SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Partnership for Freedom, an innovation competition designed to address critical issues faced by human trafficking survivors, has announced finalists for the first round of the competition, Reimagine: Opportunity. This competition challenged applicants to submit creative ideas to improve sustainable housing (emergency to long-term), economic empowerment (job skills/placement) and social services (including legal, medical and mental health services).
From an app that crowd-funds emergency support for housing, to micro-farms that integrate skills training, housing and education services, to new career and professional networking opportunities, the solutions reflect the complex challenges faced by survivors, and the creativity of those who are supporting them.
"Tens of thousands of people are trapped in modern-day slavery in the United States, and they face a multitude of challenges when they get out," said Catherine Chen, director of investments at Humanity United, the foundation leading the initiative. "With the Reimagine: Opportunity Challenge, we wanted to spur new ideas and new partnerships. The ideas presented by these finalists have the potential to inspire real improvements in the way survivors are assisted across the United States."
Humanity United and its partners, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative and Steven Spielberg's Righteous Persons Foundation, received more than 160 entries from more than 260 community organizations, service providers, hospitals, corporations, universities, government agencies and community coalitions in 39 states. Submissions were reviewed by a panel of anti-trafficking technical experts from the entities leading the Partnership for Freedom, and twelve ideas were chosen as finalists:
- Accelerated Pathways to Recovery: International Rescue Committee, Inc. (New York, New York)
- Article 25 Project: Heartland Human Care Services (Chicago, Illinois), in partnership with International Institute of Buffalo (Buffalo, New York), International Institute of Connecticut (Bridgeport, Connecticut), International Institute of Minnesota (St. Paul, Minnesota), International Institute of Boston, Inc. (Boston, Massachusetts), Safe Horizon (New York, New York), Heartland Alliance – Social IMPACT Research Center (Chicago, Illinois), Milk Products Media (Chicago, Illinois); and Corporate Disk Company (McHenry, Illinois)
- Collaboration for a Safe Way Home: Covenant House (New York, New York) in partnership with LifeWay Network (Forest Hills, New York)
- The Empowerment Project: District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH) in partnership with Courtney's House and Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) (Washington, D.C.)
- Homes for a New Horizon: Pacific Gateway Center (Honolulu, Hawaii)
- MGH Freedom Clinic: Massachusetts General Hospital, Division of Global Health and Human Rights (Boston, Mass.)
- The Networked Survivor: Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (Los Angeles, Calif.)
- New Jersey Human Trafficking Housing Locator: Polaris Project (Washington, DC) in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Children & Families
- SafeNight: Providing on-demand shelter for human trafficking survivors: Caravan Studios, a division of TechSoup Global (San Francisco, Calif.) in partnership with Aidmatrix Foundation, Inc. (Irving, Texas)
- THRIVE Partnership: Araminta Freedom Initiative (Baltimore, Maryland) in partnership with TurnAround, Inc. (Towson, Maryland)
- Utilizing a Medical-Legal Partnership Model to Provide Legal Services to Human Trafficking Survivors: The Medical – Legal Partnership Clinic at the University of Kansas School of Law in partnership with the Institute for Policy & Social Research at the University of Kansas, University of Kansas Medical Center (Kansas City, Kansas), Rose Brooks Center (Kansas City, Missouri), National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership (Washington, DC)
- Value Added Opportunity: GreenHouse17 (Lexington, Kentucky)
To learn more about these ideas, please visit www.partnershipforfreedom.org.
The finalists will participate in a three-day Innovation Workshop in Washington, D.C. in January 2014 where they'll pair up with expert coaches from social enterprise development, technology start-ups, medical and mental health experts, communications and public relations to further refine their ideas. Up to three winners will be announced in Spring 2014; they will receive up to $1.8 million in funding to begin piloting their solutions.
Learn more at www.partnershipforfreedom.org or follow #P4F on Facebook and Twitter.
About Partnership for Freedom
The Partnership for Freedom is a public-private partnership that was first announced by President Obama during his landmark speech on human trafficking in September 2012. It is led by Humanity United, a foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom, and the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative and Steven Spielberg's Righteous Persons Foundation.
About Humanity United
Humanity United is a U.S.-based foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom. At home and in the corners of the globe where these ideals are challenged most, we lead and support efforts to lift up the voices and will of people, ensure good governance and the rule of law, engage markets and business as a force for change, and encourage the exploration of promising ideas and innovations to end conflict and slavery—all with the belief that everyone has the right to a life that is peaceful and free. Learn more at www.HumanityUnited.org or follow us on Twitter (@HumanityUnited) and Facebook. Humanity United is part of the Omidyar Group: www.omidyargroup.com.
SOURCE Humanity United