Human trafficking festers amid injustice and chaos, and the past year has brought plenty of both. Between the health, racial and economic crises of the pandemic, escalating hate violence, social and political upheaval, and a persistent homelessness crisis, Cast saw an 185% increase in urgent trafficking cases from the same time last year.
“Cast is a community where survivors connect, thrive, and discover what it means to have a home.”Kay Buck, Cast CEO
To meet this moment, our dedicated team of advocates stepped up in extraordinary ways. We took aggressive steps even before the Safer at Home order was declared by shifting survivors out of shelters and into private hotel rooms in order to reduce their exposure to COVID-19. We launched a new Emergency Relief Fund, doubling down on support for survivors who not only lost their jobs and homes, but continued to suffer injustices caused by systemic racism. We saw a 455% increase in costs for providing basic necessities, mental health support and housing, and we continue to meet survivors at this increased cost.
Through this work, we have placed 100% of trafficking survivors in safe housing. Housing has been particularly urgent this year, as every single survivor who came to Cast was homeless since the Covid crisis began, nearly one third higher than the usual rate. Trinity, who was first trafficked at age 15, shared if it weren’t for our housing program, she didn’t ever see an escape from being sold on the streets, where she was vulnerable to COVID-19.
Nearly 50% of survivors we work with lost their jobs or saw reduced hours because of the pandemic, and we acted aggressively to get them back into the workforce. Because of our approach, nearly 80% of the graduated survivors from our programs are either employed or attending school.
These results belong to all of us. Our outcomes are a direct result of the partnership of our dedicated frontline staff, our designation as an essential business under Mayor Garcetti’s Safer at Home order, and the outpouring of support for our work from generous supporters like you.
Cast is a community where survivors connect, thrive, and discover what it means to have a home defined not by four walls and a roof, but by the people who have your back. We will not rest until we have given every survivor the sense of belonging they deserve and a path towards ending human trafficking.