Topic: Anti-Trafficking Services

Health Care Response to Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking impacts thousands of people across the globe, the United States, and Maine. At the Health Care Response to Human Trafficking conference — cosponsored by Preble Street, the New England Coalition Against Trafficking, the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) program, and the University of New England Advanced Nursing Education (SANE) — leading national and regional speakers from the health care profession, as well as a survivor of human trafficking, spoke on statewide human trafficking trends, survivor needs and co-occurring disorders, identification within the health care setting, and collaboration strategies. The purpose was to educate medical professionals on how to recognize patients who are being trafficked and connect them with the support and services they need.

“Human Trafficking is a human rights issue. It’s an economic issue. And it’s a public health issue,” said Preble Street Executive Director, Mark Swann, speaking at the event. “As the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes states, poverty is one of the primary factors contributing to trafficking. Anti-trafficking work is anti-poverty work. It’s housing first work. It’s harm reduction work. And it’s about creating access to compassionate medical care. We know from a 2014 Global Centurion study that 88% of victims are seen by a healthcare provider while they are trafficked, and 63% of these victims have visited emergency room departments for care. Because victims of trafficking seek medical attention for the consequences of assault and neglected health conditions, health care settings are an ideal place to identify and meet the needs of survivors, and emergency clinicians are in a unique position to recognize victims and intervene. Too often, however, survivors continue to go undetected in these settings. Each of us, as part of the human race, has a responsibility to ensure that neighbors, loved ones, family, and strangers can live with integrity and purpose, free from fear or degradation, free from oppression.”

Preble Street joins Freedom Network USA

Preble Street is proud and excited to be joining Freedom Network USA, a national alliance of experienced advocates advancing a human rights-based approach to human trafficking in the United States. As associate members, we’ll be joining other service providers as part of the larger anti-trafficking movement.

Freedom Network USA is a national alliance of experienced advocates advancing a human rights-based approach to human trafficking in the United States. Our members believe that empowering survivors with choices and support leads to transformative, meaningful change. Together, we influence federal and state policy through action and advocacy. We guide the discussion narrative by prioritizing the self-determination and empowerment of survivors in the development of policies, procedures and programs. Our members work directly with survivors who insights and strengths inform our work. And through our national effort, we increase awareness of human trafficking and provide decision-makers, legislators, and other stakeholders with the expertise and tools to make a positive and permanent impact in the lives of all survivors.

Preble Street state lead for Maine in New England Coalition Against Trafficking

Preble Street recently joined The Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute in Massachusetts as the state lead for Maine in the New England Coalition Against Trafficking, funded by the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and will be working with Maine partners as well as those in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island to develop and implement efforts to increase outreach, identification and service referral for victims of human trafficking across New England.

“Human trafficking doesn’t respect state borders, so why should the response?” asks Fiona Mason, Preble Street Director of Social Work. “We’ve worked with countless survivors who have been trafficked across multiple New England states, and look forward to strengthening our relationships with regional providers to improve our coordinated supports to survivors.”

Preble Street has trained over 1,700 people and as a result, has received referrals for more than 300 people who have experienced trafficking. It takes each member of the community to help identify and connect people who may have experienced trafficking to the support and safety they need.

“We think a regional, coordinated effort to provide focused training in support of increasing awareness of all types of trafficking from those working in the fields, in our homes, and in the hospitality industry is key,” says Fiona. “With awareness comes an increased identification of potential victims—once you know this crime exists and what it can look like, we all have the responsibility to name it when we see it. Further building out that system in Maine and across the region to increase awareness is where the work starts.”

Read more about Preble Street’s anti-trafficking work in this “Maine Voices” article.

Farewell 2016-17 Interns!

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” —John Fitzgerald Kennedy

2016-17 Preble Street Interns
Preble Street bid farewell last week to its 2016-17 class of social work interns.

This prestigious and competitive social work placement opportunity has been key to meeting the Preble Street mission since it was founded by Joe Kreisler, chair of the University of Southern Maine social work department. The Preble Street internship program has trained more than 400 social workers in its more-than-40-year history. Expanding from a placement opportunity for USM social work students, the applicant pool has grown over the years to include students from University of Maine Augusta, University of New England, St. Joseph’s College, Lesley University, Boston College, and Southern Maine Community College.

Front Row: Sara Cyr Jordan, Florence House Residential Services Supervisor, Rachel Andreasen, University of Southern Maine, MSW (Florence House)
Middle Row: Naomi Abrams, University of Southern Maine, MSW, (Preble Street Anti-Trafficking Coalition), Amber Clark, University of Southern Maine, MSW, (Advocacy), Brittney Dunham, Resource Center Caseworker, Melissa Towle, University of New England, MSW, (Resource Center), Hilary Elsinger, Resource Center Supervisor, Nicole Sutherland, University of Southern Maine BSW, (Logan Place), Katy Finch, University of New England, MSW, (Resource Center), Justin Brown, University of Southern Maine, MSW, (Clinical Intervention Program)
Back Row: Daniella Cameron, Director of Preble Street Anti-Trafficking Coalition, Polo Jean-Louis, Preble Street Resource Center Caseworker, Caroline Fernandes, Director of Residential Services, Kendra Page, University of New England, MSW, (Florence House), Alyssa Wade, University of New England, MSW, (Florence House), Brad Hammond, University of Southern Maine, BSW, (Resource Center)

Curbside: News from Preble Street Spring 2017

The spring 2017 edition of Curbside: News from Preble Street hit homes this week. Did you receive a copy? If not, you can read it below, and sign up here for future issues.

