Focus on the Upstate 87 - Jasmine Road - 1/14/18

Focus on the Upstate
Sunday, January 14th

Marie Majarais, Executive Director, talks about the founding of this new organization and the importance of their mission to help women escape the sex trafficking industry.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Welcome to focus on the upstate a program dedicated to informing you about organizations that serve our community. And how you can get involved with him. Here's your host Chris Evans. Good morning and welcome to focus on the upstate money is Chris Evans today my guest is marine Mijares. The executive director of jasmine wrote this morning Marie good morning thank you for being here thank you for having me it's my pleasure I wanted to talk about jazz genre this is a new organization a lot of our listeners probably won't have heard a few things I'm guessing. And so long let's consider this an introduction to the upstate. That senses to introduce jasmine road to the upstate so I'm starlet the first question that I normally ask is just give us a brief overview. What is jasmine road what do you do and who do you do for. McCain says yes just Randy is a marrying me you. Nonprofit social enterprise. Karma we just had our official launch not temper Tony seventeen is very near mania took and who we are existing T served. Women he's been sexually exploited. And China thanked. By a pair of signing two year end conference free housing. And holistic services. So by holistic services you mean elaborate on the and you know by hosting services most of the women that we will be serving will have layers of trauma and a lot of various needs. Come a lot of the times especially victims services are crisis services. More able to touch on one or two of those things. Come but what we kindest parent. The potential for these women to drive. Beyond that crisis is is pretty minimal. Because they have had years and years of exposure to trauma abuse trafficking. Violence poverty homelessness. So what we're trying to do is is break down some of those barriers so that they can. Begin to heal and find some sustainability. Am confident that life. And so my holistic care we have to provide. Their Chama informed there be. Their medical needs. More whining too you can't give them some life skills. We want to pound. Provide. Outpatient detox services and support really helped them put their life back together absolutely and come and then. I think I very important component of Justin heard as the social enterprise. And that man is being designs so that we can find this a safe protected environment for them to begin working. And earn a living ranged. So that they don't have to return to the streets. You know I've done a lot of interviews over the past few years with the organizations that in one way or another. Are focused on at least alleviating unemployment are helping get the people get prepared. For employment to help people get better jobs and have helped people get. Off the streets by becoming employed things like that talk a little bit about how important employment is in terms of recovering from a from this sort of situation. I think complaining so important because financial sustainability. Is the key to getting these women. Come off the streets if they didn't financially dependent on come therapies are it is really hacked him to see it be on content come. Beyond that person an anti fine to any kind of healthy way to sustain themselves so by providing them with financial literacy. And some soft skills. I'm helping them maintain their education. And her finding work for them enrichment they can sustain themselves and live independently. Come is going to be a huge. Factor of their success. You know without planet he knew we can lead helped them win them the detox stuff we can help them with the Thomas stopped but they're gonna have to have. Maintain my healthy life beyond system. God helps establish that independents are still okay and that's what I've heard from from other folks is that. The bad employment is really the basis of that independent. It's absolutely in my we're trying to do is bring about a generational change breaking that cycle human poverty homelessness victimization is very cyclical. And for a lot of these women this is all they've known and so if we don't offer the opportunity to see beyond. What light can offer. I haven't been my three east youth then dumb phone Internet and because ness of the women that will be working with have probably been incarcerated at some point in their lives. There are opportunities are being limited Hillary Harkins kind of work right. Who are the women that are most at risk for being exploited in this way. Email nineteen cam. I think people see. And victims of sexual trafficking and exploitation in certain Wayne may be in a some homeless person on the street there. Come summer in a way that it really can be anybody can beat anybody down thank you nano or work with. Come but I would say there are a lot of vulnerable populations. Come. You know children have been in Foster care children and her for women here adult survivors of sexual abuse from their from childhood. There are and various people who can be more susceptible you know a lot of women looking for love looking for attention in her thinking that this is their only way I. He can be anyone. Okay. Talk a little bit about the ads at the very short history jasmine road as they gather and he started in October. I started not tamper anchor and just a word came to be have come. Because a woman my name Rebecca Stevens. Who's