Your NPR news source

CHA Launches Program for Survivors of Human Trafficking

The Chicago Housing Authority is launching the first program of its kind in the country to address housing issues for survivors of human trafficking. Federal officials approached Chicago to pilot the housing program, which will provide 60 subsidized vouchers over the next three years.

SHARE CHA Launches Program for Survivors of Human Trafficking
Chicago neighborhood

Stephen M. Scott

The Chicago Housing Authority is launching the first program of its kind in the country to address housing issues for survivors of human trafficking.

The pilot program stems from a task force President Barack Obama created to combat trafficking. Housing for people trying to escape was identified as a major barrier.

Federal officials approached Chicago to pilot a housing program. Over the next three years CHA will provide 60 subsidized housing vouchers.

“There is a significant lack of housing for people who are leaving their situation. It’s much analogous to victims of domestic violence when there wasn’t safe housing many years ago,” said Mary Howard with the Chicago Housing Authority.

Local social service agencies will refer trafficking survivors to the CHA program. One of those agencies is Heartland Alliance, which sees 20 to 25 survivors a year.

“When we meet survivors after they escape, they are at a tipping point,” said Megan Mahoney Heartland’s Freedom from Trafficking Program Director.

Many are still vulnerable from poverty, violence and exploitation, she said. They may not know English or have immigration trouble.

“Bouncing from one temporary housing situation to another doesn’t create the stability they need,” she said.

Mahoney said offering survivors subsidized housing has the power to change lives.

The Latest
Sunday marked the last day for four of the eight Walmart stores in Chicago: three neighborhood markets and one Supercenter. Host: Mary Dixon; Reporter: Michael Puente
Chicago is a food writer’s delicious playground, and a new guide book aims to point you to all the best dishes created in the city. Reset learns more about those dishes, where to find them and the origin stories that started them all. GUESTS: Monica Eng, author of Made in Chicago and Chicago reporter for AXIOS David Hammond, author of Made in Chicago and Chicago food writer
Responders have not identified actual threats as a result of these fake active shooter reports. But Illinois State Police say these so-called “swatting” incidents are targeting schools throughout the U.S. Reset digs into why these threats are happening and how schools are responding. GUEST: Sophie Sherry, Chicago Sun-Times wire reporter
Chicago beat out Atlanta and New York to host next summer’s political convention.