Photo (left to right): Rev. Morgan McLean, MLUC member Trevor Drake, Katrina Wagner and Carol Metzker of New Day Drop-in Center
It is estimated that 50,000 women and children are brought to the United States for trafficking every single year. Despite these numbers, human trafficking is an issue plagued by avoidance, minimization, and victim blaming. But since its inception, The Salvation Army's New Day Drop-in Center has never turned a blind eye to women in need.
The New Day Drop-in Center is a safe, non-judgmental space for women who are victims of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. At New Day, women have access to meals, showers, toiletries, social services, information about alternatives, and a safe place to rest for a while, all provided with dignity and respect. The location is open Monday through Thursday, and sees anywhere from 15 to 25 women per day. New Day focuses on building rapport and trust, and supports women in reclaiming control over their lives. News of the center is spread primarily through word of mouth and also by street outreach teams.
"We view them as humans; we try to empower them. We are not going to shy away because the rest of Kensington does," Program Director, Arielle Lopez told CBS Local.
(candle created by one of the center’s visitors)
The drop-in center will use MLUC's donation to continue to provide supplies visitors need. They have even begun stocking up on art supplies with the intention of building a social enterprise from which women can sell their creations.
If you are interested in donating, getting involved, or learning more about The Salvation Army New Day Drop-In's mission, click here.