Safe House of Hope (SHO Hope) first began in 2007 by conducting street outreach. Through our outreach efforts, it became apparent that those working in prostitution wanted a way out but lacked the means to do so. To address this problem and better meet the needs of our clients, we took over YANA (You Are Never Alone) Inc.’s drop-in center on Hollins St. in September 2011. In March 2013, Safe House of Hope moved to a larger facility on Curtis Ave that allows us to provide more services to our clients.
Our mission is to help victims of sex trafficking become an active part of a healthy community through education and training, and to provide support for the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of these victims.
Our vision is to prevent and identify victims of sex trafficking, and then empower them to lead a healthy life.
Our desire is to offer hope and change to people caught in the snare of Human Trafficking. We serve both current and past victims to empower them to become healthy survivors.
SHO Hope is designed for all former and current sex trafficking victims. Our clients come from many different backgrounds and all identify themselves as being formerly or currently “in the life” (prostitution). Our clients range in age from 14 to 60 years old and come to us from the surrounding neighborhoods, referrals, and street outreach. The SHO Hope drop-in center serves between 20 and 30 clients each day it is open, providing women with the space to become part of an accepting community where they are valued and nurtured. As our clients realize their own intrinsic worth, we offer healing that enables them to grow and dream again. We support and empower our clients to attain their goals and change their lives.
Our program assists women in realizing their own strength and ability to work toward and maintain self-sufficiency. We meet each woman right where she is and start building from that point forward. We initially assess each client’s most prevalent need and then work step-wise to build success in her life. Many of our women have been abused and victimized and need help to realize that they have the power to change their lives. Through one-on-one and group support, we build a family for each woman; we encourage her in good decisions and help her to push through setbacks and difficulties in order to gain control of her own life. Our client’s lives are often fragmented and addled; we help them pick up the pieces and begin healing from their traumas and hurts. We listen to our clients stories of pain and strive to transform each woman from a victim into a survivor.
Once the healing process has begun, we provide the opportunity for clients to begin setting and attaining goals. We support our clients as they strive to reach healthy goals that allow them to become more self-sufficient. Clients typically begin by setting goals related to their immediate physical needs and then move on to address current situational needs; finally we assist clients in reaching goals related to family home building. We help our women obtain the education and training they need to find and maintain employment. We actively work with each client to find suitable and affordable housing in the neighborhood of her choice. We help our clients set healthy personal boundaries and assist them in reconciling relationships.
Our clients learn to locate and apply for available services in order to set up their own households. We believe that by continuing to help our clients work through obstacles towards their own life goals, they will become empowered to be active participants in their own lives; this will ultimately culminate in maintaining self-sufficiency.
- 24-hour talk-line
- Trauma therapy and small group workshops
- Space for women to interact with other women who have had similar problems and trauma
- Support to move past the current situation into a healthier life
- A healthy breakfast and/or lunch, and a bag lunch to take home
- Free clothing, hygiene products, coats, and household items
- A listening ear and encouragement
- Referrals for healthcare
- Support to attain housing
- GED and work training
- Assistance obtaining a driver’s license or ID, getting to appointments, and appearing in court
- Field trips so that clients can experience new places
Teams of trained volunteers conduct street outreach in Baltimore City every weekend. Volunteers speak with women on the streets and offer them free condoms, snacks, and hope to those willing to take it.
Our street outreach team members are often the first people our clients meet that offer a real possibility of change. We desire to show, by consistently being on the street, that ‘Together We Can”. We want each client to know that she is not alone – that we care about her and that we are available to help her make a change.