Iowa Non-Profit Services and Resources for Victims of Human Trafficking

(The following human trafficking resources are funded by the Crime Victims Assistance Division of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office)

Download this list by clicking here: Iowa Victims of Human Trafficking Services and Resources, revised September 29, 2017 (PDF).

  1. Braking Traffik/Family Resources, headquarted in Davenport
    • Provides comprehensive services to victims of both labor and sex trafficking covering Region 5 of the crime victim’s area map. (SE Iowa)
    • Contact information: 563-468-2383; Marisa M. is the contact person. The toll-free 24/7/365 crisis line is 866-921-3354.
    • Service Description: Braking Traffik/Family Resources provides services as the victim needs them (trauma-informed) that could include housing, counseling, medical and court advocacy while collaborating with law enforcement and other community agencies; training and public awareness around trafficking issues; and safety and well-being of victims.
    • The agency address is 2800 Eastern Ave, Davenport, however, they are also providing mobile advocacy and can go to where the victims are located – primarily serving victims in Clinton, Jackson, Louisa, Muscatine and Scott Counties but will consider referrals from anywhere in eastern Iowa.
  2. Cedar Valley Friends of the Family, headquartered in Waverly
    • Provides comprehensive services to victims of both labor and sex trafficking covering Region 3 of the crime victim’s area map. (NE Iowa)
    • Contact information: 319-352-1108, point of contact is Ben Brustkern, website is
    • Service Description: Friends of the Family provides services as the victim needs them (trauma-informed) that could include housing, counseling, medical and court advocacy while collaborating with community partners; training and public awareness around trafficking issues and safety and well-being of victims.
    • The agency address is PO Box 784, Waverly – however they will also be opening a location in Postville Iowa by December 2016. The agency also provides mobile advocacy and goes to where the victims are located – primarily serving victims in Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Howard, Jones, Linn and Winneshiek counties.
  3. NIAD Center for Human Development/Crisis Intervention Services, headquartered in Mason City
    • Provides comprehensive services to victims of both labor and sex trafficking covering a portion of Region 2 of the crime victim’s area map. (North Central Iowa)
    • Contact information: 641-423-0490, point of contact is Mary Ingham
    • Service Description: The agency provides services as the victim needs them (trauma-informed) that could include housing, counseling, medical and court advocacy while collaborating with law enforcement and other community agencies; training and public awareness around trafficking issues; and safety and well-being of victims.
    • The agency address is PO Box 656, Mason City however, they are also doing mobile advocacy and go to where the victims are located – primarily serving victims in Butler, Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Franklin, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Humboldt, Kossuth, Mitchell, Webster, Winnebago, Worth and Wright Counties.
  4. Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (a program of YSS) located in Des Moines
    • Provides comprehensive services to victims of crime including sex trafficking between ages 18 to 21 for males and 18 to 24 for females including those who are pregnant and parenting.
    • Contact information: 515-883-2379, Ashley Mitchell or Elizabeth Patten are the contact staffers. Ashley and Elizabeth can also be reached by email; website is
    • Staff are human trafficking and trauma-informed trained and provide crisis intervention, counseling, emergency beds and transitional living (for up to a maximum of 24 months). On August 10th, 2016, IHYC opened up 9 new emergency beds for non-system street and homeless youth ages 16 to 21. Eligible clients are victims of crime including human trafficking victims. This new Youth Opportunity Center is located at 612 Locust in the heart of downtown Des Moines. The center also provides a daily meal site, mobile outreach and crisis intervention, lifeskills, employment services, mental health/counseling services, and daily youth development, education and computer services for youth of all ages. In addition, YSS provides two emergency shelters located in Mason City and Ames (trauma informed) and will accept adolescent sex trafficking victims ages 12 to 17. YSS’s primary service area is central Iowa.
  5. Youth and Shelter Services (AKA Youth Standing Strong), headquartered in Ames
    • Provides sex trafficking prevention, awareness, diversion and referral services in youth settings (primarily schools). Identifies vulnerable youth through self-disclosure and assists and ensures that youth victims are safe and diverted from exploitation.
    • Contact information: 515-233-3141, point of contact is Ruth Buckles 515-460-4802 (cell), website it
    • Service Description: This human trafficking project is focused on child and teenage victim identification and referral to existing YSS, IHYC, and other child welfare services. Teens Against Human Trafficking and Iowa Foster Care Youth Councils are the central education, information, and advocacy components. Also includes prevention and awareness programing for youth 10 – 18 who attend middle or high school. The YSS plan is to establish Teens Against Human Trafficking chapters in 135 schools in 45 counties by the end of 2018. The YSS headquarters address is 420 Kellogg Avenue, Ames Iowa, 50010.
  6. Statewide Iowa Crisis Line – 800-770-1650
    • This “violent crimes” crisis line is available for victims of any violent crime including labor and sex trafficking. The crisis line will connect the victim to direct service providers. The statewide crisis line is a place for community members, providers, and victims to get information about options for assistance.
    • Sherry Kastein is the Executive Director of Family Crisis Centers which operates the statewide crisis line. Two years ago, the main domestic abuse statewide hotline was housed in Des Moines with Children and Families of Iowa. The new and expanded Statewide Hotline is now located in Sioux Center and operated by Family Crisis Centers. This 800 number is state VOCA funded to take on human trafficking, homicide, and other violent crimes including domestic abuse. They are trained to respond to all kinds of victims-of-crime calls.