Mainers Helping Mainers: A Preble Street Year in Review

Watch our Year in Review video, featuring some of the friends and neighbors who stepped up to make a difference in 2016!

Every day at Preble Street, the community comes together to help Mainers move forward to better lives, giving their time, their energy, their money, their voices, and their hearts.

Your donation to Preble Street does more than ensure that the most vulnerable people in our community make it through another day. Your support empowers brave, determined people to break the cycle of homelessness by finding work, studying hard, never giving up, learning new skills, finding their voices, reuniting with family, and reaching their goals.

Most of all it helps them hold on to hope during their darkest hours.

Please join us this year in growing our community of giving hands and grateful hearts.

Join us for the Longest Night of Homelessness!

Each year on the longest night of homelessness, Preble Street, Homeless Voices for Justice, community leaders and concerned neighbors gather for the annual Homeless Persons’ Memorial Vigil to remember our homeless friends who have died and recommit ourselves to the task of ending homelessness.

Join us on Wednesday, December 21, at 4 pm for a candlelight procession starting at the Preble Street Resource Center, and proceeding to Monument Square for a ceremony dedicated to those persons who have died in our community.

Birthday Smile!

Preble Street caseworkers see some harrowing things in the line of duty, but they also have the privilege of seeing people at their best.

That was certainly the case when a young Preble Street Anti-Trafficking Coalition client from York County received an unexpected birthday present from the Massachusetts General Hospital Freedom Clinic, which provides free primary and preventative care for victims and survivors of human trafficking.

Staff from Hope Rising recently reached out to the Freedom Clinic for assistance with dentures and implants on behalf of the woman, who was at risk of facial collapse.

MGH executive leadership and the Chief of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery responded immediately, mobilizing hospital resources to give her the gift of a beautiful new smile.

Her final dental appointment, scheduled on her birthday, left her with more than new teeth. It gave her the promise of a new life and hope for a brighter future.

Welcome, 2016-17 Interns!

Front Row: Ben Richards; USM, Kelly Gayle; USM, Alyssa Wade; UNE, Katy Finch; UNE, Naomi Abrams USM, Melissa Towle; UNE, Rachel Andreasen; USM, Kendra Page; UNE. Back Row: Brad Hammond; USM, Mark, Jen Dorval; USM, Sarah Carr, Jesuit Volunteer, Tim Bates; USM, Nicole Sutherland; USM, Amber Clark; USM, Justin Brown; USM.

Front Row: Ben Richards; USM, Kelly Gayle; USM, Alyssa Wade; UNE, Katy Finch; UNE, Naomi Abrams USM, Melissa Towle; UNE, Rachel Andreasen; USM, Kendra Page; UNE. Back Row: Brad Hammond; USM, Mark, Jen Dorval; USM, Sarah Carr, Jesuit Volunteer, Tim Bates; USM, Nicole Sutherland; USM, Amber Clark; USM, Justin Brown; USM.

Preble Street is incredibly excited to welcome its 2016-17 class of social work interns.

This prestigious and competitive social work placement opportunity has been key to meeting the Preble Street mission since it was founded by Joe Kreisler, chair of the University of Southern Maine social work department. The Preble Street internship program has trained more than 400 social workers in its more-than-40-year history. Expanding from a placement opportunity for USM social work students, the applicant pool has grown over the years to include students from University of Maine Augusta, University of New England, St. Joseph’s College, Lesley University, Boston College, and Southern Maine Community College.

Anti-Trafficking Coalition Honored as a “Visionary Voice”

The Preble Street Anti-Trafficking Coalition (PSATC) was recognized at the 2016 Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MECASA) Celebration & Awards Ceremony on April 14 with this year’s Visionary Voice Award. MECASA presents the award in collaboration with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) to recognize the creativity and hard work of individuals around the country who have demonstrated outstanding work to end sexual violence.

Each April, during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, state, territory, and tribal coalitions select an outstanding individual to nominate for the awards. Nominees may be partners from a local community or other outstanding individuals that have worked to end sexual violence.

Here’s what MECASA had to say about PSATC in their nomination:
While MECASA staff engages with PSATC Manager Daniella Cameron the most, the whole team has been a true partner in anti-trafficking efforts. As the first human trafficking-specific low-barrier program in the state, the team is on the ground, figuring out how to deliver services, serve on a multidisciplinary team, and work alongside the criminal justice system. It is hard work and it’s messy, but they are utterly committed to making it happen.
All the while, they are sharing what they learn with all the local anti-trafficking teams and MECASA to help build capacity to respond to trafficking in a victim-centered way. Additionally, their expertise in both sex and labor trafficking informed MECASA’s Training-of-Trainers curriculum, a project that is used statewide to train other anti-trafficking teams.
Established in 2014 as a program of Preble Street under a federal Office of Victims of Crime grant, PSATC is a multi-agency collaboration that provides intensive case management, mental health and substance abuse counseling, and legal services to victims/survivors of labor and sex trafficking in York and Cumberland Counties, Maine. Their work includes developing protocols and housing resources for a multidisciplinary team.

Thank you, MECASA and NSVRC, for this incredible honor! It’s a privilege to work with so many proactive organizations across Maine and the nation to create life-changing solutions for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.