This Thanksgiving week, we are celebrating the implementation of the largest grant we have received in our history. We’re thrilled to share that in September, Restore received a second grant from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), a part of the U.S. Department of Justice, for our Economic Empowerment program. This $700,000 specialized grant spans three years and was awarded to only six other organizations providing economic empowerment services.
There are approximately 100 nonprofits in the U.S. with a primary mission to serve survivors of trafficking. With this grant, the federal government has distinguished Restore as the only anti-trafficking organization in the nation to receive Department of Justice grants for both housing and economic empowerment.
Despite the plethora of anti-trafficking organizations in New York City and across the nation, there have always been, and continue to be, significant gaps in two services: housing and economic empowerment. We are undaunted. Restore has always run towards opportunities to pilot new initiatives to fill these gaps. This entrepreneurial spirit paired with our commitment to trauma-informed, survivor-centered care have led to innovative thinking around how we can do not only noble but also effective work.
Since becoming operational in 2009, we’re proud to have been able to:
Open the first safehome in the Northeast dedicated to foreign-national survivors of sex trafficking
Launch the only trauma-informed Economic Empowerment program that provides culturally sensitive job-readiness service with rapid attachment to the New York City labor market for trafficking survivors
Launch the nation’s first and only workers’ cooperative for foreign-national survivors of trafficking focused on survivor leadership and securing business partners with safe, sustainable jobs
We’re excited about this grant, and we’re humbled. There is still so much work to be done, and we feel the weight of that burden every day. For the fifth year in a row, we’ve had to turn away clients who need our help.
But as the number of Restore partners, supporters, and significant funders like OVC grow, we know with more certainty: we are reaching a real inflection point toward ending sex trafficking in New York City and beyond. Ultimately, we have this gratitude because we know we are building something of ultimate worth, together. It’s a privilege to pursue true restoration and freedom with you. Thank you.
May your Thanksgiving be filled with joy and celebration!