Job Readiness for Survivors
I sat down to catch up with Amy Hartmann and Mary Anders, two social work students and worker bees who intern with She Has A Name. The organization, launched out of Veritas about four years ago, is stepping into new territory that begs attention in the anti-human trafficking community—job readiness for survivors.
The philosophy underpinning She Has A Name has always been about Jesus and the justice he brings through His death and resurrection. But the manner in which this mission operates has always been evolving. When asked what interning has been like, Hartmann answered, “It’s like a roller coaster, but in a good way. Roller coasters are fun.”
Since its inception, She Has A Name has coordinated and hosted nights of worship and prayer, recognizing Jesus’ lordship over the anti-human trafficking movement. All the while, She Has A Name has thrown the spotlight on victim service organizations, funneling money, resources, and Christian volunteers to agencies that work with survivors.
She Has A Name aims to get the church plugged into the anti-human trafficking movement, asking the question, “what are the gaps in the anti-human trafficking service matrix?” After researching and talking with other allies, She Has A Name leaders decided to tackle what has been a consistent gap in the survivor’s journey towards freedom—job readiness that addressed the unique barriers that survivors face.
“We thought about what it would look like to do this community-based workforce development program, looking for mentors and allies from churches, forming a community around survivors and walking through job readiness curriculum. We’re tailoring the ‘Jobs for Life’ curriculum for survivors who aren’t getting what they need from other workforce development programs. A lot of survivors are isolated from the mainstream culture, living like they did while in survival mode on the streets. They don’t know conflict resolution skills. They fight because they want to survive,” Anders.
Anders went on to point out that the need for such intensive job readiness says nothing of a survivor’s intelligence. It says everything about the aftermath of living on the streets, forced to survive by turning tricks.
Right now, She Has A Name is conducting the program with three adults in the community to measure its impact and effectiveness. If the undertaking proves valuable, She Has A Name will extend it to more survivors who face tremendous barriers to entering the workforce.
She Has A Name will continue to focus on advocacy events, educating the community, and now also job readiness.
by Derek Nicol, Communications & Creative Director