Shelter Planting Roadmap

So you want to plant a shelter?  Here is the place to start.  We have gathered and created resources and education materials to help you on your journey to starting your own shelter.  Explore these tools and lessons to find out more about the field and what it takes to create a qualified residential program for survivors.


1.) Learn about Yourself

You’ve heard the call to work in shelter services for victims of sex trafficking, but what does it mean to say “yes!”? 

Download and explore our discernment guide, “Discerning your ‘Yes’,” to learn more about how God is calling you to service. (Download PDF)

Corbett, Steve and Fikkert, Brian. When Helping Hurts, 2009 – learn how to engage this social justice issue without doing more harm than good

Do you have what it takes to get a shelter off the ground and running?  Take the Grit Scale survey, designed by psychologist Angela Duckworth, to find out if you have the passion and perseverance necessary to be a shelter-planter.


2.) Learn about the Issue

Facing the darkness of commercial sexual exploitation isn’t for the faint of heart.  These resources will give you a glimpse at what this nefarious act really looks like.

Moran, Rachel.  Paid For, 2015 – an incredible survivor story that intelligently lays out the issues and challenges of this population and this work

“Sex+Money” – DVD documentary on sex trafficking in America. Effective as a survey of the issue and good for stoking conversation about the area in which you feel most called to serve.


3.) Learn about the Need

There is a wide variety of shelter-services needed to best serve survivors of sexual exploitation.  What types of services are most needed in your area?

Trafficking Shelter Needs Assessment – use this tool to survey your community and determine how you might fill in the gaps of shelter-care. (Download PDF)


4.) Learn about the Trade

A lot goes into creating and maintaining an organization that provides shelter-care services.  Learn more about the complexities of a residential program, as well as some of the challenges faced by shelter operators. 

2017 Practices Survey – national survey of residential service providers for victims of trafficking. Useful for grasping the complexities and range of issues you need to be considering. (Download PDF


 5.) Learn what you will Need

Gain an understanding of what your support and partner network will need to look like in order to serve this population well.

Tracy, Steven R., Mending the Soul. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005 – This book is helpful for understanding how to communicate about the issue of sexual abuse and violence to faith communities.

Human Trafficking Victim Services Providers Funding Survey – 2016 (Download PDF) 

Residential Service Provider’s Guide to Working with Law Enforcement Referrals of Human Trafficking Victims 2017 (Download PDF)