July 2014

Vol. 6 Issue 3

Latest News and Updates
In This Issue:
New County Ordinance Deters Traffickers
Father Reunites with Long Lost Daughter
4 Essential Steps To Take Charge of Your Finances

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A special thank you to the following organizations for 
supporting our programs through generous grants.
Financial Literacy Classes
National Association of Development Companies
Prosperity Project
Soroptimist International 
of Sacramento
Survivors of Trafficking
Wells Fargo  
Prosperity Project
Festival of Flavors
Thank you to those who joined us for World Refugee Day at our Festival of Flavors! Our first evening fundraising event was incredibly successful and we look forward to hosting more events in the future.



       We are excited to celebrate the positive changes brought about by the generosity and hard work of our supporters, clients, and staff. Victories like the ones reported this month have a huge impact in our community and in our clients' lives. Thank you for sharing in our joy! 





Debra DeBondt

Chief Executive Officer

Opening Doors, Inc. 

Opening Doors Helps Pass Ordinance to Stop Traffickers

For the past two years, Sacramento Against Sex Slavery in Massage Parlors (SASSMP) campaign has been rallying the Sacramento community to fight human trafficking in massage parlors on a legislative level.


This month we made a great leap forward! Starting July 10, 2014, massage licenses cannot be approved for a full year in the same location where a prior massage parlor was shut down for illicit activity. This restriction will encourage property owners to lease to upstanding businesses and break the cycle of illegal massage parlors who are engaged in trafficking from reappearing in the same building under a different name.


We are making great strides in ending trafficking in massage parlors by increasing and enforcing regulations that deter traffickers. Through the SASSMP campaign, Opening Doors is at the forefront of this fight by educating the community and uniting local government, neighborhood associations, business owners, and massage professionals on this issue.


Without your support, illicit massage parlors will go unchecked and traffickers will continue to exploit the system. You can take action now by donating online. Your gift will enable us to increase our advocacy efforts in the next year.


You can learn more about combating trafficking in massage parlors on our websiteand don't forget to follow us on social media.
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"It felt like the dead had come back to life":

A Father Reunites with Long Lost Daughter

James sent his daughter from Africa to America with hope that she would get an education and have the opportunity to live the American dream. He never imagined that his young daughter would become a victim of human trafficking in California. For ten years he was unable to contact her, and having no way to find her, James lost all hope of ever seeing his daughter again. Until one day he received a phone call that changed his life.


When James first heard his daughter's voice on the phone he thought, "How is this possible? It felt like the dead had come back to life." He soon discovered that his daughter had escaped her trafficker and was getting help from Opening Doors to restart her life in safety. She also told him that Opening Doors would assist the family's move to the U.S. to help her safety and prosperity.


Three years later, James, his wife, and their four children arrived at the Sacramento Airport where their lost daughter was waiting. James recalled the moment he saw his daughter after ten years of separation: "There was no way to contain my excitement. There were tears of joy, tears of lost and found, tears of could this be a dream?"


An Opening Doors staff member welcomed the family, finally reunited, home. For the next six months, Opening Doors provided the family with basic necessities, a lawyer for their trafficking case, and anything they would need to adjust to life in the U.S. "Opening Doors gave us a good foundation," James said. "Their presence made us feel like we had been here for years." Now that his family is self-reliant and thriving, James is full of hope for the future.




Survivors of trafficking often cannot return to their home country because they face serious threats to their lives. Opening Doors helps immediate family members of survivors immigrate to the U.S. and assists in the reunification process. Reuniting families alleviates emotional and financial stress for the survivor, while also ensuring the safety of the entire family from ongoing threats from traffickers.

4 Essential Steps 
To Take Charge of 
Your Personal Finances

Taking charge of your personal finances is hard when you're making close to minimum wage. This is something Gabriel Garcia learned after he moved to America to provide a better future for his family. He was quickly discouraged when he could only find work as a busboy, despite his education and work experience. Gabriel had dreamed of starting his own business, but he was living month-to-month and thought it would be impossible to save money. 


After enrolling in Opening Doors' MoneyWork$ program, Gabriel discovered it was not only possible to save, but in just one year he could take control of his financial future and start his own business. 

Follow these 4 essential steps, as Gabriel did, to take charge of your financial future!
1. Create a monthly budget
Gabriel created a monthly budget that had him living within his means. He followed this budget with strict discipline, knowing that his current spending plan would have a lasting impact on his future.
2. Regularly review spending plan and make adjustments
Gabriel regularly reviewed his spending plan and made adjustments to his monthly budget based on his family's changing needs. While it is important to stick to a long-term plan to achieve major goals, Gabriel learned that it is also necessary to be flexible.
3. Identify spending leaks in order to cut back on monthly expenses
Gabriel identified spending leaks and was able to cut back on his monthly expenses, which left him with additional income at the end of each month. 
4. Save
Gabriel was able to start a savings account to cover the start-up costs of his business.


After successfully completing the MoneyWork$ program, Gabriel felt in charge of his finances. Inspired by the progress he had made, Gabriel continued his self-improvement by taking other Financial Capabilities classes offered by Opening Doors. We guided him through the necessary steps of obtaining a business license and permit and soon he was able to open his very own printing business. 
Gabriel acknowledges that the financial skills he gained through Opening Doors' programs were essential to his ability to save money and achieve his American dream. 
You can do it, too!