Survivor Services

(not funded by Crime Victim Assistance Division)

  1. Dorothy’s House : a safe house providing 24/7 support for the healing of female adult survivors of sex trafficking located in Des Moines, Iowa. Juvenile facility is planned for late 2017. Statewide referrals accepted.
  2. Wings of Refuge : a safe house providing 24/7 support for healing female adult survivors of sex trafficking. This is a faith-based and supported agency. Statewide referrals accepted.
  3. Siouxland Restoration Center (Lila Mae House) – opening in 2018
    The Siouxland Restoration Center will soon open the Lila Mae House for survivors of sex trafficking. A large house and property has been donated and is in the process of being readied to receive 7 women survivors of sex trafficking.

    Franciscan Sister and instructor at Briar Cliff College, Shirley Fineran, is leading this western Iowa project and makes the following description of the new program: “Where does a woman go once she has been trafficked and been left for dead? Please join the critical need to provide a home and therapeutic healing for adult women who have been sex trafficked. The Siouxland Restoration Center’s mission is to develop Lila Mae’s House to help women survivors live the rest of their lives the best they can with what they have experienced.” 

  4. Set Free Dubuque: a registered 501(c)3 non-profit faith-based agency, focused on the city of Dubuque and the tri-state area including East Dubuque, Illinois, and Grant County, Wisconsin. Set Free Dubuque exists to proclaim freedom for survivors by educating the community, advocating for survivors, and eliminating the demand for modern day slavery.

    Set Free provides one-on-one services to individuals who are or were victims of human trafficking or their loved ones. They work closely with law enforcement and local therapists to ensure that their efforts are effective. Set Free also offers training and speaking engagements. Practical assistance such as finding temporary shelters, seeking medical assistance, clothing, meals, and limited transportation are some of the ways Set Free assists people. Mostly what they provide is a judgement free opportunity to be heard and advice on options should a victim seek a new lifestyle. Set Free does not itself provide shelter or longer-term restorative residential services, but does make referrals.

  5. Chains Interrupted: a faith-based nonprofit that provides the following services (see their website for further details):

    Speaker’s Bureau: Provides trained speakers to present on various topics of human trafficking for organizations, business, church group, school, or private gatherings. Their current Feature Presentation is: “How to Talk with Victims of Human Trafficking.” Chains Interrupted has also partnered with the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and the NE Coalition to provide specific training for Hotel and Motel employees.Coalition: Currently a group of over 75 organizations, businesses, churches and individuals who gather quarterly for education, networking and building an action plan for front-line personnel. The Cedar-Rapids based Coalition extends its welcome across Iowa, but especially to the Waterloo, Iowa City and ‘anywhere in between’ areas.

    “Stop the Demand Project:” Stopping the demand for trafficked persons is likely the most important way to stop Human Trafficking. This Chains Interrupted project seeks to educate the public on the direct link between pornography and human trafficking, as well as provide services and support for those addicted. We are now working on projects to decrease the demand for commercial sex.

    Missions: Chains Interrupted has local, national and international mission projects. They plan to serve at the Super Bowl in projects against Human Trafficking. Partnering with the Protect Me Project, they work in Guatemala in 1) Prevention education, 2) Restoration work, and 3) Providing respectable jobs for women.

