A national organization just announced it is partnering with Call to Freedom to build a brand new housing project for victims of human trafficking in South Dakota.
“There’s a lot of planning when you do something like this, think Extreme Makeover,” Eight Days of Hope CEO Steve Tybor said.
For the past 15 years, Eight Days of Hope has helped rebuild thousands of homes for victims of natural disasters.
“We’ve helped 6,000 families rebuild their homes for free,” Tybor said. “Now we started a new arm of our ministry to build something to help those that have been victims of sex trafficking.”
This new mission led them to South Dakota’s Call to Freedom.
“Whatever they need to get out of the life of human trafficking, we come alongside them to enable them to be able to do that,” the Call to Freedom Executive Director Becky Rasmussen said.
Marissa’s Project is Call to Freedom’s current housing ministry for survivors of human trafficking.
“Right now it’s seven efficiency apartments and each apartment comes fully furnished and has everything they need,” Call to Freedom Marissa’s Project Director Kelsey Veurink said.
Not just physically, but also providing continuous emotional support and therapy to help survivors start a new life; an important service that is seeing a rising demand in the region.
“We constantly have a waitlist, so there is always a need,” Veurink said.
“The need is great and so here is a great opportunity for South Dakota; we’re not talking about Las Vegas or New Orleans or big metropolitan areas, sex trafficking happens in every community in America,” Tybor said.
Eight Days of Hope will be constructing the new, larger housing facility in Sioux Falls with the help of volunteers from all over the country.
“They will come into a project and bring in 45 to 60 labor contractors who will build the home in a two-week period,” Rasmussen said.
“We bring skilled volunteers, professionals who will leave the comforts of their own home to come to South Dakota to serve South Dakotans and people of that area, but we do ask Call to Freedom, they’re going to have to provide the building materials,” Tybor said.
Call to Freedom is looking to work with local community partners who can help with donations of building materials, land or financial contributions to help cover the cost of the supplies for the new building going up next year.
“We’re going to need the money to be able to build the project within a short amount of time,” Rasmussen said.
The Call to Freedom is hosting an informational luncheon for community and business leaders interested in learning more about the new Marissa’s Project with Eight Days of hope on November 19th.