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Damascus Road Project implemented a pilot jail outreach program in the Winnebago County Jail. With the support of jail administration, we have placed identifying posters in the PODS that encourage inmates who have been trafficked to reach out to us for help and support. With the success of this program, we expanded, and are also serving women at the Outagamie County Jail as well as other county jails, and at several local residential AODA programs. Our advocates partner with Probation Officers, Public Defenders, District Attorneys and Judges to assist our clients who qualify and want to participate in long-term faith-based residential restoration programs. If approved, we fully fund transport to these out-of-state programs. In addition, Damascus Road Project provides incarcerated clients with access to services, uplifting reading materials, support, love and encouragement while they are in jail.
Our organization regularly receives calls from agencies throughout Wisconsin, looking for assistance in other jails throughout the state. It is out hope to someday have qualified trained individuals to serve each woman needing services.
In addition, Damascus Road Project is currently serving over 50 women within the Wisconsin prison system. These women, currently housed at Taycheeda Correctional Institution, Robert E. Ellsworth Correctional Center and Milwaukee Women's Correctional Center receive weekly encouragement notes, letters, books, bible studies and support. We work with them supporting their release planning and maintain relationships with them as they return to their communities.
When a woman we served is released from incarceration, we continue to walk alongside her in the community. When it is appropriate, we fund their transportation to long-term restorative care programs. We also offer faith-based support opportunities and mentorship. Each woman who needs one is given an "Exodus Bag" filled with necessities such as toiletries, hygiene items and clothing. We treat them to dinner with our staff, and provide them with a personalized homemade blanket to wrap them in comfort and love.
They touch our lives as much as we try to touch theirs!
We approach hotels with educational awareness materials in order to help locate missing children. Staff can then create a connection between missing children and human trafficking. We educate hotel staff on how to spot and report human trafficking, and set up future training for all hotel staff. Our hope is to establish potential on-going relationships/outreach projects with hotels resulting in tips and/or the recovery of missing children and/or victims of human trafficking. Damascus Road Project has also led or assisted in hotel outreaches in Las Vegas, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, Plymouth, Sheboygan and Wausau. It is very encouraging to have new communities wanting to help raise awareness.
Hotel outreach is an easy way for volunteers at any level of experience to get involved and it’s effective. After being educated about human trafficking, many hotels provide tips which aid in collecting evidence for cases and eventual recoveries.