Human trafficking is as much of a problem in the Guelph/Wellington area as it is around the world. In Canada, primarily youth between the ages of 12 and 25 are affected. It is the third largest criminal activity after guns and drugs, according to Crime Stoppers. And contrary to popular opinion, 80 percent of human trafficking victims in this country are Canadians. Many of these victims are moved every few days between motels and strip clubs along Highway 401 and the QEW.
Most victims are tricked into the sex trade by “Romeo” pimps who sell a dream of money, love, and security. Some of these girls are runaways, abandoned by their parents, or foster kids lured straight out of group homes; others grew up in middle-income households and are recruited from high schools or house parties. The victims are often brainwashed, deprived of food, beaten and threatened.
While many organizations are working hard to rescue these victims, currently, there are very few options for immediate and safe shelter. According to Elizabeth Kent, Executive Director of Victim Services, Wellington County, finding shelter for Human Trafficking survivors is extremely difficult, often the only resort is to put them into hotels – hotels often being the setting of their exploitation.
Elora House – A New Hope
The project’s immediate focus is to provide a safe-haven in Guelph/Wellington County for girls and women exploited by sex trafficking and trade. Our goal is to purchase a home, staffed by trained volunteers to provide the support these rescued girls need while offering safe shelter. Elora House will provide immediate lodging, food and clothing and will help connect them with community partners for all areas of counselling and support.
The Elora House Leadership Team is comprised of volunteers in the Guelph/Wellington Community including those who work with victim services, SIM Canada, women’s ministry and police services.
How You can Help
Elora House will be 100% donor supported. We have been gifted the down payment to purchase a home, however, we are looking to raise a minimum of 2-years of operating funds to ensure the project can get off the ground and sustain itself. Funding will go towards hiring full-time support staff and housing costs. Our goal is to raise $135,000 prior to launching the initiative.
Donations are tax-deductible and charitable tax receipts will be issued via Elora Road Christian Fellowship (Charity number 107299786RR001). For more information or to obtain a copy of the business plan, contact us by email or call 519-821-0424 Ext306.