The Samaritan Women was founded in 2007, when one woman was so moved by the stories and circumstances of women on the street, that she felt called to do something. This holy discontent led her to give up a lucrative career, sell her company and deplete her savings to purchase an abandoned 23-acre estate in Baltimore, Maryland. From this place she inspired others to take action. Over the next four years, hundreds of volunteers, churches, and companies would give countless hours to reclaiming the land for an urban farming enterprise, restoring a Colonial home to serve as our administrative offices, and renovating an 1883 Victorian mansion to establish Maryland’s first long-term residential program for victims of domestic human trafficking.
We were blessed with a generous gift from a local philanthropist, which allowed TSW to acquire our second facility. This undisclosed location helped us expand our Continuum of Care model by providing a dedicated environment for our first phase of healing, and also increased our staffing by several new hires. This Assessment Program house has a capacity of 6 beds and a 90-120 day length of stay. Following successful completion of this phase of our program, a woman moves to our Baltimore location. In 2016 we relocated this first phase to an alternative location.
More Blessings! More women serviced! We celebrated five graduations this year. A Boston-based philanthropist was inspired by our work and funded the acquisition of our third home. This home completes our Continuum of Care model by expanding our work to include a Graduate Program. Here, women who have completed the Restorative program can continue their healing and their relationship with college, employment, and their TSW family for up to two more years.
We hosted a national conference of residential service providers and a local conference for our church partners. We published a national report on funding needs and co-authored a report with D.O.J.
We increased in Operations as well. Three loyal staff were promoted into new positions (Deputy Executive Director, Director of Survivor Services, and Director of Spiritual Care), and we welcomed several new staff and volunteers into our number.
God is so faithful! In 2017 we celebrated our FIRST DECADE of ABOLITION, giving the Lord all the glory for the healing and growth that has happened in this place. TSW established a schoolhouse on the property and the first national “Practices” survey report was released, representing the cumulative response of nearly 60 programs across the United States providing residential care to victims of domestic human trafficking. The report offered a state-of-the-industry baseline against which agencies could gauge their work and aspiring agencies could direct their efforts. A training video for Rotary International was scripted and developed to help equip their membership in human trafficking awareness training.
A notable year, full of indicators that TSW is positioned for significant growth and change in the years ahead. We continued our work, welcoming 16 new survivors into the program; launching and operating a successful baking enterprise that employs 60% of our residents; hosting over 5,400 volunteer hours on our campus and; training 3,560 persons in the community on human trafficking awareness. We mentored six start-up shelter programs and launched the Alliance Referral System (ARS) – a system to expedite placement of trafficking survivors to any qualified program in the country. In October we announced our biggest initiative yet: the Institute for Shelter Care. We believe the Lord is calling us to become a multiplier, to build up care services for those who have been abused, exploited, and enslaved.
We entered 2019 with great excitement and expectation for what God is doing. Our vision is that any survivor, anywhere in the nation, would have access to qualified, compassionate care. Guided by our Christian faith, we seek to advance quality care for sexually-exploited persons. Our mission is to lead by example through operating transformative care programs; lead by evidence through collaborative research to improve this work, and lead by empowerment, by offering supportive shelter mentorship to establish and equip new programs across the nation.