Does Alaska Want a Solution to Human Trafficking?
Updated: Feb 8
Sabrina Stratford 2022
There are more than 45 million slaves in the world today, exceeding any other time in history.
What Is Human Trafficking?
When I tell people about what I’m doing in Alaska and start talking about Human Trafficking, the most common response is, “I had no idea”. This paper is an attempt to remedy that knowledge gap. The observations and opinions here are my own and are no reflection of past or present employers.
Human Trafficking is defined as, “The inability to refuse work.” The legal definition is, “a crime involving the exploitation of a person for labor, services, or commercial sex.” People don't grow up dreaming of becoming a prostitute or someone’s punching bag - they are being trafficked. Gangs and other criminals are growing the business of flesh trade at exponential rates because when you think about it, if you're moving your illegal product through an airport how much easier is it to move a person through security than it is to transport a big bag of drugs?
The New York Times reports that last year there were,
45 million online photos and videos of children
being sexually abused.
The mental and physical trauma suffered by a survivor is hard to salve, costly, and often leaves permanent damage. Education is expensive but critical to ebbing the tide of victims willingly succumbing to a predator’s manipulation. Rescue is costly and requires trained expertise as well as a commitment of time and money to support therapeutic recovery from trauma - it occurs after the fact. Separating the criminal from a potential victim before they are trafficked reaps the best return on investment of time and resources.
What Do I Know About Human Trafficking?
My career for the past 20+ years has been in Global Business Development for software companies. In 2018 I attended a fundraiser to help survivors of modern-day slavery and heard firsthand accounts of unthinkable violations. It stuck with me and in 2021 coming out of the pandemic I decided that my time on this planet would be better spent fighting human trafficking. I met a woman working with Love Justice International(LJI) and was struck by the success they were having globally with a protocol called Transit Monitoring. They’ve rescued more than 30,000 people from the horrors of slavery using actionable data and boots on the ground. I was hired by LJI to launch their first domestic project in the United States in Anchorage Alaska. LJI is in 19 countries but has yet to work within the borders of the United States. Anchorage was chosen due to the extraordinarily high rates of sexual violence and human trafficking as well as having the support of key partnerships to support the effort.
The role was 100% self-supported and lots of good people stood with me. I received Transit Monitoring training alongside 16 volunteers who stepped up to join the fight. Arriving in Anchorage in September of 2021, I was introduced to Mayor Dave Bronson who introduced me to Sherrie Laurie, Executive Director of the Downtown Hope Center. (DHC) DHC is a non-profit that does not accept government funding and produces miraculous outcomes for the people they serve. In addition to serving a few hundred servings of soup and sandwiches every day and providing showers and laundry services to the homeless, they also provide those same services and dinner every night, 365 days of the year, to 50 women plus 10+ more off-site at their sister property, Suite Hope.
The Feed Me Hope program and Life Skills programs are led by experienced leaders who have a heart for the vulnerable. The classes offer guests the training and life skills they need to become healthy, independent citizens. I spend a lot of time at DHC and have the privilege of building relationships with the ladies who find respite there. DHC purchased The Uptown Apartments at 2nd and Cordova and transformed the property into Suite Hope, apartment housing for graduates of the Feed Me Hope program. This team is producing consistent, positive outcomes. I’ve been Property Manager for Suite Hope for a year now and have a front-row seat to the events that push a person to vulnerability.
The project to Transit Monitor at Ted Stevens airport was shut down by the Governor's office law department. Treg Taylor reviewed our previously agreed upon Memorandum of Understanding and had a number of objections. Here is a link to the history but in summary, the state of Alaska has concerns about one’s right to privacy and our protocol does include a series of questions to determine if citizens are safe. Of course, no one is “required” to answer any questions and our protocol could have easily been tweaked to stay within boundaries of concern but the Governor's office, as reported by Kim Kovol, then Assistant to Governor Dunleavy, and now acting Commissioner for the Department of Family Services, reports that she and the Governor's legal office, is very busy. No one is arguing that point. In a 17-minute call, we were informed of our program being shut down and that there is no appetite from the Governor’s office to work THROUGH concerns to launch a program that wasn’t costing the state a dime and based on past performance, had the potential to save many people from human trafficking. Understanding the gravity of the crisis in Anchorage I have to wonder what priorities come before women and children being sold into slavery. Letter from the State, referenced here.
