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New Housing In Milwaukee Will Help Formerly Trafficked Women

The house key for unlocking a new house is plugged into the door.
Adobe Stock
The house key for unlocking a new house is plugged into the door.

Milwaukee has long been considered a hub of sex trafficking in the U.S. Sex traffickers often target vulnerable girls and women, trapping them in a life that can be difficult to escape and for some, the pandemic has exacerbated these vulnerabilities.

For years, Dana World-Patterson has been helping exploited women leave that life behind. As the founder and CEO of Foundations for Freedom, she educates and supports formerly trafficked women and girls. Now, Foundations for Freedom has embarked on a new chapter — providing housing for these same women.

"Individuals that are vulnerable and that comes in many different ways, but individuals that are vulnerable are more likely to fall into the grips of a trafficker," World-Patterson explains. This housing will remove some of the pressures that formerly trafficked women and girls face, she says, like financial instability, housing instability and mental health pressures.

World-Patterson continues, "In addition to housing, we're also going to wrap around them financial literacy [services], mindfulness, yoga — things that we do on a regular basis that an individual may take for granted. We want to load the women, that will come in contact with us through these housing solutions, with these needful things to allow them to think differently."

She hopes this housing will be the beginning of more Foundations for Freedoms developments that could serve a variety of other needs this community is facing, including emergency housing for formerly trafficked women and housing for underage girls that have been trafficked.

Joy is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
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