“Opening Doors: Louisiana Human Trafficking Survivor Housing Report” reveals lack of beds, limited housing options for trafficking survivors

The Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force is proud to share its new report: Opening Doors: Louisiana Human Trafficking Survivor Housing Report. “Opening Doors” was created as a final product of a year-long community-based project to better understand trafficking survivor housing options in Louisiana. The housing report was created by integrating survey data of three key stakeholders in the housing process: housing providers, housing advocates, and trafficking survivors. This report is the first of its kind in Louisiana- collecting data to take a data-informed approach to understand the current housing landscape. Our goal for this report is to spark a conversation about survivor housing access that is guided by feedback from housing providers and also grounded in survivors' lived experiences. We hope this information can be a catalyst for future in-depth analysis of the housing system.

Access Phase

The report found that there are few specialized housing options in Louisiana- only 46 total, which are only available to female sex trafficking survivors. The report found that 84% of housing advocates serving trafficking survivors believe that there are not enough general housing or specialized housing options for trafficking survivors in Louisiana. See the flow chart below to learn which trafficking survivors have access to specialized housing services. Adults with children, labor trafficking survivors, males, and trans/non-binary/gender non-conforming individuals had fewer general housing options and no specialized housing options.

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Process Phase

This report illuminates a contrast between the perspectives of housing providers and housing advocates in the process phase of housing. Important topics that highlight the contrasting points of view include: perceptions of bed availability and shelter fullness, intake process speed, and intake rigidity. For example, housing providers have a wide range of responses about how often they are full, which contrasted with housing advocate perception that beds are constantly full or unavailable. 56% of housing providers said they are full 60% or more of the time. Housing advocates identified that many clients were being screened out during the intake process, due to issues like history of behavioral health issues, mental health, criminal history, substance use, and cooperation with law enforcement.

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Service Phase

Housing providers and housing advocates expressed varying degrees of success housing survivors. Stabilization was identified as the top success in the service phase by both housing providers and advocates. Stabilization is a process of helping survivors feel more safe, addressing basic needs, and addressing the survivor's acute needs. The most common successes housing providers identified were short and long term stability; and the most common success identified by housing advocates was general stabilization.

However, when we coded the responses of housing advocates we found that “no success” was the second most common phrase used to describe successes in the housing process. Housing advocates reported that a large portion of the survivors they serve do not make it into housing programs due to factors including identity, bed availability, and behavioral health. The most common challenge that housing providers identified in the service phase of housing is that survivors prematurely exit housing programs (such as running away, relapsing, or returning to their abuser).

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Moving Forward: Next steps

This report marks the beginning of a data-informed conversation about housing for human trafficking survivors in Louisiana. Here are some ways that the community can take steps to build upon this information:

  • Convene a summit with key stakeholders (survivors, housing providers, advocates) to discuss the success and gaps identified in this report to discuss ways to improve survivor outcomes in the housing process.

  • Implement this housing project for a second iteration in 2-3 years to see how the landscape has changed in Louisiana.

  • Apply for funding to support the expansion of existing housing programs or development of trauma-informed, survivor-centered housing programs that serve trafficking survivors- particularly those who do not currently have specialized housing options.

  • Support future research that explore topics identified as key issues in this report, such as: how often shelters are full or at-capacity, which client demographics are successfully accessing housing, what housing success looks like for trafficking survivors and providers, and what alternative housing options (outside of the housing service provider landscape assessed in this report, such as therapeutic foster care programs) are available to trafficking survivors.

  • Conduct program evaluations of existing housing programs to understand client outcomes in the service phase of the housing process, and assess potential opportunities to improve housing accessibility and outcomes for survivors.

To learn more about the housing project and to download the report, visit http://www.nolatrafficking.org/research.

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The Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force is a coalition of more than 80 state, civil society, and citizen organizers, the Task Force is committed to the prevention of human trafficking in the Greater New Orleans area through education, outreach, and collaboration. The Task Force’s primary goal is to collaborate in sharing and disseminating information, contacts, and protocols related to the existence, prevention, and response to human trafficking in New Orleans.

WVUE: Report: More human traffic victims reported in Louisiana

By Rilwan Balogun | April 1, 2019 at 3:49 PM CDT - Updated April 1 at 5:04 PM

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New state numbers show the amount of sex or labor trafficking victims climbed 9% last year.

