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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Traffick Free Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Emergency Assistance, Human Services, Victims Services

Mission: Traffick Free is a faith-motivated organization that provides the greater metropolitan area of Chicago with tools and sustainable programs to combat human trafficking and transform the lives of survivors and communities.

Results: Our signature events have included the Freedom Forum and the 5K, which have engaged thousands of people across the Chicagoland area. With a strong social media presence, Traffick Free has educated our local followers and beyond on all forms of human trafficking.Traffick Free has partnered with and assisted direct-service organizations such as long-term residential facilities and case-management agencies. This networking has allowed us to meet emergency needs for survivors of both sex and labor trafficking.In addition, we have maximized our relationship with churches, schools, NGOs, and law enforcement to conduct specialized trainings. Partners have included the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force; the Chicago Department of Labor; the Black Star Project; the YWCA; the South Loop Church; Northwestern University; and Loyola University. Since late 2016 through July 2017, Traffick Free has been able to serve a total of 44 women since late 2016. Twenty (20) of those women, about 45 percent, being introduced to Traffick Free in the second quarter of 2017. Ten (10) new individuals were introduced to Traffick Free alone in July 2017. As we continue to collaborate with existing social service and law enforcement partners, and build new relationships with others, we anticipate that these numbers will continue to increase – well on our way to serve over 80 individual women with our signature relational supportive services that include welcoming to the drop-in center; assistance with transportation, clothing, hygiene products, and more; as well as availability that allows for women to call at any hour for any emotional support they may need.

Target demographics: victims and survivors of sex and labor trafficking.

Geographic areas served: Chicago and surrounding area

Programs: partnering with other service providers and law enforcement to meet the emergency and practical needs of victims and survivors. Traffick Free is well on our way to serve over 80 individual women by FYE2017 with our signature relational supportive services that include welcoming to the drop-in center; assistance with transportation, clothing, hygiene products, and more; as well as availability that allows for women to call at any hour for any emotional support they may need.

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great organization serving women in crisis situations due to exploitation and educating communities about the realities of human trafficking here in Chicago.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Traffick is leader in its field in Chicago filling a gap in services for victims of exploitation as well as educating the general public to the realities of trafficking in their home city.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Traffick Free is focused on their participants. They are mission driven and do all they can to help those caught in human trafficking. Their new crisis intervention program is a testament to their dedication to combat human trafficking and help survivors.

Board Member

Rating: 5

There are so many misconceptions about human trafficking out there. One of the biggest misconceptions is that trafficking is something that doesn’t happen here and is something that happens in foreign countries. That is untrue. I’ve worked with so many survivors in Chicago. This problem disproportionately affects women, especially women of color. The trauma that survivors experience make getting any sort of help difficult. Survivors may have substance abuse issues, trust issues, or even trauma bonds with their abusers. All of these things make adhering to strict rules that organizations and programs require near impossible. That’s where the uniqueness and specialness of Traffick Free comes in. They don’t drug test, they don’t have any invasive, re-traumatizing intake questionnaires and have like a total open door policy. No questions asked at all! Traffick Free believes in the power of choice.. something survivors were stripped of. They offer options of different meals, toiletries, clothes and aid that survivors can choose from. They don’t push survivors into anything that they don’t want. Having a program like this in Chicago is so important.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as a volunteer to help the executive director upgrade and improve the drop in center. She has a very clear and dedicated idea of what the center should be to create a warm, peaceful and safe environment to anyone entering through the door. We cleaned, painted, collected clothes, shoes, toiletries and food to make it feel like “home”. In the end, it was what she aspired it to be and I cannot imagine anyone not feeling safe and welcome at a time when they needed it most. The resources, dedication and center are a vision come true for the staff and clients!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love this non-profit that does everything it can to be a first point of contact for trafficked women in the Chicagoland area. From providing transportation needs, hygiene products, or a safe place to have access to rest and resources at their drop-in center, this organization has the interests of the women they serve as their first priority always.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Traffick Free is intentional in everything they do. They take the time to thoroughly research and listen to experts before diving in to an endeavor. And the work they're doing speaks to this this intentionality. The approach they take in their low-demand model puts those who they wish to serve first. This entire organization is determined to combat human trafficking in the Chicagoland area and have been a pleasure to work for/with!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Traffick Free is an inspiring organization, serving a crucial need for drop-in support services for survivors of trafficking in Chicago. It has helped an incredible number of women since opening its drop-in space and continues to do great work!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Traffick Free is doing amazing work in Chicago- both on the education and direct services front. I joined the Board after being very impressed with the passion and knowledge of the executive director and her vision for opening a drop in space for victims to seek refuge and services. I am proud to see this vision in reality now!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A friend told me about this organization years ago and the impactful work they are doing all over Chicago and she was so right! It took me a while (more like almost a year) to get involved but once I understood the hands on focus and how vital the volunteers really are, I also wanted to get involved and make a difference! Now after almost 3 years of volunteering with this great group of people, I can honestly say they work diligently to help some of Chicago's most vulnerable and are a much needed resource for the city. Be forewarned - this isn't your cookie cutter volunteer experience - there's room for fresh ideas, perspectives and ways of working as well as hands on work to be done depending on your skill set and desires. From events and fundraising to painting and working with human trafficking survivors - the needs are as diverse as the awesome people you're volunteering alongside and there is always more to do pending your availability.

