Community takes action to furnish home of human trafficking survivor

Posted at 2:58 PM, May 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-15 18:25:19-04

NORFOLK, Va. - A Norfolk storage unit is full of neighborhood donations.

The furniture and electronics are all going into the new home of a human trafficking survivor and her four children.

“Beautiful pillows, rugs, stroller, baby supplies,” founder of Survivor Ventures, Tiffany McGee, told News 3.

They're supplies the organization is collecting.

McGee said the family is currently living in a shelter.

“This individual has been trafficked, I’d say, for about seven years, which is not uncommon. It’s hard to leave the life,” she explained.

Even though the unit is full, it wasn’t enough to fully furnish the house near the Park Place area by move-in day.

So, McGee went to social media, posting a notice on Nextdoor.

“I was worried that I’ve exhausted their generosity and kindness, but once again I posted it and within 24 hours we have fully furnished a three-bedroom house,” she said.

Some of the donations are older, so Survivor Ventures has partnered with Mix Galleria to re-purpose some of the furniture – hoping to make the house feel like a home.

Related: Cycle of seduction: A local sex trafficking survivor's story

“We wanted to go in and help them create their own vision,” Mix Galleria owner Stephanie Harrelson said. “They finally have a space that’s theirs, and we want to help them take it to the next level.”

This is the fifth family Survivor Ventures has helped move across Hampton Roads.

“We established Survivor Ventures to help participants survivors of human trafficking to find economic empowerment," McGee mentioned.

Empowerment that starts with getting them housing, then into the work force.

They also help pay the rent for several months.

McGee said this survivor still lives in fear, but her new journey begins on Saturday.