For 6 years we have been dreaming of and working towards the vision of a gathering place. A gathering place for people to come together in community, learn about what is happening in our neighborhoods that makes human trafficking a reality and empower individuals to fight injustice through purposeful purchasing.
This building is Stories Cafe and we are closer now than ever before. We are also more in need of a physical space than ever before. In December we are partnering with The Link to hire 3-4 interns that have completed a job training program. These 3-4 individuals will be young adults who have either experienced sex trafficking or are considered vulnerable to being trafficked.
In order to provide a stable environment, consistent hours and continued income we need a building. I am happy to report that we have found one. We made an offer, negotiated and once we have the financing we will be able to purchase the building we believe is the one for Stories Cafe for $350,000. Currently we are able to put 10% down, but the bank wants to see more cashflow. The original vision 6 years ago was to buy a building so that we wouldn’t have to put money that could go towards fighting human trafficking towards a lease or mortgage. This would be my first choice. If we don’t have a mortgage, or large mortgage then we can put more money into our micro grant fund and offer more jobs as well as restorative services like housing.
We have learned in the last 6 years that in order for people to join you, you have to ask. So I am asking. I am asking on behalf of the girls, women and boys who go missing and are exploited every day. For those who don’t have communities, families and friends to lean on in their vulnerability. For those who work day in and day out in the non profit world meeting needs but need more support in aftercare through funds, housing and jobs.
There are a few ways that we can secure the funding for this building. First, raise $350,000 and buy the building outright. Second, have someone co-sign on our loan. Third, raise another 10-15% for a better down payment to secure a loan.
Will you take my hand? I am offering it to you. If one of your tools of influence is money, will you give today? Will you use your voice and share this opportunity with people in your life or who comes to your mind who may be interested in being a part of this work? It will take all of us championing this cause to get to $350,000.
How does the money fight human trafficking? We estimate that we will be able to hire 4-6 people every 6 months, offer job training seminars for 20-50 per month and use income from food and product sales to push forward awareness, support non profit organizations and launch a housing program for those who work with us in the cafe.
The table has been set. By organizations that have spear headed emergency services for those who are victims of exploitations. It has been set by the success of the Freedom Food Truck to raise funds to fight human trafficking. It has been set by awareness efforts and communities that want to make a difference. It has been set for Stories Cafe.
Will you join us? Will you stand with us and together we will stand for the value and worth of human beings by saying people matter and slavery is not OK.