Building a home for victims of human trafficking - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Building a home for victims of human trafficking

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It's a work in progress, but soon an empty Toledo home will be a safe haven for victims of human trafficking and prostitution.

"One our here is one our off the streets," Genevieve Abalos, the co-founder of Art of Hope said.

Abalos and Tina Robinson are the founders of Art of Hope.  The organization is dedicated to helping women get off the streets.

"I want these women to know that people can change, there are people out there that love them," Robinson said.

Toledo ranks fourth in the country for human trafficking.  In fact, a recent nationwide sweep led to the rescue of 105 underage victims, including one in the Glass City.  But, this is only the second home of it's kind in northwest Ohio.

"To know that it is so strong in our own front yard, it's crazy that more people don't step up and try and help," Robinson told 13abc.

That's why construction is underway.  Once it's all finished, it will be able to house two women and help them begin their lives.

"We have creative therapies that we'll be doing, counseling, training for GED's, book clubs, bible studies, all kinds of things they'll be able to get involved with," Abalos said.

But, before anyone can move in, it needs the basics: beds, sheets, appliances, you name it.

Some donations have already trickled in, but now they're counting on the generosity of the public.

"More people need to get involved," Robinson said.

Robinson and Abalos say the house is just a stepping stone to achieve their goal of a large, live-in facility that would house 10 to 12 women.  Both are confident they'll get there.

"This is our heart, this is our passion."

If you would like to volunteer or make a donation call Vision Ministries at 419-242-0140.

 

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