More than 40 million people are enslaved today. From fishing boats to brothels to the internet, each avenue of trafficking and slavery has one thing in common: an exploitation of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Traffickers prey on those stuck in poverty. More specifically, they victimize children in poverty. One in four people enslaved today is a child. And one in five youth experiencing homelessness has been a victim of sex and labor trafficking or both.
Families without a home live in constant threat.
With no stable source of income, vulnerable people are more prone to take a risk trusting someone who promises security in return for their services. These at-risk families have no way of knowing these false authority figures are traffickers driven by greed.
When a family doesn’t have a home, they often resort to making their own — wherever they can, with whatever they can.
In El Espino, El Salvador, 64 families were forcefully evicted from their homes overnight. For decades, generations of families lived on the same land, but they didn’t have papers to prove legal ownership. The government bulldozed their homes to make room for a new road. The families resorted to making their own shelter on the street median using scrap metal, tarps, and rotten wood — exposing themselves to the constant threat of violence and manipulation by traffickers.
A single mother in a similar situation in El Salvador told us about her experience on the streets:
“Here, there’s no security. We’ve had many challenges as a family as thieves take our things. We don’t have locks on our doors.”
Homes can provide the protection vulnerable families deserve.
Families without a home in rural, impoverished areas of Latin America don’t have the luxury of calling 9-1-1. They’re left to fend for themselves. In Mexico, we met a mother who resorted to living with her uncle who often beat her. When she called the police, they took her child away and left her alone with her abuser. She hasn’t seen her child since.
The world’s most vulnerable people don’t have the physical or judicial protection that allows them to flourish. They’re living in survival mode.
But one home can change everything. A safe home gives families a foundation of security and stability.
With doors that lock, families can sleep in peace. They can also leave their homes with confidence, knowing their belongings are safe. With in-house access to clean water, women no longer have to risk their lives by walking three miles alone. And with stability, families have the margin to pursue their careers, increase their income, and break the cycle of poverty.
The families we’ve supported in Mexico have increased their income by 63% since moving into their new homes. Many of them leverage their homes as a place of business like a bakery or general store. When families have a consistent source of income, they become less susceptible to manipulation by traffickers entrapping them with empty promises.
You can help a family gain freedom from exploitation.
At New Story, we believe home impacts everything. Too many people in poverty are enslaved every day for us to continue living and working in the same way. We have to build differently — starting with homes.
Thanks to generous supporters, we’ve brought safe housing to more than 12,000 people across the world. Every home is protecting the world’s most vulnerable people from a life of exploitation. The gift of home empowers families to build a new story for themselves — stories where slavery does not exist and freedom does.
“This new house is a gift from God. It will be completely different from where we live now – this will be permanent. This will be my land. In my name. For my family. And that is freedom.” — Paul in Titanyen, Haiti