Sharon205

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Traffick Free is an excellent organization that seeks to serve the most vulnerable people in the city of Chicago. This organization has exceptional leadership. It has many highly qualified and committed volunteers. I have loved volunteering with Traffick Free over the last 3 years. Looking forward to many more!!

Rachel190

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Traffick Free is thoughtfully run. It doesn't remain stuck in raising awareness and then congratulating itself on doing so, but is instead filled with people dedicated to meeting the tangible needs identified by local law enforcement and others in the field.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Traffick Free's dedication and passion is influential and inspiring. The quality of work they produce is impressive given that they are an all volunteer staff comprised of volunteers juggling full-time work/school and personal lives.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Traffick Free is a forward thinking and dedicated organization committing to ending human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Staffed by kind, altruistic and incredibly intelligent individuals, we are currently working to open a drop in center for those being exploited in Chicago.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I occasionally volunteer with Traffick Free and also support their events because they are very dedicated to working on a cause that is too often overlooked. They make positive changes happen because their members are just as passionate as their leadership. I also feel good about financially donating this organization because I know my money is going directly to the cause. I have learned so much from my time with Traffick Free and feel confident supporting them to my friends, family, and on social media. Keep up the amazing hard work, Traffick Free.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined the Board of Traffick Free several years ago and have been so impressed by the organization's growth and passion from day one. It has transformed from a nascent charity to a recognized and trusted partner in Chicago-land, trying to combat human trafficking. The leadership team is an amazing group of dedicated people who give so generously of their time and talent. This is a worldwide crime and Chicago is not impervious to its malice. Traffick Free has historically been raising public awareness and assisting survivors. The next chapter for the charity is to open a much needed drop-in center in the city. This is an amazing organization that will help transform lives and bring light to the darkest corners of society.

Former staff

Rating: 5

Traffick Free is a powerhouse in the Chicago anti-trafficking space. Having started as a fledgling church ministry with a handful of volunteers in 2009, it has grown into a strong contender in the fight to end trafficking in Chicagoland and beyond. The organization welcomes volunteers and clients from all walks of life, despite being faith-focused, which shows genuine care and inclusivity for this issue, volunteers, and most importantly, victims. Having been a founding leader of TF, it has been such an honor to pass the baton to the current director and her leadership team. They have achieved much success and growth in the past five years, specifically the expansion of providing direct services in addition to spreading public awareness and building meaningful partnerships with other anti-trafficking entities. This is a world-class organization, completely volunteer-run, with a dedicated team and tangible vision to end trafficking in Chicago.

Haley14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started as an intern with Traffick Free and became the Research Specialist over the course of a year and a half. The Traffick Free team cares about bringing awareness to the community on the issue of human trafficking as well as taking direct action through their efforts to open a 24 hour drop-in center and working with partner organizations. Traffick Free has and will continue to make a difference in minimizing this social injustice in the city of Chicago.

Donor

Rating: 5

Read the mission statement and ask yourself if Traffick Free is a centered organization committed to making a difference in this world. I can't imagine a city the size of Chicago not having an agency focused on stamping out human trafficking and assisting those damaged by its practices. Thank goodness for Traffick Free. I have been a donor, supporter and concerned citizen standing with Traffick Free for about two years. The executive director has done a masterful job harnessing the talents of a volunteer staff working together to advance its cause. Today their efforts have centered around education and programming. Their events 'ring the bell' and create awareness. Soon, their services will step up a notch when they open a Drop in Center for those victimized by human trafficking. I can't think of a more worthwhile undertaking. Can't say enough about Traffick Free. This is a special organization. One with purpose, with conviction and with soul.

Ashley166

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Traffick Free is a phenomenal organization! I started volunteering with the group about a year and a half ago as the Digital Marketing Manager and so much has been accomplished in that short time. With a focus on combatting sex and labor trafficking, our team seeks to educate the Chicago community that trafficking DOES happen at home.

Currently we're making strides to open a drop-in space for sexually objectified women in the Chicago-area. It's a safe place that will provide showers, laundry and support. I am so proud to be a part of an organization that makes such a tangible difference in my community. Check us out at traffickfree.org to stay up to date on our accomplishments!