As LifeWay continues to Shed Light on Trafficking in 2022, we are reminded that having the “choice” to work, where to work, and to quit, is not the case in the commercial sex industry. Once empowered to leave their trafficking situation, the survivors are well aware they will need support to heal, be treated with dignity and have the chance to flourish. While safe housing is the most important need, there are many other ways survivors of trafficking can flourish. Safe and dignified work is another pathway to a sustainable recovery. Dignified work helps the survivor to identify as more than just a survivor.
Access to professional clothing not only helps the survivors secure jobs, but it also has a positive impact on the survivor’s overall wellbeing. LifeWay understands this need and, with its survivors’ input, created a “Dress for Success Closet” in our safe house. With over 90% of the survivors gainfully employed, the demand for appropriate clothing for interviews and appointments grew immensely.
In 2021 our fully stacked closet was destroyed by Hurricane Ida, leaving nothing to salvage. It was quite devastating as we worked hard to collect the items for the survivors. Our thoughtful and supportive partners rushed in to show their solidarity and funding to rebuild all that was lost. Our partner, Trinity Church Wall Street, not only supported us with a significant donation, but they also rebuilt our “Dress for Success Closet,” we are beyond grateful and the survivors couldn’t be more excited, not having to worry about buying an outfit for work, interviews, court appointments, is one less stress to deal with. We want to give a heartfelt thank you to all the parishioners who went beyond the call, making sure the women have the necessary tools. We also want to thank the leadership of Trinity Church Wall Street for their quick call to action and service.