Miami, June 19, 2012 – The Life of Freedom Center, Miami’s first walk-in support center established to serve victims of commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking, officially opens on Tuesday, June 26th. An opening day, ribbon-cutting reception will include special guest Jeanette Rubio, wife of Senator Marco Rubio (R, FL), Tuesday, June 26th, at 7 PM. This facility, the first of its kind in Miami, was inspired by the vision of SOL.Media Network and Resources, Inc. of Miami, in conjunction with Fields of Hope, rehabilitation and life skills training organization, based in Asheville, NC.
“Miami is a hub city of the international and domestic human trafficking trade,” said Jorge Veitia, founder of SOL.Media Network and Resources, Inc. “Many young girls, abandoned by their families or listed as missing children, are literally captured by sex traffickers and enslaved into a life of deception and crime. When seeking freedom, these minors and young adult women are in desperate need of basic physical, emotional and moral rehabilitation. The Life of Freedom Center is designed to provide these critical needs.”
The Life of Freedom Center (LoF Center) is a 1500 sq. ft. service facility Located at 3119 Coral Way, Miami FL 33145 – Map.
The center contains a large multi-purpose open space and meeting rooms for workshops and class instruction in life and job skills. Walk-ins and those referred to The LoF Center can attend workshops hosted by volunteer mentors from the community. Programs and training services are offered at no cost.
All care givers and volunteer mentors complete a 15-hour orientation course and must pass a rigorous criminal background screening. An extensive orientation and training course is a required step in preparing volunteers, due to the complex nature and often severe trauma experienced by those who have be subjected to human trafficking.
The Life of Freedom Center will offer a core training program, developed by Fields of Hope (FOH), a rehabilitation and life-skills training organization, based in Asheville, NC. Through personal mentoring and training assistance, participants learn specific job skills, while making FOH hand-made products. This on-the-job training also provides participants the opportunity to develop personal gifts and talents through FOH training programs. Fields of Hope offers a 3-month educational fellowship for survivors, ages 16-25, that provides a monetary stipend. Fields of Hope clients work through a variety of curriculum each week that include topics such as business ethics, teamwork, attitude, personal goal plans, and other core qualities.
Participants can be referred to the Fields of Hope program through Miami area agencies that serve victims, such as Project Gold with Kristi House. After candidates complete the application process, an agency or law enforcement entity must testify that she is a survivor of human trafficking. After a counselor confirms the participant is receiving weekly counseling, they can enter the Fields of Hope program at The LoF Center.
Fields of Hope, is a sister organization of On Eagles Wings, a service provider based in Asheville, NC, that has been assisting victims of trafficking through a shelter and outreach program since 2008. On Eagles Wings operates Hope Houses, two of the nations few shelter programs for survivors of sex trafficking. Hope Houses serve domestic victims, ages 12 – 25. Fields of Hope is a support service of On Eagles Wings Ministries designed to help survivors achieve personal goals, and acquire practical work-skills and management tools helpful in achieving financial independence.
Proceeds of the fundraising reception will benefit The Life of Freedom Center and Fields of Hope, which is scheduled to start their first class in July of 2012. The reception will feature live music, a silent auction, a photography collection by Amber Patrick giving a glimpse into the world of human trafficking, refreshments and special guest Jeanette Rubio, wife of Senator Rubio. The Founders of SOL.Media and On Eagles Wings will be sharing the vision with guests during the event. Decor for this event is being provided by event planner, Eileen Morales Agosto.