Siouxland and Set Free Dubuque Resources

The Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery is the primary statewide advocate for the expansion and improvement of direct services to survivors. We have a list of service providers on the Network website under Resources. Here is the link: https://iowanaht.org/resources/. We are in the process of updating the Resource section of the website. If you see a survivor service that we are missing or needs updating, please send a written description or update contact information to gbelitsos55@gmail.com.

New and much needed survivor services are emerging. Western and southern Iowa are especially thin on providers. Some good news is that two service providers will soon be added to the resource section of the Network’s website. What follows is information about both agencies.

Siouxland Restoration Center

Siouxland 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.

Siouxland Restoration CenterFranciscan Sister and instructor at Briar Cliff College, Shirley Fineran, is leading this western Iowa project and has made the following appeal for help:

“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. It would be a blessing to receive your gift to save the lives and spirit of women we will serve.
The money that is needed at this time will be used to build and furnish 5 bedrooms, 2 full baths, remodel a summer room to a year-round room with an upper deck, acquire and maintain appliances and furnishings. Staff trained in the complex trauma of human trafficking will be hired to support the survivors.

You can be certain your donation will help save a woman’s life and future. She will know that she is worthy and loved. Thank you!”

The Siouxland Restoration Center has set up a Go Fund Me page and here is the link: https://gofundme.com/LMHsurvivors4life; and also an Amazon wish list site: https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/?ie=UTF8&cid=A250H6FVWY130L

Please consider donating and share these needs with other advocates.

The Siouxland Restoration Center will be starting to recruit an executive director over the next 6 weeks. If you know someone who is interested please have them contact Sister Shirley at her email Shirley.Fineran@briarcliff.edu or restorationcentersxland@gmail.com.

Among other staff they will be hiring a live-in house manager. It would be a perfect job for an online graduate student who can work and do coursework at the same time.

Set Free Dubuque

Another organization that will soon be added to the resource section of the Network’s website is Set Free Dubuque. This is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit faith-based agency lead by Suzanne Wright, her email address is executivedirector@setfreedubuque.org. The website is setfreedubuque.wordpress.com and their Facebook page is www.facebook.com/setfreedubuque.

Set Free is 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 tightly with law enforcement and local therapists to ensure that their efforts are to be the most 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 judgment 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 and provides transportation.

An example of the public awareness being done by Set Free, on July 30th, 2017, they held the Walls to Set Free to mark the UN’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Nearly 100 marchers marched in silence and wore black to represent the silence and pain that trafficking victims endure. Below is a newspaper photo and caption about the march.

Set Free Dubuque March Against Human Trafficking and Slavery

Nearly 100 people walked the streets of downtown Dubuque to raise awareness of human trafficking yesterday afternoon. A group called “Set Free Dubuque” hosted the walk, where participants wore black clothing and didn’t speak to highlight the silence that usually goes along with human trafficking. Earlier this year, two people were arrested on human trafficking charges in Dubuque after authorities raided the massage parlors that they owned and operated. Suzie Wright of Set Free says those businesses can often be fronts for prostitution. Wright says the only way human trafficking will be stopped is for people to start talking about the problem. Set Free says bringing attention to the issue is especially important in Dubuque, since the city is a stopover for trafficking due to its location between Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and the Twin Cities.

I know you join the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking in thanking all those who are creating and expanding vital therapy and residential services for survivors.

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