Prevention and Education Human Trafficking Projects funded by VOCA

Programs funded in 2016:

  1. Braking Traffik/Family Resources – Statewide PSA Initiative got underway in August of 2016 for Prevention and Awareness Train the Trainer Project and statewide public service announcements.
  2. Sioux County Attorney’s Office – Orange City; Planning to hold a Law Enforcement Human Trafficking Conference in 2017.
  3. University of Iowa – Statewide conference in spring 2017 for providers of direct service to the victims of sex and labor trafficking.

Programs funded in 2018:

  1. Family Resources/Braking Traffik – Davenport
    Working with Justice for Our Neighbors to focus on labor trafficking outreach
    Contact information: Cathy O’Keefe – 563-468-2381
  2. Youth Shelter Services – Ames
    Community Educator doing prevention curriculum in schools
    Contact Information: Ruth Buckels: 515-233-2250
  3. Rape Victim Advocacy Program – Iowa City
    Costs for creation and dissemination of bilingual social media video
    Advertisement strategy targeting Iowa’s Latin communities regarding human trafficking.
    Contact information: Adam Robinson – 319-335-6001
  4. Wings of Refuge – Iowa Falls
    Costs for printed educational materials for the year including informational handouts, posters, and training manuals.
    Contact information: Bev Shipley – 641-640-1327
  5. Meskwaki Settlement – Tama
    Costs for fees and travel for external consultants to develop a strategic plan focused on human trafficking
    Contact information: Mylene Wanate, Director – 641-484-4444
  6. Iowa Safe Schools – Statewide
    Costs for creation and dissemination of a social media campaign advertising human trafficking awareness through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; Costs for creation of campaign to focus on increasing visibility of the issue of human trafficking creating awareness about educational events, and engaging Iowans to sign up for more information regarding human trafficking; Costs for creation of specialized Pride Packs to be handed out at Iowa Pride Events that focus on human trafficking.
    Contact Information: Nate Monson – 515-729-4121
  7. Blank Children’s Hospital Child Advocacy Center – Des Moines
    Travel/Training and database creation to track at-risk kids making contact with members of the MDT team showing human trafficking indicators.
    Contact Information: Nikki Romer, Forensic Interviewer – 515-241-4311
  8. Iowa Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Enforcement – Statewide
    Costs to develop and air statewide PSA campaign (via radio, satellite radio, and social media) instructing Iowa motorists to call appropriate human trafficking hotlines and victim services agencies.
    Contact information: Chief Dave Lorenzen – 515-237-3215

National Human Trafficking Resources


For nearly ten years, Polaris has operated the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline to provide survivors of human trafficking with vital support and a variety of options to get help and stay safe, while sharing actionable tips for law enforcement and expertise of the anti-trafficking community.

The name of the hotline recently changed to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Please note that the hotline’s website URL and email address are also changing as of November 2016. The Iowa NAHT recommends that victims and concerned citizens call both the National and Iowa hotlines for service referrals and crisis calls.

From the U.S. citizen sex trafficking victim in Los Angeles to the foreign national labor trafficking victim in rural Iowa, the national hotline staff are trained to listen to survivors, provide safety planning, and help them understand their options for support without judgement. Your help in spreading the word about the hotline is critical to our efforts to reach even more survivors across the country.

Thanks to the support of the US Department of Health and Human Services and our numerous private donors, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has been able to answer more than 100,000 calls, identified more than 30,000 cases of human trafficking across the United States, and providing more than 8,000 tips to federal, state, and local law enforcement. Thousands of survivors are receiving vital, non-judgmental support and learning about the services available so that they can get help and stay safe.

Crisis Lines

National Human Trafficking Hotline:

888-373-7888 or text “HELP” to BeFree (233733)

Statewide Iowa Crisis Line:

800-770-1650 or text “iowahelp” to 20121

Department of Human Services Child Abuse Hotline for reports of suspected child sex trafficking:


Iowa Sources of Information

Statewide Human Trafficking Coordinator within the Attorney General’s Office, Celine Villongco
(800) 373-5044 or 515-725-4109

Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery

Dr. George Belitsos, Board Chair

Office to Combat Human Trafficking within the Iowa Department of Public Safety

Sgt. Robert Deskin, Human Trafficking Coordinator
(515) 725-6308