Freedom House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to bring hope, restoration, and a new life to survivors of human-trafficking by providing a safe home and long-term aftercare. In August 2010, Freedom House launched The Monarch, the first safe house in Northern California for adult female survivors of human trafficking.   The Nest, its residential shelter for minors, is located in Santa Clara County.

Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Freedom House works closely with law enforcement and community partners to identify survivors of human trafficking, and to provide them with the care and services they need to rebuild their lives. Through our innovative aftercare model, Freedom House is breaking the cycle of exploitation and creating new futures for survivors.

Read our full vision statement and our 2-year anniversary report.

Freedom House is a place I thought no longer existed in this world. This home is a place for women like me to feel safe and see what beauty God has to give.

– Former Freedom House resident

 

Meeting Basic Needs

Most survivors come to us with little more than the clothing on their backs. Our first priority is to welcome them to their new home and to make ensure that their immediate needs are met.

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Housing
  • Transportation

Providing Holistic Care

We provide comprehensive case management to address the unique needs of survivors. Our case management staff works closely with each resident to develop an individual care plan.

  • Medical
  • Psychological
  • Legal
  • Social services

Creating New Futures

Our ultimate goal is to empower survivors, supporting them in their journey of moving out of their past trauma to a future of independence and self-sufficiency.

  • ESL/schooling
  • Life skills
  • Job training
  • Housing support
In 2009, Freedom House founder Jaida Im was awakened to the cruel fact that modern-day slavery existed in her own backyard. Human trafficking was rampant in California. While questioning the impact one person could make against the second-largest international crime, Jaida was overwhelmed by the enormity of the problem and her lack of knowledge about the issue. Still, she was convicted to act.

Jaida discovered that survivors had nowhere to turn. Short-term housing options existed for rape and domestic violence victims. However, nothing focused on the particular needs of human trafficking survivors, who commonly need more time to heal from the complex systems of physical and psychological trauma.

Following what she believed was divine inspiration, Jaida was determined to find a solution, and created a unique model that offered safe housing, counseling, job training, educational resources, love and support for adult women for a period up to 18 months. She approached business, faith-based and community service organizations, asking for their guidance and support.

In August 2010, Freedom House opened its doors with The Monarch, the first long-term aftercare shelter of its kind in Northern California, offering hope, healing and the restoration of human dignity to survivors of human trafficking.  Under Jaida’s guidance, Freedom House also opened a second shelter, which is known as The Nest for girls in Santa Clara County.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee honored Jaida with the prestigious 2013 Modern Day Abolitionist Award for her outstanding work in the field of victim assistance and protection. The San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking (SFCAHT) sponsors the annual award, which was presented during ceremonies for Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Jaida also received recognition from the Commission on the Status of Women.

As the Executive Director, Jaida’s responsibilities include the leadership and operations of the organization. She brings to her role more than 20 years of experience as a healthcare professional in managed care organizations, and holds a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Southern California.

 

 

Shelter Homes

Shelters and services for victims have not increased to meet the growing demand. According to the Polaris Project, the Washington D.C. agency that monitors human-trafficking cases, only 529 shelter beds in the U.S. are exclusively dedicated to trafficking survivors. Twenty-eight states have no shelters or services for survivors. Psychological services also are needed to help survivors with mental-health issues, because PTSD, dissociative behavior and bipolar disorders are common in this population due to the layers of trauma. Since the beginning, Freedom House has taken a holistic approach to help create new futures for survivors. Though its program differs from that of temporary shelters and drop-in centers that work with the same population, its effects will be long-lasting and pave alternative routes of success and self-worth for its participants.

THE MONARCH (San Mateo County)
In August 2010, Freedom House launched The Monarch, the first “safe house” and long-term aftercare program of its kind in Northern California for adult female survivors of human trafficking. Since opening, The Monarch has aided both international and U.S.-born women, 18 years and older, most of whom arrive at the eight-bed residential shelter with no more than the clothing on their back. The Freedom House team strives to meet a survivor’s immediate needs: housing, food, clothing and transportation, while providing comprehensive case management to create an individual care plan. It’s a holistic approach, connecting survivors to medical, psychological, legal and social services. The Monarch also provides resources for educational opportunities, English-as-a-Second Language classes and tutoring, life-skills courses, job training and internships. Program participants have the opportunity to receive transitional housing and services for up to 18 months.

