LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada has the second highest amount of human trafficking in the nation, according to numbers from the National Human Trafficking Hotline broken down by population.
With thousands racing to the valley for the Las Vegas Grand Prix, community resources are heading to the starting line to combat human trafficking. The Salvation Army of Southern Nevada opened a temporary, emergency shelter to help victims escape their situation.
“So if people find themselves in those situations, they know they have a way to come out and a place to be safe,” Executive Director, Maggie Laubach said.
The sanctuary is only for adults and there are shared spaces with 32 beds and case managers to help victims get resources like bus passes, food, and job referrals. Case manager, Donna Green encouraged victims to believe it’s possible to get out.
“I have so many success stories. Girls have come in, living in cars, under bridges. And now they have jobs, college degrees,” she said.
Survivors can reach them through hotline services, 911, and referrals. Laubach shed light on the global issue happening in our backyards.
“It is happening right here,” she said. “The Salvation Army is ready to serve and we ask the community to come alongside us.”
Seeds of Hope is their long-term, year-round program.
“We serve them with housing, wraparound services, case management,” Laubach explained. “Whatever they need to help get them on their feet and leave their current situations.”
Staff urged others to look out for potential victims. Examples include people not allowed to speak, or sounding scripted, a seemingly abused person, fearful, making little to no eye contact and someone without access to their ID or passport.
Laubach said the shelter will be open for as long as needed and is available by referral. If you or someone you know needs help, first call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888. You can reach the Salvation Army of Southern Nevada’s resource by calling 725-777-1373 for SEEDS of Hope program support.