NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A new safe house in Middle Tennessee aims to help human trafficking survivors get back on their feet and reintegrated into the community.
Globally, human trafficking and prostitution are a huge money-making industry.
"It is the fastest-growing crime globally," said Margie Quin, CEO of End Slavery Tennessee, "it's growing here in middle Tennessee. It's an extremely profitable enterprise."
CEO of Thistle Farms, Hal Cato, says they have a waitlist of more than 100 names. That alone showed a clear need for resources in our community.
"A lot of times they are women who are in need of help immediately they don't have a safe place to be and we've been turning them away," Cato said, "we decided we needed to make a change and this community needed a true safe house."
The two-bedroom home with four beds will serve as short-term emergency housing for survivors of trafficking.
80 percent of trafficking victims face homelessness, so we need to start there," said Quin, "we need safe housing in order for everything to work so that's a critical first piece."
Organizers call this a safe haven for survivors on their journey towards healing.
"Thistle Farms can provide housing food, healthcare everything they need to feel safe and secure while end slavery helps survivors know what resources are out there and what is the next best step for me," Cato said.
While moving forward isn't always easy, having someone to lean on can help. This safe house will have staff available to survivors 24/7.
If you suspect someone is a victim of human trafficking or you need someone to talk to, contact:
Tennessee Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-855-55-TNHTH (86484)
National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888 (TTY:711) or text 233733 (text “HELP” or “INFO”)