the founder of special times in Nashville Tennessee thank came to speak cranks church episcopal community group of ladies. He heard her speak and wanted to learn more. This all farms is me is the momma never going to be following. They are considered the most successful. Social enterprise from my survivors in the country and Backus Steve and the found her she's been out of her met twenty years. An area the past couple of years they launched a sister agencies per gram and suggesting her just really really blessed to be. Considered a sister agency and which we can Gary trained learned. Come get past practice is frowned. And come really you know they've worked out the kinks or the past twenty years so they really helps us develop our model. So does Google want a women went to Nashville. They need learned about the model they learned about you know what was working what wasn't working and why that's so important how it was really building a community. And come they decide that something made absolutely wanted to do here cream on. So the board's been intact for. Eighteen months to come they formed some. Partnerships we've been really really blessed to have her partnership with Christ church episcopal. Trying mercy senator and there are health care pot partner with sponsored course Saint Francis health system. And they had just been working and an and then once say kind of develops some protocols some money to. To purchase a house and start their renovations and that. They launched their search for an executive director. And so when I heard about it. It really really appealed to me sending victim services for a long time now and what I found was missing was. That's holistic care we really really miss seeing what happens. To these people beyond. Crisis. I rate my rescue that's had to think come I think we see a lot of there's a lot of really great agencies doing good work. But what was frustrating for me in the work that I was doing specifically with trafficking domestic violence and sexual assault and how to piece victims was. That's success rate doesn't Cary and her meaning he can get someone out of a bad situation but he can not equipping them. With the tools to be successful beyond that. We were seeing people return to their abusers are. Return to drugs or return you know not not able to really lift themselves out of that situation he'd break those connections gas and so. What appealed to me minister when I was applying for this position what the holistic piece the social underpriced peace. I have done an MBA in business since so. Being nonprofit concern capping a businessman Pete I had and always really struggled. For the does decide how nonprofits or rent OK because we have a lot of really Cree intentions and while you're eating hearts and. What it's interesting that you mention that because in a lot of ways. It's kind of the same is running a for profit business but in some ways in some very important ways it's very different. It is and I think pound coming from a business perspective we need to think about sustainability. We have a responsibility. She provides services and quality services that fat and if we I'm thinking of how we're sustaining that raising money. To make that happen and then we're really doing a disservice. And so I love the idea of the socialist enterprise come and that sort of built since sustainability modeled. I love the holistic power where we're collaborating with different community partners TU. Make sure these women are getting all the things that they need to come to thrive and be healthy and be successful. That that it was all very appealing to me and say oh I'm I was hired on in October intent and we have since had. The very successful luncheon in town and we have a firm and as our understanding and fundraising luncheon and that was our official. Lunch and that was on the two returning six. And we have just and chicken along that has been sending great rented a car. Well let's talk about fundraising for a minute because one of the very important things about. Not for profit agencies. Is that you guys rely a almost exclusively on donations and in some sense there's services fees you know I think that played. But I donations or are incalculable as far as you're concerned. Gas and because of the nature of our services and we're offering two years rent free thanks amber gonna start with I play and then. We didn't like and so we've been lucky with some really great partners. T you come habit seed money in place to use to get a house and work on the renovations but yeah I mean an amazing is he's and we are trying to raise money. Not just for our capital expenses that absolutely for our operations. We have to build a sustained. The alliance that at least I have women and fifty years. And Derek caring and am so you know we. I erasing many. I am creating a really great partnerships and communities so that their services content can be expertly professionally provided. And come in here so rain our focuses on raising money for her direct operations. And now seems as good a time as any to mention your website jasmine road dot org. A budget just the way it sounds jasmine road dot ORG. There's link up there where you can donate an excuse to go in and and and just give of their own volition. And I imagine you're also gonna need volunteers because that says it's another thing that comes with a nonprofit status is is. Paid employees tend to be. He didn't he asked yeah Rain Man it's me and that group and we just found a part time person writes it's wonderful op term. Yes Monty is