Human trafficking impacts over 300,000 people in Texas. Organizations are working alongside law enforcement to provide services to victims of human trafficking. The Central Texas Youth Services in Bell County and UnBound in Waco are among those organizations.
The Director of Survivor Leadership at UnBound, Jessica Foran, says they've seen an increases in cases at the organization. "Last year UnBound served 19 victims. This year, we've already served 44 and the years not over yet." UnBound provides victims with basic necessities. Once those needs are met, the providers work with the victims to provide other services like counseling and housing. Unbound also works to create awareness in the community. They host events like awareness walks and school talks. Foran says they've seen success from both of those methods. "At some conclusions at our trainings, we've had kids raise their hands and self-identify. They will be like "that's happened to me before, I've had someone contact me and say this."
Meanwhile, the Central Texas Youth Services provides similar services, including a 24-hour drop in center for victims to come to when needed. They offer case management and therapy along with a safe place to stay and receive basic necessities. People between the ages 15 to 25 can come by, no requirements needed. Kami Diaz, the executive director of CTYSB, says, "About one in every eight individuals that we work with have a history or have been exploited or trafficked." She says the organization does not judge and is a safe place for victims to come to.
To learn more about UnBound, visit: www.unboundnow.org
To learn more about CTYSB, visit: www.centraltexasyouthservices.com