Commissioner James Cockrell of the Alaska Department of Safety offered me a position in February 2022, as a Criminal Justice Technician in the Sex Offender Registry. It was an intense four months of reviewing the criminal backgrounds of sex offenders and making initial assessments about registration requirements; working with law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, in Alaska and nationwide, to help identify and locate non-compliant offenders; and providing support to criminal justice agencies for failure to register. That department has an impressive caseload and even more impressive outcomes.
Building relationships with the women of the shelter exposes me and every staff member at DHC to the realities of human trafficking. Nearly every woman I’ve met has a story of a predator victimizing them during their days on the streets. I recently spent the afternoon in a hospital emergency room with a survivor of human trafficking. Through quick thinking and the grace of God, she was able to flee from her captors, take a picture of their vehicle with her cell phone, and get to safety. But not before she was brutally assaulted and video and/or photographs were taken of her and not before severe trauma was inflicted upon her body and psyche. I am certain that human trafficking is a crisis in Anchorage and after working through the red tape of Alaska bureaucracy my opinion is that not enough people are seeking a solution.
Alaska’s legal definition of Human trafficking involves:
a person who has been subjected to sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or
the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
Alaska's problem is as big as its geographical mass and that’s actually a literal part of the challenge. Troopers and law enforcement are challenged to cover the Villages of Alaska and since Anchorage is heavy with a homeless population resources are stretched.
Nearly 45% of trafficked youth identified were Alaska Native
Alaska is considered the deadliest state for women - A staggering 59% of women in AK have experienced violence. We also rank highest in rape, murder, and assaults.
We have the highest rate of sexual abuse of minors and child abuse. Child sexual assault is nearly 6 times the national average.
Alaska’s rate of sexual assault is nearly 4 times the national average.
Alaska has 161.6 sexual assaults per 100,000 residents, compared to 42.6 nationally.
Indigenous People and Sex Trafficking
It’s just a fact that human trafficking has a greater effect on the Native community than it does on other cultures and that youth are disproportionately affected, according to Alaska Native Justice Center reports. Homeless youth in Anchorage are being trafficked at a rate of nearly 30% – a higher rate than any other city studied, including New York and New Orleans.
A new T.V. Series, Alaska Daily, shines a spotlight on missing and murdered indigenous women. The light has shone before and the crisis has been exposed but we still don’t see outcomes in terms of legislation and resources. A Native woman near my age (50s) has shared that many people in her world disappear. Suddenly gone forever, “they got disappeared”. When asked how many she replied, “Forty-two”. Let that sink in. Some are gone from the streets, some are lost to the lawlessness of the outer regions and some disappearances are allegedly orchestrated. Groups of concerned parents and family members are working to gain an audience with a Grand Jury to investigate the Office of Children Services. For many years now there have been reported instances of wrongdoing and there are many families claiming that problems persist today.
According to the National Institute of Justice Centers for Disease Control and prevention 2008 the National Violence Against Women Survey (NVAWS), less than half of violent victimizations against women are ever reported to the police. In 2016, according to the National Crime Information Center, there were 5,712 reports of missing American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls, through the US Department of Justice’s federal missing persons database, but the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) only logged 116 of those cases.
Native women suffer higher rates of violence in the US than any other group, including Black males. Sixty-one percent (at the very least) of Native American women have been assaulted (I haven’t talked with a Native woman who hasn’t been assaulted), and one in three have been raped. A 2016 Department of Justice Study shows that of over 2,000 women surveyed, 84 percent of Native American and Alaskan Native women have experienced violence, and 56 percent have experienced sexual violence. Human Trafficking can happen to anyone but Alaska Native people are at a higher risk and are more vulnerable.
The place between missing and murdered
is where human trafficking lives.
What Is It About Native Women?
