration into society.
The Outreach working group hosted the first annual SAFE At Home Kickball Tournament in 2018 as a fundraiser for the SB Coalition for Freedom and an outreach & awareness event for the SB Public. Over 90 people turned out to play in the tournament and to attend the afterparty at Topa Topa Brewing Co. This working group is now planning a vigil for Human Trafficking Awareness Day - you can find more details here.
We hope you’ll join us in the new year as we work to expand our reach and support even more local survivors!