One of our specialized programs is our HOPE Program. Created in 2014, it was developed as a response to the York Regional Police’s request to find housing options that provided safe and holistic supports to survivors of human sex trafficking. Often described as a modern form of slavery, human trafficking is the control and use of threats or violence to exploit another for financial gain. Unsuspecting girls are ensnared online, in malls, and in schoolyards.
Human trafficking is perceived as a problem that is mostly present in remote areas of the world, however, the data shows that 93% of sex trafficking victims in our country are young, Canadian girls, with homeless and low-income women being the most vulnerable. Over the last few years, there has been a heightened awareness of the issues around human trafficking and sexual exploitation in our community, and 360°kids works with those who are most vulnerable by providing prevention education and programming.
The HOPE Program also provides a safe nurturing environment for young women leaving human trafficking to obtain counselling, medical attention, life skills, and build self-esteem to promote a healthy transition to independent living. We have six bedrooms for female survivors, providing housing supports for up to five years. Since the inception of this program, we have supported over 35 young women to rebuild their lives.
Without the support of the community and foundations such as AMDF, 360°kids could not make the impact we do. Together we make the difference that can mean life and death for many young women.
Aubrey & Marla Dan Foundation.