SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – It’s difficult to believe that sex and labor trafficking are happening in our area. But human trafficking is more common than you may think.
Call to Freedom helps victims get out of horrible situations and build new lives. Members of the community are rallying around the organization as it expands its mission.
More than 900 people filled the Sioux Falls Convention Center for Call to Freedom’s 6th Annual CommUnity Breakfast – making it one of the largest fundraisers ever for the organization.
“Not a lot of people realize that human trafficking happens right here in the Midwest and really hits home for a lot of people, just the fundraising piece of it helps keep Call to Freedom where we need to be,” Community Engagement Coordinator, Monica Rilling said.
Call to Freedom also explained how it is expanding its ability to house victims with Marissa’s Housing Project.
“It’s a 12 unit apartment complex and it just means the world for our survivors because right now we have efficiencies, this new apartment complex will have 1, 2, and 3 bedroom which will allow our survivors to stay with their families,” Marissa’s House Project Campaign Co-Chair, Kristen Thorkelson said.
This summer Call to Freedom broke ground on Marissa’s House and it’s getting some help from another organization on the project.
“We’ve been partnering with organizations similar to Call to Freedom all across the country, helping them expand their housing needs,” construction manager, 8 Days of Hope, Adam Hames said.
35 volunteers with 8 Days of Hope came in to do work on the project, they’ll be working for about two weeks.
“We came in October 2nd and began helping, we put the shingle roof on the building, installed all the windows on the building, put all the fiber cement siding on the building,” Hames said. “Just to be able to partner with these ministries and help them get more beds to help those in need is a tremendous blessing.”
Marissa’s house will be complete in mid-March.
Call to Freedom also announced a partnership with Emily’s Hope and Avera to help get sex trafficking victims who suffer from addiction, into treatment.