According to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, individuals are more susceptible to trafficking if they experience poverty, lack of work, homelessness, previous sexual abuse, limited education, and drug or alcohol addiction. THESE ARE OUR ROOT CAUSES. These conditions are prevalent in Indigenous communities. In Alaska’s outer regions, the crisis often does occur at home and most frequently by a family member or someone known.
Slavery has been around as long as people have been around and using females as tender in trade is part of many cultures including Natives. Historically, trading partners within a group was a way of forming a bond so that goods could be exchanged safely. Short-term exchanges of spouses occurred to show generosity between families. (Reference: The Native People of Alaska, Steve Langdon). If a male was providing sustenance for a family the idea of rewarding an Uncle with a Niece, for example, wasn’t hard to digest. But when we consider what might go through the hearts and minds of a female presented to a stranger as an agreement, the ceremonial wrappings may not have been strong enough to protect a woman’s sense of self-worth. The idea of a person being “traded” has the potential to leave a personal scar on the heart of a woman who loved her husband and family of origin, or of a young girl who still had her virginity intact.
Another practice that could affect one’s idea of self-worth was born of Missionary efforts around 1878 when a group opened a school for Native children with the idea that learning English and receiving formal education and certain health benefits would be a good thing - and for a while, it was. From the 1900s to the 1970s Alaska Natives were taken from rural communities that lacked either primary or secondary schools and sent to boarding schools run by the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), by private churches, or, later, by Alaska’s state government. Speak with Alaskan elders and you’ll hear about some good things such as friendships and education that came from this era of institutionalization, but you will also hear of evil.
There was systematic sexual assault during this time. One of the elders recalled that two nurses were feared for requiring the 12-year-olds to “make love to them”. The dentist would play a cartoon for the kids while checking their teeth and consistently fondling them. Physical and sexual abuse has long-lasting effects even in short-term scenarios. When it’s poured on day after day as a matter of routine, the damage can become generational.
Between the years of 1949 and 1987, nine Catholic priests were credibly accused of sexual abuse. Many of the children who lived in the villages of St. Michael and Stebbins in the late 1960s and 1970s were sexually assaulted by Rev. George Endal and laypersons Anton Smario and Joseph Lundowski which ended in a lawsuit. These aren’t the only reasons an entire culture would be soaked in sexual assault today but it certainly starts to make sense.
It may be this long history, both within the community and imposed on the community, that contributes to a native woman’s understanding of self-worth and a dulled sense of autonomy. We know that victims of sexual abuse carry on that legacy and it virtually becomes part of the community fabric. A native woman is assaulted every 18 hours and it is reported anecdotally that 100% of the kids in outer regions are sexually abused. Pair this with poverty, alcoholism, and/or drug abuse and you have the perfect storm for human trafficking. It's not shocking to hear that a child was pimped out for the family to have a place to stay or for an uncle to offer a bottle of whisky for a night with his niece. Bring in the male-dominant industries of fishing, hunting, oil&gas, and the recipe for human trafficking of native peoples is fully baked.
Where Is a Victim Taken?
Sometimes the Trafficker just holds them in their vehicle, other times it’s a hotel, and frequently they're taken to a Trap House. You’ve probably seen Trap Houses in movies and perhaps didn’t realize that this is what they were called. Trap Houses are properties where drugs are dealt, done, and used to control sex trafficking victims. The upstairs usually hosts the drug deals and drug users while the lower level serves as a movie set to broadcast victims being abused on the internet. The fact that we know these places exist in Anchorage and that Officers could take you to one right now is an indication of how far off we are from managing the problem.
Root Causes of Human Trafficking
First, an event that pushes a woman out of her home, such as domestic violence or a death. Next comes alcohol and/or drugs to numb the pain of the event. Then when someone comes along who wants to “party”, bad choices reap harsh consequences. The modus operandi of a Trafficker is to drug their victim via drink or straight-up methamphetamines, heroin, or a little bit of fentanyl and once they pass out they’re easier to transport and in the Predator’s control. This is the cycle of the Victim. Therefore we can list homelessness, trauma, alcohol, and drugs as root causes.
