SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Federal authorities are still investigating a Sioux City couple accused of human smuggling and rape. Activists say it’s not the only case related to human trafficking in Siouxland. That’s why one organization is now working to support survivors.
Once the victims of sex trafficking are able to escape most don’t know what to do next or where to go. Lila Mae’s Home will soon be an option for women in Siouxland. The facility is a safe place for women over eighteen to get back on their feet.
“Every room will have a full bed, rocking chair, dresser, lamp, and closet space,” said Marit Westrich, Lila Mae’s House executive director.
Lila Maes House will be a transitional living program for survivors of sex trafficking.
“Where women can learn that they have dignity just because of who they are and learn about trafficking, and learn about control, and learn about relationships,” said Sister Shirley Fineran the founder and president of Lila Mae’s House.
The program will be able to house seven women, providing them with a safe place to rest and heal from the trauma they have experienced.
“We will be taking referrals from where ever we get them because there are people being trafficked all over the united states and there aren’t that many resources available,” said Fineran.
The program is still a work in progress, and the building is currently under construction. They are also in the process of hiring staff members and finding sponsors that want to help support survivors.
“Our staff is going to be trained in ways to help them get their that initial trauma that ability to sit quietly to reflect on where you have been to heal and to put in the work,” said Westrich.
Women in the two-year program will learn how to become self-sufficient so they can return to a life outside of abuse.
“How to cook how to clean, and how to keep your house in order, personal finance kind of stuff, how to hold down a job, and some job training, and education skills to get a job. The end goal is when a woman comes here within two years she is stabilized and ready to be living among the community,” said Westrich.
The home is planning to open its doors in November. The rooms are coming together but they still need help financially supporting their staff that will be in the home if you would like to help the organization you can click here to donate.