Trafficking Awareness Events
Every year throughout Connecticut the Underground helps organize events that raise public awareness of sex trafficking and exploitation. These events are crucial because many people are unfamiliar with domestic sex trafficking and how it affects Connecticut.
If you are interested in hosting an awareness event, please contact us and we can arrange for speakers.
The Underground conducts career workshops for both survivors of trafficking as well as youth who are at-risk of being trafficked. Finding a stable job that leads to a fulfilling career can be a very difficult challenge to overcome - especially for youth who do not have a community of adults that provide guidance, career advice and jobsearch resources.
The career workshop is for young adults who need assistance finding and keeping a job. The seminar focuses on important life skills like résumé building, interview preparation, and methods to maintain motivation in order to push forward through the job-search process. By the end, attendees will have learned key elements that will enable them to become successful in both their personal and professional life.
We want survivors of sex trafficking or those at high risk to start off school on a positive note and prepared to learn just like any other youth. Theresa Leonard, a co-founder of the Underground and survivor of sex trafficking recalled that when she did not have essential supplies like her peers, it made her feel unworthy and reinforced her vulnerability.
Following our backpack event in 2016, one Connecticut Department of Children & Family social worker said: "The social workers [who distributed the backpacks to the children] also wantedme to let you know how awesome the backpacks were; the materials inside were exactly the items our kids need and often they don’t have."
Emergency Backpacks for Homeless Youth
Unaccompanied homeless youth and young adults are a largely hidden population who are especially vulnerable to being trafficked and/or exploited. According to the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, a 2015 Youth Count found there were more than 3,000 homeless youths in Connecticut.
The Underground and a team of volunteers assembled backpacks filled with a wide spectrum of items including: blanket, socks, toiletries, poncho, notebook, wallet, and much more. Each backpack includes a resource card with important information as well as the Anti-Trafficking Hotline #.
Scholarships: The Underground has funded two scholarships for minors who were survivors of sex trafficking. One scholarship allowed the youth to take therapeutic pottery classes and the other allowed a the youth to participate in animal assisted therapy with horses.
Temporary Assistance: The Underground provided temporary assistance for two adult survivors needing housing
Funding: The Underground has also provided funds for various awareness initiatives:
*10,000+ info cards telling youth where to get help in our state.
*10,000+ bracelets with the National Human Trafficking Hotline number
*10,000 coffee sleeves with the National Human Trafficking Hotline number (co-sponsored with the Salvation Army)
*Speakers to train and inspire
Care Kits: The Underground created 72 care kits for survivors of sexual assault. The kits were distributed by the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence. The Underground also created over 30 care kits for adults at Coram Deo.