Lily Pad Haven Inc, which provides transitional housing for survivors of human trafficking via a network of safe houses in North Carolina, USA, is now part of the Hope for Justice family.
Hope for Justice is a global anti-trafficking non-profit working across five continents from more than 30 locations to bring an end to modern slavery by preventing exploitation, rescuing victims, restoring lives and reforming society.
Watch the announcement below by Lily Pad Haven’s Executive Director, Benjenus Jenkins, and Hope for Justice CEO, Ben Cooley:
The vital services provided by Lily Pad Haven’s experienced team will be safeguarded for the future and expanded with fresh investment, Hope for Justice confirmed. Best practice will be drawn from both organizations as part of a new combined team.
Ben Cooley, CEO of Hope for Justice said: “We are thrilled to welcome Lily Pad Haven to the Hope for Justice family. We look forward to working together to help more victims become survivors become overcomers.”
As well as safety, shelter and respite, survivors of human trafficking living at Lily Pad Haven can also access many other services via community partners to speed and assist the transition back into mainstream society and new opportunities. Hope for Justice plans to further build on these services, drawing on models established through our aftercare services globally.
Benjenus Jenkins said: “As Executive Director of Lily Pad Haven, I am excited about the merger and becoming part of Hope for Justice. This partnership will allow us to increase our efficiency in supporting survivors of human trafficking, increasing survivors’ integration into society as empowered, stable, and self-sufficient individuals.”
Becoming part of the Hope for Justice family will amplify the impact of Lily Pad Haven services, as its aftercare offer is combined with Hope for Justice’s other US-based projects focused on prevention and rescue, as well as training and awareness. The strong intention is to secure further suitable properties to increase the number of people who can be offered direct support and shelter.
With Hope for Justice expanding outreach, investigation and rescue programs into new cities and states, more survivors in need of aftercare from across the nation will be served at Lily Pad Haven’s safe houses.
North Carolina, home to the current network of safe houses (which serve survivors from all across the United States), is one of the states with the highest number of human trafficking cases reported. The state government says likely reasons for this include its major interstate highways, a large military population surrounded by sexually oriented businesses, numerous rural agricultural areas with a high demand for cheap labor, and an increasing number of gangs. In 2019, there were 266 cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, ranking North Carolina 11th among the 50 states plus the District of Colombia. (Its rank based on cases per 100,000 population is lower, however, at 33rd.)
We know the true number of cases across all states is far higher than official statistics can capture, which is why Hope for Justice is working to quickly expand our model. Covid-19 means that those who are already vulnerable are at even higher risk of being targeted by traffickers. Now is the time to take action to better protect them.
With the supportive, secure environment provided via the Lily Pad Haven programs, we aim to ensure survivors can get the healing and assistance they need to make the most of the new opportunities that freedom brings.