The National Trafficking Sheltered Alliance is a network of service providers committed to enhancing services and increasing access to care for survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Human trafficking is the second-largest and fastest-growing criminal industry in the world, with up to 300,000 people at risk of being trafficked each year in the US alone. This problem generates a desperate need for thousands of survivors to find a safe place where they can heal.
The U.S. Government has been taking the issue of domestic sex trafficking seriously since 2010, making this is an incredibly young and uncharted field. In such a new field, many residential programs do not survive their first year of operation due to burn-out or financial instability, and many experience a widespread sense of isolation.
At present there are no standard, widely-accepted best practices that all programs can use to inform the care they provide. Until now, there was no accrediting body for long-term shelter care for survivors of human trafficking, and there is a present gap in accountability and goal setting for agencies within this field.
As the response to human trafficking in America continues to increase, the need for service providers to collaborate and stay connected is more important than ever. NTSA strives to address this need in three strategic ways:
- Our Referral System connects survivors across the nation with the right residential program for them both efficiently and with dignity.
- Our Knowledge Center equips residential programs with the training & resources to learn and grow in a collaborative community.
- Our Accreditation provides accountability to ensure that survivors receive quality care from healthy, trauma-informed organizations.
Through collaboration, we can ensure every survivor can access quality, trauma-informed care.
National Trafficking Sheltered Alliance was born out of a need to ensure every survivor has access to the best quality of care and every service provider feels connected to a support system. In 2016, twenty-two agencies from across the country gathered outside of Chicago, IL, along with a host of individuals who aspired to get involved in survivor care. Represented were survivor allies, survivors of the sex trade, and survivors of other forms of exploitation. It was an incredible gathering of dedicated individuals, each of whom had accepted the call to step into the world of darkness and evil known as human trafficking.
Soon after, it became clear that there was eagerness to formalize an alliance of service providers. In January of 2018, a founding steering committee was established that consisted of eight agencies from across the country: The WellHouse (AL), Gracehaven (OH), Engedi (WA), Rest (WA), North Star Initiative (PA), Refuge for Women (KY), Truth for Women (PA), and The Samaritan Women (MD). Then in October of 2018, National Trafficking Sheltered Alliance (NTSA) officially launched to the public. At that time, some members of the founding steering committee became NTSA board members.
The formation of NTSA happened organically. It was developed out of a sincere desire to learn from one another so that we could each improve our services, as well as grow together as an anti-trafficking field. There was a great determination to sharpen each other so that all involved could provide the best quality care to survivors of trafficking. There was an understanding that the best way to do that is by working collaboratively – to rise by lifting others.
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Why is the Alliance Important?
The work of restoring survivors of sex trafficking is not only difficult work, but an entirely new field. Very little peer reviewed research exists within the literature regarding best practices for therapeutically engaging both adult or minor survivors of sex trafficking. Promising practices are developed through trial and error, and most importantly, through the sharing of those results with other organizations. A national alliance is the perfect environment for new promising practices to be discussed and tested.
The organizations working in the field of trafficking survivor rehabilitation know the difficulty of the work that stems from the degree of trauma endured by these survivors. These men, women, and children are among the most traumatized individuals within our society, and bringing them to a place of healing takes a toll on those working directly with the survivors. A national alliance provides a like-minded community that allows for the sharing of difficulties, frustrations, and successes as well as a resource to help deal with the unusual situations in this developing field.
As Executive Director of NTSA, Melissa is responsible for setting the mission & vision of the organization; informing, developing & executing the organization’s strategic plan under the oversight of the Board of Directors; as well as performing other key duties such as fiscal stewardship, fundraising, marketing, & platform building.
Director of Operations
As the Director of Operations, Rachel collaborates with leadership in the development of strategic goals & long-term operational plans, while overseeing the Alliance Referral System, Accreditation, & Operations departments.
Referral Program Manager
As the Referral Program Manager, Alexis manages the enhancement, facilitation & analysis of the Alliance Referral System (ARS) as well as the development & future launch of the TIRA app, which will enhance the current ARS program.
Membership Program Manager
As the Membership Program Manager, Zach acts as the main point of contact for NTSA members, enhances available resources, & cultivates new strategic partners while maintaining the current membership benefits.
Director of Donor Engagement
As Director of Donor Engagement, Gen is responsible for inviting donors to be a part of NTSA’s mission & overseeing fundraising efforts, as well as building & maintaining donor relationships that make NTSA’s work possible.
Marketing & Donor Engagement Manager
As the Marketing & Donor Engagement Manager, Danielle is responsible for the creation of marketing collateral, graphic design, social media content, & public communications while also supporting NTSA’s Development efforts.
Accreditation & Government Partnerships Coordinator
Annie supports NTSA’s Accreditation program by creating policies, databases, & templates, & facilitating the accreditation process. She also acts as the point of contact for federal government departments relevant to the field.
Board of Directors
Who are our members?
Check out which agencies are currently part of the Alliance network.