Connecting Sex Trafficking Survivors To Education And Jobs

Well­spring Liv­ing, a grantee of the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion, is a non­prof­it that serves sur­vivors of sex traf­fick­ing and those at risk for exploita­tion. Based in Metro Atlanta, a city with one the high­est rates of human traf­fick­ing in the Unit­ed States, the orga­ni­za­tion pro­vides ther­a­peu­tic ser­vices, edu­ca­tion and employ­ment sup­port to its clients.

“Atlanta has the largest income inequal­i­ty in the nation,” says Chris­t­ian Mur­phy, chief exec­u­tive offi­cer of Well­spring Liv­ing. ​“That means wide­spread pover­ty, home­less­ness and oth­er fac­tors leave young peo­ple vul­ner­a­ble to sex traf­fick­ing. The stereo­type of traf­fick­ing is a kid­nap­per with a van, but often, the vic­tim is a child or young adult who has been exploit­ed because they do not have anoth­er way to sur­vive. We help par­tic­i­pants by pro­vid­ing tools and resources to devel­op the courage to move for­ward and the con­fi­dence to succeed.”


Well­spring Liv­ing’s ser­vices focus on men­tal health, life skills and case man­age­ment for sur­vivors and those at risk of exploita­tion. For exam­ple, its Women’s Acad­e­my, Well­spring Liv­ing focus­es on two areas:

  • Adult Edu­ca­tion. Par­tic­i­pants in the pro­gram receive sup­port as they obtain GEDs. 
  • Career Readi­ness. Par­tic­i­pants also can access pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment train­ing and apply to paid appren­tice­ships with cor­po­rate partners.

Because 72% of Women’s Acad­e­my par­tic­i­pants are moth­ers liv­ing in pover­ty, the pro­gram reduces bar­ri­ers to par­tic­i­pa­tion by pro­vid­ing trans­porta­tion assis­tance, meals, child care stipends and hous­ing vouch­ers. Wrap­around ser­vices — includ­ing group coun­sel­ing, finan­cial lit­er­a­cy, enrich­ment events and cook­ing class­es — also are offered to par­tic­i­pants. To date, the Women’s Acad­e­my has served more than 880 sur­vivors and expects to serve between 70 and 100 sur­vivors in 2024.


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