November 4, 2022
CouragesLIVES, an organization devoted to supporting survivors of human trafficking in Maine, is currently hosting an online auction in an effort to raise funds for their cause.
The first program of its kind in Maine, their residential treatment program supports anyone who has been impacted by human trafficking, exploitation or related sexual or domestic violence. They also provide housing for women.
The program, created six years ago, is a branch of Saint Andre Home, which has a long history of serving women and children in need.
Each year, CourageLIVES estimates that 200 to 300 girls and women, ages 14-30, are trafficked in Maine. Executive Director Carey Nason said experts would argue this number is likely much higher.
“We see the impact of trafficking every day, and we know it’s higher than that estimate,” Carey said in an interview with Saco & Biddeford Savings during last year’s auction in 2021. “It’s a complex crime and has many facets to it. People are referred to us from law enforcement, advocacy groups, family members and other agencies. Once that happens, we connect with that person and help them figure out the next steps.”
By providing them with a safe place to live through their housing program, Carey said these women are able to advance on their personal goals, which might include education, career advancement and reconnecting with family and friends.
The virtual auction will feature a variety of items for people of all interests, such as gift certificates to local restaurants and vacation travel experiences. The auction will run until November 14, and winners will be posted within 48 hours after it ends. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3T0uAbb