I don’t think anyone would argue that if there wasn’t a drug and alcohol problem, there would be no human trafficking. Until Jesus comes we will continue to regulate morality with laws to protect ourselves. The law does not change the hearts of men so legislation is required. Since we rely so heavily on legislation for our safety I don’t think it unreasonable to expect outcomes from our government officials.
Human Trafficking and Homelessness
My first-hand perspective was formed in downtown Anchorage and the women’s emergency shelter but that’s likely the most accurate cross reference of a controlled group that we can get our hands on. The homeless are the target demographic of human trafficking. The threat of human trafficking in Anchorage isn’t affecting people in comfortable homes. The idea of a female being kidnapped from her home isn’t happening unless you’re watching Liam Neeson on Netflix. Human Trafficking targets the most vulnerable and in Anchorage that means the homeless.
One in ten young adults experiences homelessness in the United States. Covenant House Alaska
Is Toxic Masculinity a Root Cause?
What does a Trafficker look like? Many times they look like your Uncle. The stories I’ve been told are about half and half between their Predator being someone they knew or a family member and just a new guy they met who wanted to party.
The majority of Human Traffickers are men, however, the number of women in the scheme is increasing. Sometimes a female becomes indebted to their Trafficker and must help them traffic more females. Sometimes a woman becomes part of her partner’s crimes e.g. Epstein’s girlfriend and Trafficking partner, Ghislaine Maxwell. The Alaska Sex Offender Registry also has records of women who pimped out their own daughters for drugs and money which in my opinion, is one of the worst crimes in the books. Sex does not hold the same covenant meaning as it once did so we can’t untether the data from our societal ailments. Our society treats sex as a transaction. We can engage in a hook-up without guilt as long as we have a consensual balance of power.
As a female, I can offer sex transactionally to get ahead as long as it’s my choice, and don’t you dare slut-shame me. Feminists today have fought hard to demand that sex be transactional and now it is. We demand the right to have sex with anyone we want when we want and that there would be no consequences, especially the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy. We demanded free sex and we got it. No wonder law enforcement prioritizes other emergencies over Trafficking and doesn’t always send out valuable resources when we call. If that sounds like I’m saying, “It’s the victim’s fault”, then you’re not understanding. Assault is NEVER the victim’s fault. As a society, we have set ourselves up for the consequences of the breakdown of morality.
Just a generation ago it was okay to cherish a woman and protect her. Today, we can’t even define what a woman is. We can be "woke" if we lean towards the misogynistic view that men are better at being women than women are at being women. Therefore a man identifying as a woman should be able to observe naked females in women’s locker rooms, use the Women’s restroom even if it results in rape, place Trans men in a female penitentiary even if it results in impregnated (real) females, compete in women’s sports, and should be celebrated for their bravery to pretend they’re a woman. We know that the LGBTQ+ community is among the most vulnerable and a target for Traffickers. Pretending that we don't have a problem in society is not going to improve the safety of individuals. We MUST love people exactly where they are and value all people. This means we have to acknowledge the truth and stop pretending so as not to offend someone but in today's culture we can't call out the truth without the risk of being canceled. Our "wokeness" is hurting people by creating vulnerable targets. An integral part of this fight is showing love and compassion to marginalized individuals while lifting them up and not leaving them in their at-risk state. I am not calling out someone's sin here to be any more egregious than my own sin. Without Jesus Christ none of us have hope. With the saving grace of God, we all have hope.
Truth is inconvertible. Panic may resent it. Ignorance may deride it. Malice may distort it.
But there it is". Winston Churchill
I'll do you one better, Mr. Churchill, truth is a person and His name is Jesus Christ.
What about Sex Workers demanding their rights for healthcare, social services, and insurance? We can’t have it both ways. If we want to fight sexual harassment and the devaluing of our sexual worth we have to reinvest sex as valuable and sacred, beyond just a physical transaction. There is always a relationship attached to sex whether we acknowledge it or not. We also have to inculcate men to understand that women are indeed different in sex roles and that it’s good to have the urge to protect a woman instead of harming them. It’s okay to get the door for them - they are different. It’s okay to cherish them, they are cherishable. A man should protect a woman and her honor but the feminist movement goes ballistic on that point and points to toxic masculinity when the data shows that rape numbers are up. What did we expect was going to happen to sex crimes when we got our way?
