Margaret* loves to cook. Whether it's preparing food from her home country or surprising our staff with gluten free desserts, cooking is an outlet for her. When Margaret moved into the safe house she had nowhere else to stay and had no way to get back on her feet after being trafficked. Frightened and uncertain about her future she was wasn't sure if she would ever feel safe again. With the opening of our safe house we were able to provide a secure place for her to stay as she transitions to freedom.

While in operation, the Underground Railroad utilized safe houses as temporary refuge for fleeing slaves on the path to freedom. A lantern was hung outside to signal whether it was safe to stop or not. A dim lantern meant it was too dangerous to stop. A bright lantern meant it was safe to stop for the night.

It's easy to see slavery as a thing of the past but the unfortunate reality is that contemporary slavery is not a distant horror, but one that exists in Virginia.

Until now, there was not one safe house in Virginia for victims of contemporary slavery and human trafficking.

But, that has all changed with the opening of Virginia's first safe house. A symbolic lantern will be lit brightly for years to come as we do our part in ending the enslavement of people.

Everyone who stays in the house is provided with food, clothing, access to medical care and legal services, job and life skills, and counseling.

Please consider supporting this historic step in the movement against contemporary slavery and human trafficking. And please consider sharing this with your friends, family, and co-workers.

Click HERE to give now