A Curiosity that became a Calling


Faith Huckel, Founder of Restore NYC

In 2009, Faith Huckel started reading about unusual cases within domestic violence and homeless shelters in NYC: there was a pattern of foreign women who struggled with trauma and disorientation. Curious, Faith continued researching these cases, and learned that there was a growing number of foreign national women who were being trafficked in NYC. These undocumented women, who could not speak English and carried large financial burdens, ended up in domestic violence or homeless shelters because existing social service programs didn’t have the clinical resources nor the cultural capacity to treat and restore these women. Even at these shelters, the women could stay up to only three months.

There was a pattern of foreign women who struggled with trauma and disorientation.

Moved by these neglected women and their experiences, Faith knew that what was once a curiosity had become her calling. She quit her job and founded Restore NYC. With her background in social work, she brought together a passionate team and they began connecting with shelters and community groups to seek out victims.


The early team of Restore NYC

As they worked with more and more women, the team realized safe housing was crucial to healing. As a result, in 2010, Restore opened the first long-term safehome dedicated to foreign national victims of sex trafficking in the Northeast.

With its increasing reach, Restore was soon recognized by both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and became a trusted partner of government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; the New York City Criminal Court, Queens County; and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern & Eastern Districts of New York.


A Woman. A Prostitute. A Slave., November 27, 2010 by Nicholas Kristof


New Aid for Sex Victims, October 26, 2010 by Kristi Oloffson

Today, Restore is a nationally recognized leader in identifying and helping trafficked women and is made up of a unique team of experienced counselors, social workers, researchers, and business professionals. With the blessing of our many supporters, we continue to create hope for these neglected women and set the standard of care nationwide.


Photo of the crowd during Restore NYC’s Spring Social event (2015)