our Ariza key in the hiring at panther have nonprofit agencies come near San great suffering the and then and then chance that we generate and come. Wearing a tricky place right now because for non operational yet come our house is not expected to happen until May Wear won't be welcoming their first I residents. You know we have semi feudal coming forward whining how how can help. So we actually offer to our first volunteer training this past week and it was really more like an orientation like to me are what their mission has. Come what are we China to do who are we serving and mealy with the issues aren't. Getting a lot of volunteers as wonderful but I think getting on the same page pass away the actual issues on. Is really important we still live and dean and a great city. Where many don't know that this is happening here and many don't come don't recognize that this is even a problem right. So we felt that I can't train training that we where we concern educating and raising awareness on the issues. Or make it look more real fur for people who and they and they can decide how much or how little they wanted to get engaged. And so we have another term training. Being offered on February 6 and leave the honeymoon and trying mercy sinner from 68 PM okay. And I'm able to show for you need to register and he's going to register on a then pray and to meet. Appreciate you are speaking at a time but it is freeing up into the community okay. You actually kind of led into one of my next question which is it's a risk of sounding insensitive how big a problem is this really meaning you mentioned that a lot of people. This kind of flies under the radar for for most of the upstate population. How big an issue is sexual exploitation in the upstate. It's actually has had named big problems. And it kind I don't think people recognize it because no one wants to talk about and no one wants to know that this is going on in their city rather sensitive issue I guess they're mini is and I think because he knew cream has created semi it's time for their press about what he had a great place to visit and there's there are there really are. Beautiful things about our city this is moving to the years image a lot of pluses there iron and a bonanza think that there is an unseen part and I'm cleaned out and ranch there is still a lot of crime and poverty and victimization. And the problem that exists hearing greens down which we're just named two number one and stage for trafficking cases. Is that where you are location as we arm between my planner which is number one in the nation for sex trafficking. And Charlotte which is in the top ten. And we have an instinct that ran through this city. And it actually all of the steam and then makes an excessive pretty hot spot for air for trafficking to occur it's also you know that the industry is very championing and removing girls around. There really stay in one location for that month. For fear of getting content is such a lucrative business I think he can afford to. Besides the obvious sort of maybe including the obvious what is it that drives the demand for this kind of. And fortunately. The demand is has their act that we live MS society culture. Where. People feel like it's OK to cry and sound. Wind and cheer exploit them. To earn a profit and when I talk about the math of human trafficking. It's pretty it's pretty good could have I mean and in many people to. Make. And many have come in there are no little Johnny annually so it up for talking about one pan. It has tiny girls. Food. Expects these girls to service fifteen men can denying it for twenty bucks a pop up I mean brick touch up. He how we're attacking. In hand 68 years in a week. And for wise person and says he knew he not to hire Aaron and you me and my how are many other women. And and one of the reasons. You know and I want to kind of point out what the crime is. Trafficking people. He's been lucrative because women especially can be re used. He can trade guns and drugs yeah that's a one time transaction sure women can be used blankets and Tony Townsend night. And come and said there's a lot of profit to be to be gains diet and just CNET channel sixteen is. The definition is Isa force fraud and coercion. In order to make somebody in this case. A woman perform sexual contact with with the purpose of if I gain which is money. And we see a lot with minors and and with minors there's. He don't need to prove the force fraud and coercion peace because they're miners simply has affected their fault this stuff in her that yes and so. I'm in 2000. As part of that task force teen that I'm how push for the new laws to be passed against human trafficking to make. The punishment so they're a little bit more severe in and you know to really take it to another level how much I'm glad we did. And Carter's. That lobbying past was a mandated task force that some. They managed through the attorney general's office in Colombia and so. Being kind of that task force really have a nice to to what the needs more so lenient to create a state plan. From nothing when. He know where we're trying to identify what was the training that was needed. What was prosecution of these cases looking bike or the victim services available. And they really weren't a lot of resource says so I think the creation Tappan road is key. I'm just filling. A big part of that family. You mentioned that there is legislation that that you were on. Lobbyists four back in nineteen Isa 2012 train tells us on the power is so. Five or six years ago and Alan. What has been