There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today – and some of them are right here in Birmingham! Shocking, isn’t it? Do you want to get involved in the battle to stop human trafficking, but you’re not really sure how to get started? Can you help stock a kitchen pantry? This is a local, hands-on way to help in the fight against trafficking! The WellHouse has new place for women to live. I was there this morning – washing windows. The new house is great – but it needs a good cleaning and it’s completely empty. The vision is coming true for a house that is going to be great refuge, but we need help getting it ready to move in over the next few days.
What is human trafficking? The U.N. Trafficking Protocol defines human trafficking as:
the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery or servitude.
What’s the Wellhouse? The WellHouse is a faith-based, nonprofit agency located in Alabama. We are an agency that provides emergency shelter to women who have been trafficked, are prostituting, or otherwise sexually exploited. The WellHouse, Inc. offers immediate shelter, food, clothing, spiritual guidance, and other necessary items to support exploited women. There are no other emergency shelters offering 24-hour, immediate housing assistance to exploited women in Alabama. Not only are we Alabama’s only 24- hour emergency shelter for women who have been exploited, but we are also the only one with no pre-set limitations on the length of time a woman may maintain her residency in safe, secure emergency housing. The WellHouse Staff has numerous contacts and associations with many agencies to provide supportive services to the residents. It is our main goal to ensure the women receive all of the services they need, either through referring them to other agencies and/or offering in-house services (i.e. mental health and/or substance abuse treatment referrals).
What can you do to help? Glad you asked! I’m tackling the issue of stocking the kitchen pantry. If you’re willing to help gather staples and basic kitchen essentials, leave me a comment and a way to contact you.
“This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed, cancel debts.
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’
Isaiah 58:6-9 The Message