THE NEST (Santa Clara County)
As soon as Freedom House opened its doors, it became apparent that a safe house was needed for the CSEC population (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children), as more than half the survivors at The Monarch reported being trafficked or sexually abused when they were adolescents. In 2014, Freedom House expanded its impact by offering shelter and a comprehensive aftercare program for girls age 12 to 17 at The Nest. Case management, therapeutic counseling, academic and life-skills education, and recreational activities allow these middle- and high school-age girls the opportunity to recapture their stolen childhood in a family-style setting.

SUPPORT
Freedom House needs your financial support and in-kind donations to help sustain these vital programs. We welcome gift cards to such stores as Home Depot, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, Forever 21, Michael’s, Safeway, Lucky’s and other retail outlets.

Our Freedom House mailing address is P. O. Box 2065, Burlingame, CA 94011. To donate online, please visit our secure donation page.

If you would like to receive more information about The Monarch and The Nest, or volunteer to help, please contact us.

Where is the safe houses located?

Due to safety and legal concerns, the identities of program participants and shelter locations are strictly confidential. The Monarch is situated in San Mateo County and The Nest is in Santa Clara County.

How are survivors referred to Freedom House?

We have formed partnerships with community agencies that come across survivors of human trafficking and refer them to our program. These include law enforcement, domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, hospitals, and other service providers. We conduct outreach to various agencies to help equip them to identify and advocate for survivors of human trafficking.

How many women can stay at the homes?

The Monarch for women can house up to eight women at one time. The Nest for girls is a six-bed group home. When the shelters are full, potential residents are placed on a wait list and staff collaborates with other local agencies to provide survivors with interim housing. 

How long can they stay?

Due to the specific needs of survivors, who often need extended time to heal from psychological trauma, the Freedom House aftercare model offers long-term programs at its residential shelters. Adult female survivors may stay at The Monarch up to 18 months, which is considerably longer than most emergency shelters, allowing Monarch residents time to acquire skills to become independent, self-sufficient women. At The Nest, young survivors can stay until they reach the age of 18.

What are the demographics of the residents served?

We serve female survivors of human trafficking,. This includes survivors of sex and labor trafficking, and American-born as well as international women.

Residents by Continent of Origin

What are some of the scenarios that you come across?

Below are two scenarios that give a picture of the types of human trafficking that occur locally. To protect confidentiality, the names are fictional, and these accounts are a combination of stories we encountered.

Leticia was from the Dominican Republic. Through family friends, she was introduced to a woman who wanted to hire her as a domestic worker to work in the United States. The woman and her husband signed a contract with her and obtained the visa. When she arrived in the U.S., they made her work 7 days a week for no pay. She was not allowed to leave the house and was physically abused. She was not allowed to use the phone. One day in secret, she called 911. After contacting assistance, she ran to a hotel where the police met her. At that point, she was connected to Freedom House.

Maria was new in town. She lost her phone and her friends. Then, she made a bad choice. A man and his cousin offered to help her, and she trusted them enough to get into a car with them. That would be the last choice she was allowed to make. She was raped by both of them, kept in a house in an area she did not know and was not allowed to use the phone. Soon, the men forced her into prostitution. If she protested, they beat her. If she cried that she wanted to leave, they threatened to kill her. They threatened to expose her as a prostitute to the police and her family. Shamed, abused, and violated, she didn’t know what to do. The beatings over time caused enough damage that she was forced to go to the hospital. She confided in the doctor, who then called Freedom House.

What happens to the women after they exit the program?

Residents are ready to leave and graduate from the program once they gain emotional health and have a safe situation to go to. Some women choose to return to their families or their home countries. We’ve had graduates successfully get jobs and become financially independent. Many of our graduates keep in touch with our staff, and we are able to provide ongoing support.

Become a Advocate Volunteer

To be engaged in the next training cycle, details to be announced.  Please email tina@freedomhousesf.org.

Become a Shelter Volunteer

To be engaged in the next training cycle, details to be announced.  Training is required before engaging with the survivors of either home. Please email tina@freedomhousesf.org if you would like to volunteer your time to be a critical member of our team!

General Inquiries

Get in touch with us! We would love to partner with you in our mission to bring hope and a new life to survivors of human trafficking.

Email: info@freedomhousesf.org
Office & The Monarch: (650) 488-0831
The Nest: (408) 826-4436

All correspondence, including financial contributions, can be mailed to:

Freedom House
P.O. Box 2065
Burlingame, CA 94011

Web: www.FreedomHouseSF.org

Stay Connected

Sign up to get email updates from us!