As a teenager growing up in a troubled home in Delaware, Jennifer ran away from home multiple times. During one episode, Jennifer was picked up by a sex trafficker in Delaware and transported to Columbus, where the trafficker forced her to have sex for his profit. Jennifer’s trauma continued for years, eventually resulting in her arrest. While incarcerated at the Richland County Alternative Center, Jennifer was linked to TSA’s Anti-Human Trafficking Program.
The AHT Coordinator met with Jennifer and developed a plan for her release and her return home to Delaware. For the first time since she was victimized as a teen, Jennifer is receiving the comprehensive services, treatment and trauma therapy she needs to rebuild her life. Today, Jennifer is stable and in the process of reunifying with her children. Jennifer’s story illustrates the multi-county nature of HT in Ohio and the need for a regional approach to service.
Career Enhancement Center:
Heather was referred to the Career Enhancement Center through the Anti-Human Trafficking program. When Heather entered the Career Enhancement Center she was facing multiple barriers including, limited computer skills, childcare issues, lack of professional dress for interviews and employment, experiencing a food emergency and she had no driver’s license. She began meeting with a Career Developer who assisted with breaking down immediate barriers by providing an emergency food pantry visit, and then employment guidance. She gained part-time employment as a part-time health aid.
However, Heather understood that in order to provide a better life for her family she needed to find full-time employment. So, she attended job readiness training where she learned basic skills to obtain and retain employment. She then joined the Customer Service Certificate training and successfully passed the National Retail Federation Customer Service Certification exam. Gaining this certification has sparked a renewed desire to obtain her certification as a surgical technician. She is currently attending the Career Enhancement Center to search for full-time employment in the medical field as well as researching education options in the healthcare industry.
Heather’s thoughts on the Customer Service Certificate training are, “Our study guide was great! It was a big help. The rules and regulations concerning everything that you’re supposed to know about your products and competitors products were really great and helpful. I would recommend the program. I have recommended the program to a lot my friends. The Salvation Army helped me gain a skill to add to my resume.”
Susan came in to our East Main Choice Pantry for food. While meeting with the case worker, Susan mentions her family has recently been homeless. The case worker continued with the intake and provided the family with resources to our services for clothing, furniture, employment resources, and holiday assistance. The family consisted of 4 members including mom, dad, and 2 children under the age of six. The family took the information and periodically continues to check in with the case worker. They were able to receive clothing, food, furniture and were adopted for Christmas through our Adopt-A-Family program. The case worker continues to periodically check on the family. Both parents are now working. Mom Susan shared, “Because of all your help, we are able to get back on our feet and take care of our children. We thank you.”
After School Learning Center:
Samuel was underperforming in reading and writing. He didn’t like reading and he grew very frustrated when he made attempts to read even simple words. At the beginning of the year he was able to read 3 words per minute successfully. Samuel spent each day after school at the Learning Center practicing his reading during silent reading time, working with staff on reading skills and keeping up with his reading assignments at school. He is now able to read 32 words per minute and has gained much confidence!!
During one unit the Learning Center students were studying the parts of speech (starting with verbs). Samuel made a huge effort to master them all. After the unit was complete, Samuel informed Learning Center staff that his teacher at school began teaching his class the parts of speech. We inquired as to whether his teacher asked anyone in the class what a verb was. Samuel said that his teacher did, that he raised his hand and was called on to answer. When asked how he responded, he said, "A verb is an action word. It's something you do!"
The After School Learning Center Program Manager, Amanda, recently awarded Samuel with a crown and pronounced him ‘King of Reading’ for the day. His surprise and pride were priceless.