LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A local group aimed to put an end to human trafficking is opening a home in Southwest Louisiana for survivors.
“We found out there are only 1,600 beds in the U.S. for human trafficking survivors," Rusty Havens, founder of SWLA Abolitionists, said. "There’s an estimated close to a million people in the U.S. who are victims of human trafficking, so there is definitely a need.”
Havens says his group saw a need to help survivors in our area. He says in 2019 alone, they have helped around 20 in SWLA. The SWLA Abolitionists say they decided to open a home for those victims of human trafficking.
It’s a place, Havens says, for four human trafficking survivors at a time, to stay while getting back on their feet. He says three survivors are already prepared to move in.
“This is only four beds, and we had no problem whatsoever filling those beds," Havens said. "There needs to be more. In the future, my organization hopes to open more houses. But to do that, we are going to need more funding and we are going to need people’s help from the community. I firmly believe it is our job to help one another and that is what we are trying to do with the house. We are trying to take care of the most vulnerable and we need people in the community’s help.”
Havens says they hope to have the home open in the next few months.