What is the State of Alaska Doing About It?
From Governor Dunleavy’s website:
February 11, 2022
Through the People First Initiative, we are going to solve these long overdue issues.” The People First Initiative was formed to address all of the root causes we’ve listed.
Domestic violence and sexual assault
Missing & Murdered Indigenous Persons
Good news! A committee of 13 people was formed to take on this initiative and I know a couple of them as sincere and talented people. A report was due from this committee in September of 2021 but I can’t find any deliverables or outcomes online. I doubt it’s due to a lack of interest by the committee. We had high hopes. Administrative Order #328 was clear:
Human/Sex Trafficking There will be statutory changes regarding human trafficking in the omnibus crime bill that will clearly define human and sex trafficking. The bill will require that sex trafficking is a registerable sex offense registerable offense and it will allow victims of sex trafficking to expunge their record. Furthermore, Governor Dunleavy will be issuing an Administrative Order reestablishing a task force focused on human and sex trafficking. In addition, law enforcing will be increasing officer training to recognize signs of trafficking and interceptions.
I want to be on a Task Force. Pick me. We also had some incredible legislation introduced but the Bills have stalled.
Gov. Dunleavy Introduces legislation on policing, sex trafficking
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - This week Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy submitted two new pieces of legislation to promote safe communities and support law enforcement. The bills will ensure all law enforcement officers meet the highest standards and will crack down on sex traffickers by establishing longer prison sentences while protecting victims. Jan 2019
I like Governor Dunleavy - he strikes me as a good man. I am not, however, satisfied with the progress we’ve seen after this legislation was introduced. There has been a lot of talk and very little action. “We are introducing the three bills to protect Alaska’s most vulnerable.”
Sex Trafficking Bill - https://www.akleg.gov/basis/Bill/Detail/32?Root=HB%20317 No Action Taken Since February 2022
Victim Protection Bill - https://www.akleg.gov/basis/Bill/Detail/32?Root=SB18 Untouched since February 15, 2022.
Sex Offenses Bill Untouched since February 16th, 2022 https://www.akleg.gov/basis/Bill/Detail/32?Root=HB%20325
What are the outcomes of either of these efforts? I can’t find updates on the world-wide-web. Beyond backed-up legislation, we have other contributing factors.
Faith and Human Trafficking
“A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is out of harmony with the moral law.” Martin Luther King
In order to view another human being as a commodity or a tool to be used for one’s own gratification one has to corrupt every fragment of their moral code. Dr. King said it clearly and we shot the messenger. There is a common thread the shelter women pull at when they share their stories of trauma. They mention that their captor was engaged in some form of the occult. I can almost hear eyes rolling but this is a theory validated by searching the online social presence of named felons. They are proud to post images of their earthly Lord and Master. At first, I thought it was a fable manufactured much like the “Boogeyman” to keep people in line but the third time I heard a report about blood sacrifice it was from an educated and sober Israeli woman with the sparkle of intelligence in her eyes. She had no reason to fabricate her experience. Satanism or Luciferianism are real religions. It’s not a conspiracy theory. These churches practice organized torture while enjoying tax-exempt status. They believe the thesis that "evil" is a by-product of nature's strategies for creation and that it is woven into our most basic biological fabric. Evil done to others for self-gain is fair game.
Closely related to the worship of Lucifer we find Atheism. If we are 100% certain that there is no God and no consequences for immoral behavior then there are no barriers to doing exactly what we want to whom we want. Love yourself so much that everyone and everything on this planet is here for your pleasure. Use someone up and throw them away.
The root cause of human trafficking is sin. If we follow just two things from the Holy Scriptures; Mark 12:30-31 "And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these." Own that… and human trafficking disappears. Satanism, Luciferianism, Hedonism, and Atheism, are thriving belief systems in Alaska. Where we find prioritization of one’s self and carnal urges over another’s well-being we find devaluation of life.
