Despite the great need for long-term safe housing for victims of trafficking, LifeWay Network is one of only two organizations in the New York metro area providing safe housing specifically for women survivors of human trafficking . The LifeWay Network Safe Housing Program is the only one in the metro New York area offering safe housing for survivors of both labor and sex trafficking, both domestic and foreign-born survivors.
Since 2009, LifeWay Network has offered short-term emergency harbor to women survivors.
In 2012 we opened our first long term transitional safe house, LifeWay House.
In April 2016 we expanded our program with the opening of our second long term safe house, LifeWay House 2. Read our announcement of the opening of our new safe house for women survivors.
Women are referred to us by service provider partners.When a woman arrives, she is welcomed into a supportive, caring environment that helps her move towards independence through education, social services and community life. Our goal is to provide support and services that enable each woman to recover from her trauma, regain her sense of self-worth, and move from isolation towards reclaiming a life of independence and growth.
Three women religious form a host community and live with the women at the safe house. A full-time house manager and part-time social worker also accompany the women on their journey to freedom. A case manager from the referring agency works with each woman and connects her with services to help them address the impact of their traumatic experiences, and prepare them for a self-sufficient future. These services might include legal assistance, medical and mental health care, and job skills training.
Many of the women attend school or work during this time, and are supported by tutoring from LifeWay volunteers. Activities such as arts and crafts, gardening, and movie nights provide much needed respite and opportunity for personal expression and enrichment. Most women are at the safe house for a year, and then make their transition to a life of independence.
LifeWay’s Emergency Safe Spaces Program
LifeWay Network also provides two beds for short-term emergency safe housing, until other arrangements can be made. During this period, which may range from days to weeks, a needs assessment is conducted by a case management provider, and plans made for a long-term living arrangement, which may include referral to LifeWay House.
In October 2014, Aspire Partnership, a collaboration of LifeWay Network and Covenant House New York, received a three-year anonymous grant to establish Aspire Home, to provide safe housing for Covenant House referrals of seven to ten women survivors of human trafficking for a stay up up to 12 – 18 months. Aspire Home welcomed its first two women residents in May 2015.