“This is here in our state. It is in Louisiana,” said Christy Tate with Department of Children and Family Services. “I think many times people associate trafficking as being somewhere far away, but it’s here. It’s in our backyards.”

Read more at: https://www.fox8live.com/2019/04/01/report-more-human-traffic-victims-reported-louisiana/

Special Guest Appearance on Red X Podcast

Special Guest Appearance on Red X Podcast

The GNOHTTF Task Force Coordinator Leanne McCallum sat down with Red X Podcast, a podcast "that exists to raise awareness of human trafficking in North America and empower everyday people to work with their local municipalities to create a safe place for citizens, a hostile environment for criminals, and a second chance for survivors." On the podcast, Leanne discusses survivor services and coordinated response for trafficking victims in the Greater New Orleans region.

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Community Champion Spotlight: Laura Murphy and Nadia Lee

Community Champion Spotlight: Laura Murphy and Nadia Lee

Our fourth highlight features two community members who are sharing the truth about trafficking experiences in unique ways. Dr. Laura Murphy conducts research on human trafficking, highlighting survivor experiences and leading the community through evidence-based understandings of the crime. Nadia Lee is a Survivor Leader and Eden House employee who shares her lived experience to provide prevention education to at-risk youth.

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Community Champion Spotlight: Kate Shipley and Leanne McCallum

Community Champion Spotlight: Kate Shipley and Leanne McCallum

Each week for the month of January, we will be highlighting individuals who have gone above and beyond in the Greater New Orleans community to serve victims and survivors of human trafficking. Each individual was nominated by Task Force members. Community champions represent a variety of different disciplines and perspectives from the anti-trafficking movement.

Our second highlight features coordinators who are bringing communities together to combat trafficking across the state of Louisiana. Both of these coordinators are facilitating cross-disciplinary collaboration, meeting folks where they're at to improve trafficking response and create coalitions.  This includes Kate Shipley, Interim Executive Director of the Louisiana Alliance of Children’s Advocacy Centers, and Leanne McCallum, the Task Force Coordinator for the GNOHTTF.

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Community Champion Spotlight: Storm Ehlers and Samantha Sahl

Community Champion Spotlight: Storm Ehlers and Samantha Sahl

Each week for the month of January, we will be highlighting individuals who have gone above and beyond in the Greater New Orleans community to serve victims and survivors of human trafficking. Each individual was nominated by Task Force members. Community champions represent a variety of different disciplines and perspectives from the anti-trafficking movement.

Our second highlight features innovators who are bringing promising practices to the New Orleans juvenile justice system: Storm Ehlers and Samantha Sahl. These young professionals were nominated because of their commitment to evidence-based practices and continuous engagement and collaboration with community members.

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Community Champion Spotlight: Billy Hare and Sheri Lochridge

Community Champion Spotlight: Billy Hare and Sheri Lochridge

To honor Human Trafficking Awareness Day, each week in January we will be posting a “Community Champion Spotlight” highlighting 2 individuals who exemplify excellent anti-trafficking work in New Orleans.

Our first Community Champion Spotlight features members of our lead Task Force agencies. Both were nominated because of their leadership, commitment to treating victims/survivors with dignity, and dedication to collaboration. Both are individuals who have made themselves available all hours of the day, and are known as people you can count on to help out in any situation. They are Lieutenant Billy Hare, Commander of Vice Division for Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and Sheri Lochridge, Senior Human Trafficking Case Manager for Covenant House New Orleans.

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COVENANT HOUSE NEW ORLEANS: What You Can Do To Combat Trafficking

COVENANT HOUSE NEW ORLEANS: What You Can Do To Combat Trafficking

At the end of nearly every training event, an audience member will ask me, “So what can I do to combat human trafficking?” Though this global crime can seem daunting to address, everyone has a role to play. No matter who you are, how old you are, where you work, or where you live: anyone can ‘EASE’ into supporting this movement. 

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PRESS RELEASE: National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month Raises Awareness of Hidden Crime in Louisiana

PRESS RELEASE: National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month Raises Awareness of Hidden Crime in Louisiana

The Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force will honor the 7th annual National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month by hosting and supporting awareness raising activities throughout the month of January.

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