the effect of the loss since it's come into effect we. We haven't seen sound nut case is prosecuted under this new law comics kid because. You know there's there's less of a tendency to to plead down Archie you come diluted has something else. The punishment harsher for us sentences. Are longer term for jail time. And you mandate there's restitution there's a lot of different things. That are pretty involved with us law and including the indication of that task force and what the task force would mean Steve was. Provide training and the state work with law enforcement and figure out. How cases were being prosecuted and I think the biggest par the most important part for me you're with that it considers peace. And it was really tight end I what was being done and what those gaps for and there are a ton of gaps. Because we're not well resource. In this state T take on come all the means at these victims. This jasmine broad plan to. Partner with law enforcement in any particular way to you get in touch with victims that says that you could then. Moving your programs. Yeah I think so come I I have been really lucky to I was have a great relationship with that local law enforcement through the city in the count me. And even with after all I'm saying I attend a lot of work with Homeland Security investigations and through HSI and tiny switches PM. Immigration and customs enforcement when I was doing a lot of work with immigrant victims. And so having that relationship is really key and and helping them understand. How much the situation is and so that they know what they're looking for and how their cases are investigated he is because they really want to be able to you. Establish that were poor with victims and oftentimes they're not seeing them as victims. It their criminalize Federer prostitution or I'm. You know needed drugs around and that kind of thing so a lot that's that's sort of with the challenges is because a lot of our women will have. Criminal histories and had an arrest and hand so. He knows that training with law enforcement and handing them understands their the other players. That they might yes they money. Beyond turns steinem and is being they they're also being controlled and victimized. What do you say to somebody who objects to the status of a victim hood who says that some of these women are choosing to do this. I AM. Don't necessarily disagree I think there's a lot of women come to. You may think they choose that's. I think adult female victims often have a hard time identifying them as victims because they could possibly be enough. But there trafficker. Were there financially dependent on that abuse there. Or am they think if she is usually depending on the view chemically dependent that's huge I mean. You know the fascinating gets on the compliance soon turned the math and make them a hair. What's going nine and to become an addicted to you mean in drugs and alcohol and and other things hale says thinks that's. For winning he's been in this life furlong time and don't know any van haren had not given any other options they may think they're changing it. But I think the difference is they're choosing it. Because. Their options are saying very limit tent they don't know anything you can't and if they am. If you Isa making a send her money even if the majority of the guests at their pants. It's still better then than the minimum wage job that rusty chain that pregnant get Ian and sell like I think I think that's where. We're gonna have some turn just because we want we need women to it to identifying. What they've gone through and beat and a place at their ready to accept that the level of help that were going to be offering. What are your plans is still getting off the ground really doesn't yet what are your plans for the end of the victims that your claim to help you mentioned that housing or the is this going to be a single unit that they're living in together hurt individual or gas. Currently we have one home that's been purchased and renovations are well under way. We hoped house finds women to start where. And then number is small because we're going to be canceling current San many and there are specific means. And we really want to hand that close an intentional. Personal relations relationship with MT exactly the make them to make it's yet to get them off their feet. So we asked hopefully rocketing higher and first president to me should cut tiny team we want to also. Soon after her and introduced this session and a price piece that employment piece says that they're in a protected nurtured environment and can start earning some money. Plan as a separate over two years have. Braintree counting. And our hopes for growth is his. Possibly. One house house and I have women each year and the next five years since sporadic capacity and about Tony I went and. Well wolf good luck he is sounds like worthwhile endeavor can't thank again the website jasmine road dot org if people wanna get involved they wanna make donations if they want to. Find out about volunteer opportunities which admittedly are few at the moment mud. Probably will be expanding it down the road as you as you expand your organization apps currently marine in my heart risk is the executive director of Desmond road. And has been my guest today thank you very much for being hammering things he San Francisco my pleasure. I'm Chris Evans and this has been focused on the upstate. You've been listening to focus on the yet state with Chris Evans if you would like more information on today's topic email Chris. At C Evans