Asked why she chose to work at LifeWay Network, Audrienne Boyd says simply, “The mission of LifeWay spoke to me. I wanted to help change the future for women survivors of human trafficking.” As the Director of Safe Housing, Audrienne is doing that every day, bringing strong clinical, organizational and mentorship skills to the role.
An experienced social worker, Audrienne had previously overseen a supportive housing program for people struggling with substance abuse, mental health problems and post-incarceration issues. She understands the value of a stable living environment for vulnerable populations.
Survivors of human trafficking are some of the most vulnerable. “Each of our survivors has experienced trauma. Some are further along the path of healing than others. We meet each survivor where they are.” Survivors need a place that provides security and comfort for both physical and emotional healing. LifeWay Network’s Safe Housing Program provides a supportive and nurturing home environment where survivors live with a unique 24/7 live-in host community comprised of three women religious. LifeWay utilizes a restorative community model that encourages survivors to set goals, address issues and share progress with the host community, house manager, and social worker on a regular basis.
Audrienne believes LifeWay Network’s community living model is a great advantage, allowing survivors to interact with and gain support from other women who are also overcoming trauma. “Living together, sharing experiences and supporting one another models and promotes healthy relationships,” she notes. “One of our greatest challenges is helping our survivors establish trust. Building trust is incremental and essential. Life in our safe houses fosters that connection.”
LifeWay Network’s trauma-informed approach focuses on counseling and educational workshops designed to facilitate survivors’ transition to independent living. Audrienne notes, “It is so satisfying to see a survivor make positive steps. We celebrate every milestone because our survivors are overcoming so much.”
To ease the transition to independence, LifeWay Network recently established a Restorative Community mentorship program, Welcoming and Inspiring New Growth as Sisters (WINGS). This evidence-based program is a collaboration with the Beck Institute on Religion and Poverty within the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services. Audrienne will facilitate this program, providing survivors with another step toward reclaiming their lives.
“LifeWay Network is able to offer these comprehensive services to our survivors and alumnae because of the dedication of our staff and the commitment and generosity of our donors. I’m so honored to be part of this mission.”
Born and raised in New York City (Queens & Brooklyn), Audrienne was drawn to helping others. Following her father’s example, she went into social work.
Audrienne holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Sociology major from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Masters of Social Work from Adelphi University.