January Newsletter

January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Human trafficking is a hidden and pervasive crime where victims are unable to seek help due to language barriers, fear of their traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement. Stopping it often requires a third-party recognizing that a person they’ve observed may be a victim of human trafficking, and reporting it. This is why creating awareness and educating the public on how to identify human trafficking is important to put an end to it.

What is Human Trafficking?

Human Trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to exploit human beings for the purposes of commercial sex or forced labor. Every year, millions of individuals are trafficked worldwide – including right here in the United States. It can happen in any community and victims can be of any age, race, gender, or nationality. Vulnerable populations, including undocumented immigrants and refugees, are susceptible to trafficking situations.

Types of Human Trafficking

Sex Trafficking: Commercial sex act induced by force, fraud or coercion. Victims may be found working in massage parlors, brothels, strip clubs, and escort services.

Labor Trafficking: Using force, fraud or coercion to recruit, harbor, transport, obtain, or employ a person for labor or services in involuntary servitude, peonage, or debt bondage. Victims may be found in domestic situations as nannies or maids, sweatshop factories, janitorial jobs, construction sites, farm work, and restaurants.

Human Trafficking Red Flags

While not an exhaustive list, these are some key red flags that could alert you to a potential labor trafficking situation:

  • Living with employer
  • Poor living conditions
  • Multiple people in cramped space
  • Inability to speak to the individual alone
  • Employer withholding individual's legal documents
  • Signs of physical abuse
  • Submissive or fearful
  • Unpaid or paid below minimum wage

How can you help?

Everyone has a shared responsibility to help keep our communities and cities safe. Combating Human Trafficking begins with educating ourselves and knowing how, when, and where to report. The Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) has released a new impact report about human trafficking. This report focuses on the realities of human trafficking; how it happens, to whom, and what can be done to combat it.

Read CAST's Full Report

Below are two phone numbers for use if you suspect a trafficking situation.

Report Suspected Human Trafficking to Federal Law Enforcement: 1-866-347-2423

Get Help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888

Opening Doors' Survivors of Trafficking Program

Opening Doors’ Survivors of Human Trafficking Program assists survivors' successful transition away from trafficking situations and helps to foster increased independence and reintegration into the community.

This program provides services that are client-centered, culturally responsive, trauma-informed and connects them to appropriate resources to create victim-centered case management plans.

Our Welcome House is providing temporary housing to survivors as they seek out long-term housing solutions. Other support services include but not limited to mental health and counseling services; employment and life skills support; immigration legal services; and transportation assistance.

In 2022, the Survivors of Human Trafficking program provided support to 81 survivors, all of whom were connected with mental health services.

Title 42 Must End

Title 42 is a public health law invoked during the COVID-19 pandemic by the Trump administration to remove asylum seekers under the premise that they pose a threat to public health. Despite calls for the removal of Title 42, the Biden administration expanded the policy further.

Seeking asylum is a legal right. This policy has already been used to discriminate and expel over two million immigrants since the Trump administration, eroding their legal rights to claim asylum at the border. It creates a system that excludes asylum seekers based on nationality and not according to their protection needs. Citizens from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Venezuela especially face a very high probability of being expelled under Title 42.

By preventing people in need of protection from claiming asylum, Title 42 exposes expelled migrants to grave dangers where people are stranded; families are separated and unaccompanied children are exposed to stress and abuse. The new policy jeopardizes the foundational values of welcome and dignity. Everyone deserves to experience stability, self-sufficiency, and belonging. The Biden Administration must put an end to Title 42 and reverse course.

Thank You to Our Community of Welcome

Our 2022 End of Year Fundraiser was a success and we cannot thank our Community of Welcome enough for all the generous support. We were able to raise over $60,000.


Your generous contribution will go towards providing critical services to refugees, immigrants, and survivors of trafficking that are not covered by restricted grants.

Thank you to all of our new and continued donors. Your unwavering support enables us to continue the Work of Welcome. Consider setting up a recurring donation to support the Work of Welcome all year long.


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Supporting survivors.

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