Faith and Recovery
We can predict with a small margin of error who will graduate from the programs offered to set a homeless person up for success and thrive. I have a theory that has been tested time and time again. The data shows that when an individual has a strong faith base they are able to survive any degree of destitution. In addition to a daily schedule to keep, it’s the hope in things unseen that drives a person to their goals. Women who leave the shelter without the direction of God will wind up back in the shelter. In the absence of faith, we’re left to self-sufficiency and it’s our inability to thrive on our own that puts us in harm's way in the first place. Believers in Jesus Christ have a markedly better chance of freedom and success.
Why Can’t We Make It Stop?
Most Anchoragites do want a solution to these human crises because most people have a moral compass pointing to the true North. Broken things require money to fix. Human Trafficking and homelessness require vast amounts of money to fix. There are people whose moral compass is broken and depend on these crises for their livelihood and there are people getting very rich off of our social services sacrifice.
What’s My Theory?
First, we have to appreciate the organizations and team members who are following through on a calling to help the homeless and vulnerable. Namely, My House in Wasilla AK., The Downtown Hope Center (DHC) and Covenant House in Anchorage Alaska. These organizations are successful in providing safety and hope for survivors. My firsthand experience with DHC has afforded me the opportunity to watch a person come in off the street homeless, hurt, hungry, and hopeless, and graduate from structured programs - employed, well-fed, housed, and hope-filled. These are real and positive outcomes. There are individuals in the community fighting the good fight like Joseph Gamache, former Lieutenant at Ted Stevens Airport, and his wife, Debraly, who championed LJI project efforts. God bless these warriors! And there are organizations that have big hearts, good intentions, and lots of funding but produce little in terms of outcomes.
For the average God-fearing person it’s hard to fathom why anyone wouldn’t want a solution to Human Trafficking or one of the primary root causes, homelessness. Until you follow the money. Study the organizations professing to join the fight. Are they producing outcomes? Millions of dollars are earmarked for the cause and accessible by grants but noble-cause-corruption prohibits us from jumping on a bandwagon without first carefully inspecting where it’s been, where it’s going, and how it gets there. Social injustices are second only to climate change in terms of siphoning federal funds for ill-gotten gain. Research government agencies and nonprofits thoroughly before contributing your time and money.
Noble Cause Corruption
There are Billions, with a “B”, of dollars available to fight social injustice and all you have to do is report high numbers to support your ask and you get all the grant money you’d ever want. Homelessness is a big business. Human Trafficking is a big business. Anytime there is that much money associated with any social cause, whether it’s slavery or global warming, there will be abuses of resources. If someone believes the outcomes will be “good” in their terms then justification to lie, cheat and steal as an ends-oriented approach comes easily. I’m using the term, “noble cause corruption” to best describe what we see when organizations get millions of taxpayers' dollars and the outcomes don’t match the sacrifice.
Research the outcomes for remedies to the root cause of Alcoholism in Alaska and you’ll find a RuralCAP solution for inebriate adults.
John Thomas Building (remodel) - 20 units
Budget: Fiscal Year 2016
BUDGET NARRATIVE The total capital costs for the 325 E 3rd project are $6,462,770, including building acquisition, construction/rehab and associated costs, and related soft costs. The project will result in 20 units of permanent supportive housing, seven offices, common space, meeting space, and community kitchen space. RurAL CAP and APD have been awarded $3M in SNHG capital funding. The Low Income Housing Tax credit program (LIHTC) will generate $2,196,551 and $112,200 in Energy Credits will be applied. A request for $475,000 is pending with the Rasmuson Foundation with a commitment letter expected in late November 2015. RurAL CAP’s board has approved a 0% interest $400,000 forgivable loan of RurAL CAP’s unrestricted funds to the project, repayment contingent upon project income availability. This request to the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (AMHTA) for a $125,000 grant is the final piece of funding needed to completely fund the capital portion of this project. RurAL CAP will reallocate Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Continuum of Care (CoC) and Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) CoC matching funds for operating the project (approximately $750,760), contribute Community Service Block Grant operating funds ($55,000), and collect tenant rent at a conservatively estimated $55,800/year. These funds will cover operating expenses for the facility and the supportive services for tenants.
