Thursday, June 9, 2016

Join the Fight against Trafficking in Genesee County

I became involved in the Genesee County Human Trafficking Task Force (GCHTTF) because of the work that I was doing with disconnected youth ages 16 to 24 and homeless clients at the time through the organization, Resource Genesee. Both of these populations are vulnerable to being trafficked and joining the task force was a logical extension of my work. 

The fight against human trafficking is important to me because no one has the right to own or control another human being and because I feel called as a Christian "to set captives free". I am very proud of what we have accomplished as a task force, particularly our collaborative work with community partners, and the ways that we are growing. I invite you to learn more about our work and hope you will partner with us or your own regional task force in anti-trafficking efforts.

Our Mission: A community working together to end human trafficking. Thus your presence to accomplish the work to end human trafficking brings new life to "community".

Our Vision: By the end of 2019, Genesee County will have an effective unified community response to human trafficking.

To that end we have established and are working on the following goals:

The Task Force Organizational Structure - The Task Force has been successful in establishing a working organizational structure with formalized membership, effective committees and strong communication.

Our 5 committees include:

  • Public Awareness and Community Outreach - creating opportunities for presentations to many sectors of our community.
  • Advocacy - working to influence our local, state and national legislatures to enact legislation to protect human trafficking survivors and to stand up for victims everywhere, but most especially in Genesee County.
  • Communications - social media including Facebook emails, and the website.
  • Resources - cataloging the services available to survivors, identifying needed resources in the community, and disseminating the information to the community.
    • We are also working on developing a country-wide protocol for all agencies involved in responding to trafficking victims, similar to the collective response to child abuse.
  • Fund Development - developing a fund-raising plan to meet the Task Force needs and to raise funds to enable the Task Force to hire a full-time staff person.
Education - Task force members will be informed and educated to a common level, local inventory of resources completed, including gaps, and Task Force members will understand the local system and how to maximize current responses.

  • None of us on the Task Force realized quite how gargantuan a task this goal would be. We find that education and review of resources in our community continues to be a part of every meeting. The more we know, the more we know we don't know. However, we are in contact with one another continually to assist individual survivors who are experiencing an immediate crisis by providing local resources.
Partnerships - based on local resources and needs, determine needed and appropriate partnerships, pursue those partnerships and create relationships. We have an extensive membership in the Task Force including members from diverse organizations, agencies, and public entities in all fields. Our membership, however, will not be complete until everyone in Genesee County is a member.

Recruitment - identify partners to participate in Committee work as well as to serve on the Task Force. 

While our progress as a Task Force may seem fairly low key compared to survivor's stories, there is no way to assist survivors of human trafficking without a structure and process in place. This structure supports the work to end human trafficking.

Here in Genesee County while we believe that we have come a long way, we also believe that we have a long way to go to accomplish our ultimate goal - ending human trafficking period!

Take Action:

  • If a Committee's work seems especially appealing to you or the work of the Task Force piques your interest, please visit our Facebook page - Genesee County Human Trafficking Task Force - for postings of pertinent articles, information and up-coming events.  Please get involved!

Lindsey Younger is Charperson of the Genesee County Human Trafficking Task Force.