Thanks for all your support and votes.
When I was in jail, I spent nine months completely alone and I met Ms. Posze from Her Song and she told me about the program and I thought, if I could just get in that program, I don't have to die like this. Our mission here at Her Song is to interrupt the cycle of trafficking and lead women to freedom. And so we do that in three ways, survivor care which is our residential program. Victim outreach, which we are in the community, in the jails, reaching out to women. No one is uncovering the fact that they're human trafficking victims. We also have community awareness program and we have created in conjunction with the local public schools a curriculum where they can learn about the signs of human trafficking. I have no doubt in my mind that when I leave Her Song, I'm going to be equipped to go out and live a good life.
Her Song's mission is to interrupt the cycle of trafficking and lead women to freedom. We do this through survivor care, victim outreach, and community awareness. As young women escape, the available services are limited and fragmented not only locally, but nationally. In 2013, Her Song recognized this gap in services and sought to address the problem. Thus providing comprehensive services in a residential setting for adult female survivors. The program is intentional, empowering and integrated. It breaks the barriers to recovery and is a prescribed pathway to success based on fundamental areas of health. Some examples being: mental and physical health, well-being, safe stable housing, education, skills training, financial management, and economic mobility. Without stability in any one of these, breaking cycles of abuse, homelessness, trauma and addition becomes impossible. Her Song works to build healthy, strong lives in our community for trafficking victims.
Victim Outreach: We strategically work in our community with partners who can identify and refer. Examples of this are: JSO, FBI, SAO, and human service agencies. For 2019, we have received over 80 referrals and have supported more than 60 women in our Purpose Groups inside the jail. The needs in our community outpace the resources available for victims to exit a life of abuse and control.
Survivor Care: We provide residential care in the context of a safe home where our program focuses on holistic health for victims. This means that victims are receiving tools and resources to heal and address root issues. Here they begin to change their life. They are dreaming again. Ladies are going to college, working as a nurse or in a law firm, building healthy relationships, and much more.
Community Awareness: We want to change our community. So, we speak and train. We speak in schools, civic clubs, businesses, and places of worship. We train law enforcement officers, college students, and both local and regional educators. We partnered with Duval County Public Schools to educate middle and high school students. Our curriculum has reached over 25,000 children in prevention against human trafficking.
Her Song was founded in 2013 and incorporated in 2015. Freedom Cottage opened in 2017, which marks the first safe home of this kind in Jacksonville. Victims who had been waiting for months in jail or unsafe living environments moved in that day. As a result of this notable achievement, Her Song was featured in several broadcast and print news articles. Our Founder was awarded the FBI Director's Community Leadership Award in Washington, D.C. Held at FBI headquarters in April of 2017 by former FBI Director, James Comey.
In 2019, Her Song collaborated with members of the Sheltered Alliance to set forth national standards for residential care. Along with, best practices in residential programming for human trafficking victims. Within the same year, Her Song launched the second safe home in Jacksonville and was able to double in capacity.
Milestones are continuing to be reached. Residents are achieving physical and mental health, coping skills, college, and certifications. With these successes and many small, behind-the-scenes, daily victories in the lives of survivors, we are creating an excellent continuum of care for victims of trafficking.