Add it all up and in the first year, they were at $7,170,311, already over that incredibly large budget by $707,541. That’s $358,515 per unit. Nothing to see here folks. If the project has been a success depends on who you ask. There are reports stating improvements in some areas but there is criticism that costs and cost savings have not always been accurately accounted for, the depth of time used to measure program impact has been shallow, and the individual program applications have not been structured in a way that fits the specific needs of the population being served. The model has expanded though so let’s hope our hard-earned money is being spent with thoughtful care. Mistakes will come directly from our PFDs and hurt low-income families the hardest.
The Homeless Industrial Complex; Follow the Money
A whole business of homelessness has emerged and views homeless individuals as potential sources of revenue, thanks to the local, state, and federal funding that keeps homeless shelters in operation. Quoted from LIBERATION, Newspaper of the party of Socialism and Liberation.
They said it, not me. What should be a temporary, emergency measure on the path to ending homelessness has become the solution in and of itself.
Social Services Sacrifice
Why do people banished from rural territories end up homeless in Anchorage? This is where the services are. This is where you come to get the money that was meant for you in the first place but has to be siphoned through a government agency. These neighborhoods often end up as undesirable because this is where our homeless hang out while waiting on a cup of hot soup or an appointment with an agency. Now the residents in the neighborhood are complaining that their property values are going down. And if we clump all of these services together then that neighborhood is “sacrificed”.
Noble Cause Corruption
There are people who have convinced themselves that they are compassionate and woke but in reality only care about the virtues they are signaling and their own bank accounts. Further, some people count these individuals in terms of “dollars per head.” I literally had an officer from Rural Cap tell me and a group of neighborhood residents that, “Homelessness is not a problem!”, and huff out of a meeting. He was incensed and likely heading to his safe space as he carefully waded through the homeless encampment right in front of his office. This is why government officials can run around Instagram in red-bottomed Louis Vuitton shoes appropriating the Native look for lots of likes; hubris. The best place to hide the spoils is right under our noses. If we’re not mindful we will end up in the same dire straits as west coast cities; San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Each city has a Homeless Industrial Complex costing their compassionate taxpayers billions of dollars. Their narrative blames the problem on landlords, income inequality, capitalism, and general social injustice. “Housing First” solutions separate individuals from any responsibility for their own choices and intentions from outcomes. A brave journalist, Christopher Rufo, has done the research and produced a video to educate us in the ways of noble cause corruption.
What Can You Do?
Stop watching porn. It is NOT a victimless crime featuring willing participants. Pornography is “mailbox money” for criminals; a recurring income stream. It's a $15B business (I've seen reports of up to $97B), and bigger than Netflix. Even if mature-adult sites are being visited, pornography is the most prolific business model for Traffickers and fueling child assault. Pornographers and Traffickers work hand in glove to reap a doubled-up payout at the expense of the victim. One price for the “John” to have time with the victim and then the money made from broadcasting heinous acts on the world wide web. Victims as young as months old babies to octogenarians are on record as viable products to be sold by the click. Viewers of PornHub, YouPorn, and any other online porn site are keeping slave owners in the business
We can make a difference and there is hope. Volunteer with your town’s homeless shelters. This is where the problem percolates. Donate if you can to organizations that are proving their value with positive outcomes. And as trite as it sounds, if you see something, say something. If someone asks you a question pertaining to the safety of another person - DO NOT GET OFFENDED. If we are too precious to handle a small interrogation at the risk of bruising our feelings we’ll never make progress. But leave that interrogation to someone trained in Trafficking.
What Do I Do If I Suspect Trafficking?
Do not approach a suspected victim and their predator. Attempting to intervene will most likely result in harsher treatment of the victim. DO call 911 if you see violent behavior. Take pictures with your cell phone of the Captor’s vehicle, of them, or anything that will help identify them and their victim. You can also get help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline, call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733).
SHOW ME THE RECEIPTS
(Strategies to Restore Justice. https://s3.amazonaws.com/heysummit-production/media/uploads/events/cese2020/Strategies_to_Restore_Justice_for_Sex_Trafficked_Native_Women___SpringerLink.pdf)