Rose Home to offer safety to human trafficking victims

Published: Sep. 13, 2017 at 3:33 PM CDT
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A Brown County safe house is set to become the first of its kind in the state, opening its doors to victims of human trafficking.

“There’s not a lot of options for ladies wanting to leave the life,” says Dawn Spang, the outreach coordinator at Eye Heart World. “Across the country, there are not a lot of homes, and there isn't one right now in the state of Wisconsin.”

That’s all about to change, when the Rose Home opens its doors next month.

“The program is a complete wrap around program,” says Season Russo, the program director at Eye Heart World. “It's not like the girls just come here and we say, 'Okay you're just here, and we're going to kind of get you half way to where you need to be, and then we're just going to let you out the doors.' By the time the girls graduate, they will be so set up for success.”

The home is available to women between the ages of 18 to 25, with enough space for eight women, to participate in a nine to 14 month program.

“We will have many things going for the girls,” says Russo. “Everything from therapy, to life skills, workforce preparation. There’ll be group counseling, group studies.”

While open to victims from anywhere, the Rose Home is already drawing high interest in Brown County.

“We have had a lot of law enforcement officers, when they ask how big the home is going to be, and we tell them how many beds we’re going to have in the facility, and they said, ‘Oh, we’re going to fill that up easily,’” says Spang.

Above all, organizers say the project is about offering a way out for trafficking victims who previously felt trapped.

“We hope that more than anything when they walk in these doors, that they feel nothing but love and acceptance,” says Russo. “And even excitement for how we believe in them, and what we see in them, that ultimately we know that they'll begin to believe that for themselves as well.”

Eye Heart World, an organization that works to raise funds and awareness for human trafficking, first started work on the Rose Home two and a half years ago. Finally this year, they put the finishing touches on the home.

The Rose Home is set to open the first weekend in October.

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