Sunday, November 3, 2013

Safe House in Florida Opens Doors

Selah Freedom Opens the Doors to Heal Human Trafficking Survivors
Selah Freedom’s First Safe House Opens its Doors November 1
Sarasota, Fla. – October 30, 2013 – Selah Freedom, a nonprofit organization committed to confronting the issue of human trafficking in Florida’s Gulf Coast through advocacy, training and restorative services, is proud to open the doors to its first—and one of Florida’s first—safe house on Nov. 1. Located at an undisclosed location to protect the privacy of those the organization serves, the safe house can house up to four women and is already filled to capacity with a waiting list.
“I am confident the safe house will make a positive impact in the lives of our residents,” stated Elizabeth Melendez Fisher, President and CEO of Selah Freedom. “With the added protection of shelter for the survivors of human trafficking, their healing will be accelerated and we are confident they will be prospering out in the real world after fully completing our program.”
As part of the organization’s Residential Recovery Program, residents will be provided trauma counseling, support groups, like-skills training, education and career planning classes. Guided by a team of clinicians, counselors, live-in coaches and other volunteers, survivors staying in the safe house will be provided with the necessary life and recovery skills.
“I am honored to be helping these survivors in taking back control of their lives,” stated Melissa VanDyke, one of the live-in coaches. She continues, “I have always strongly believed no matter how broken you are, there is always hope.”
Behind Miami and Orlando, the Sarasota/Bradenton and Tampa Bay area is the third-largest hub for human trafficking. That startling realization makes the need for safe homes in the region even more overwhelming. Selah Freedom is looking to open a second home within a year with the help of volunteer home builders. When a second safe home opens, the organization is confident it can serve triple the amount of human trafficking survivors.
In order for Selah Freedom to be able to expand its services, additional funds are needed. The organization was presented with a $250,000 matching grant from the Pentecost Foundation and has until Dec. 31 to raise the remainder. “This matching grant is an incredible opportunity for our organization,” said Fisher. “Approximately 90 percent of every dollar raised by Selah Freedom goes directly to helping survivors, each donation truly saves a life.
For more information, or to help support Selah Freedom in achieving its $250,000 fundraising goal, visit, email or call 941.302.2299.
About Selah Freedom
Based in Sarasota, Fla., Selah Freedom’s sole focus is ending human trafficking and sexual exploitation on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Started in 2010 with guidance and mentoring from Atlanta-based and nationally renowned, Wellspring Living, Selah Freedom offers survivors the life-changing services and tools necessary to free themselves from this type of exploitation through support and recovery groups, as well as a holistic residential restorative program. For more information, or to donate, visit

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