Board of Directors
Oakland County Commissioner
Detective Sergeant Ed Price
Michigan State Police
Dr. Chris McPeak
Detroit Area ER Doctor
Chief Development Officer
The board also consists of silent individuals supporting and championing our cause.
* Non-voting member
What is Hope Against Trafficking?
Hope Against Trafficking is a Southeast Michigan-based campaign in support of Magdalene Detroit and is presented by Monarch Wings, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.
Magdalene Detroit is our extended-term safe house program for women in Southeast Michigan who have been rescued from commercial sex or labor activity which has been induced through threat, force, or coercion. It is a 24-month residential program that provides rent-free housing and comprehensive services focused on physical, mental, emotional and economic transformation. This is the first program of its kind in Southeast Michigan.
Why Specialized Housing?
Sex and labor trafficking has occurred throughout the Detroit metro area and continues. Most victims become entrapped between the ages of 12-14. Many have become addicted to drugs and alcohol to numb their pain having suffered physical abuse at the hands of their exploiters. Death threats are used to keep them silent. With no safe haven, identity or money, they lack the hope that their circumstances will ever change. Rescue efforts on local, state and national levels are ongoing and increasingly effective. Once rescued, however, many survivors face little or no options for safe housing, support and services which allow them the chance to fully recover from their trauma and rebuild their lives. This is why we are here.
Women are referred to Magdalene Detroit by local law enforcement, prominent social service organizations, correctional facilities, and street outreach programs. They are invited to enter a compassionate and disciplined community which is dedicated to their recovery and where they may acquire all of the benefits of a caring home environment, as well as professional counseling and specialized, victim-centered, trauma-informed therapy, job skill development and access to education and social services. They are supported by a team of salaried professionals and volunteers who stand by to guide and help them toward independence and empowerment.
We believe that love transforms. At Magdalene Detroit, love allows human trafficking survivors to rebuild, rediscover and rewrite the stories their lives.
A Proven Solution
Magdalene Detroit is a seedling of the successful Magdalene/Thistle Farms model from Nashville. There, roughly 3/4 of the women who made it through the first six months of the Magdalene program were drug-free and pursuing education and employment two years later—a percentage unrivaled by any treatment center. That’s because Magdalene is not a halfway house or treatment center, but a community where the best evidence-based social work is paired with a spiritual community of sisterhood for life that gives women a safe place to heal.
Women who enter the Magdalene program will likely have first experienced sexual abuse between the ages of 7 and 11, started using drugs by age 12 and 13, and have been on the streets since age 14. Many who have fallen into cases involving sexual slavery through threat or force have experienced trauma from violence, coerced drug addiction and/or unwarranted jail terms. They enter Magdalene Detroit broken and in need of long-term safe housing and specialized services to address their physical, mental and emotional needs. They are welcomed home and given a key, their own bed, every-day essentials and most importantly, empathy, compassion and hope. They join a sisterhood of healing and restored women. When they leave, they are whole, transformed, and empowered to live their lives with joy, dignity and independence.
Our program empowers residents – after an initial 6-month recovery and commitment term – to earn and save wages through our non-profit social enterprise which imparts job skills and training for self-sufficiency. Here residents are given a stake in the success of the organization and empowered to help other survivors like themselves. Our social enterprise program is currently in development and will be modeled after Thistle Farms in Nashville.
We rely heavily on private contributions for the support of our home, its furnishings and every day living needs for our residents, as well as the specialized, professional therapy we provide to them. While additional benefits for our residents may be provided by generous, in-kind donors, funds may also support extended job training assistance and legal services.
Learn the background story of our Co-Founder and Executive Director, Karen Sommerville