Florida Abolitionist team up with Aspire Health Partners to open first human trafficking crisis shelter in Florida

Details about shelter, new mural in Orlando announced at “Freedom 2017: A Resolution to End Human Trafficking” 
ORLANDO – (September 28, 2017) Florida Abolitionist, the region’s leading agency in the fight to end modern-day human slavery, announced today details about Florida’s first human trafficking crisis shelter at “Freedom 2017


Florida Abolitionist has teamed up with Aspire Health Partners to open the state’s first crisis shelter for victims of human trafficking. Florida Abolitionist Executive Director Tomas Lares detailed the new shelter at “Freedom 2017,” held at Orlando City Hall.


“Having a place to take victims immediately that is equipped to give them quality care they need will change lives,” said Lares. “Our mission is simple, but it is bold and audacious. We want to end modern-day slavery in our community.”


The shelter will open in 2018. Florida Abolitionist will assist human trafficking victims by finding resources and becoming victim services advocates. The shelter will be in an undisclosed location to ensure the safety of victims.


Lares also highlighted the “State of Human Trafficking” in the region and the progress Florida Abolitionist has made in the past year in its fight to end human trafficking. Orlando was recently ranked #3 in the United States, per capita, for calls to the national human trafficking hotline. In 2016, Florida Abolitionist assisted more than 275 victims in Central Florida.


Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer: “It’s so important that groups like Florida Abolitionist and our law enforcement agencies continue to partner to assist victims. Our community is committed to not only standing up for the victims, but also to stopping human trafficking.”


Orlando District 2 Commissioner and Florida Abolitionist board member Tony Ortiz: “The courage of survivors to thrive after living through such unspeakable conditions is truly inspiring. It is most important that we prepare ourselves and commit to eradicating this epidemic. For this is not a small group battle, this is everybody’s battle”  


Highlights at “Freedom 2017” included:

New mural – Orlando artist Alejandro Ruiz unveiled plans for a new mural, which will be placed on display in Orlando. Ruiz, whose work can be seen at the Orlando City Soccer Stadium, shares a passion to end human trafficking.

New website and hashtag – Florida Abolitionist will debut its new website StopHumanTrafficking.com and the new #StopHumanTrafficking. The website will make it easier for victims of human trafficking to reach out for help. 


Human Trafficking Awareness Day – Florida Abolitionist will host the 10th anniversary of Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Jan. 27, 2018. It is a day to help the people of Central Florida learn about human trafficking and get involved.


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