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Showing posts with label Florida sex trafficking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Florida sex trafficking. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

PENSACOLA FLORIDA MEETING LAUNCHED

We have a new meeting in Pensacola Florida now.  If you'd like to attend one in that city - just give us a call for contact information.  One thing - this is a "panel" meeting meaning it's not run by a member.  You can attend a meeting, get materials, and basically it's a "presentation" of our program and materials being led by a non-member.  You can still however attend a meeting of only members at our phone meetings.  Your confidentiality is still guaranteed at this meeting since the woman leading it is a minister and therefore what's said to her and in front of her stays with her.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

RESCUE IN MIAMI

You want to help save souls?  Two young women, 24 and 23 years old, who have one more night at a hotel in Miami, Florida.   No pimp so there's no trafficking.  They have already asked the hotel if they'd hire them and they're only hiring Hispanics - not African American girls.  These women have been hooking since they were kids to survive and have tried everything.  This woman has put in applications at car washes, Walmart, etc. and she says they keep hiring illegal aliens.  She tried real estate and got ripped off.  She's at the end of her rope and cried the whole hour we spent talking on the phone.  She's even willing to go into drug treatment to get help.  She's "done".  But she needs help with one more night at the hotel.  She needs to go somewhere, get money for the hotel, a job, etc.  Call me to get her contact information and help.  www.sexworkersanonymous.com   This is urgent - we have until noon tomorrow to come up with something for them.
Okay - I've now emailed everyone I know to see if anyone can help.  No response.  One woman said she'd "post this on her facebook", while a survivor told me she'd do something after she attended her noon AA meeting.


In the meantime, these two women told me they are now sitting in the lobby of their hotel.  I placed an ad on Craigslist.  





I called the Catholic Charity Chapman Partnership.  Their 877 number doesn't connect to my phone for some reason.  All I can think of is it's blocked from a 702 area code phone number.  I called their office line and was told I had to call the 877 number for emergency assistance.  I left them an email since I can't get through on their emergency line.

I called the Mother Teresa Mission of Charity - and their phone number is disconnected.


I called the Salvation Army shelter number at 9:00 a.m. my time - which is noon Miami time and they said "no one was available to take my call" and hung up on me.


I called  www.miamirescuemission.com and got a woman on the line who said for "emergency housing they have to wait until 10 am tomorrow morning to call for an intake".  That doesn't sound like "emergency" to me.


I called the Miami police 

at (305) 476-5423 and asked them for the phone number to emergency housing for women.  
They gave me a hotline for "victim services". 

I asked them for help and they gave me 3 other phone numbers to call.


One of the phone numbers was for the Salvation Army.  Their operator told me to get emergency housing, one has to call the "homeless hotline" to get a referral for help.  Funny the police didn't know that nor did victim services.

I called the hotline at 305 375 2273.  I got a recording that said to "leave a message" but the voicemail was full.

I called the Salvation Army number back - only now no one is answering the phone.

This might be why I'm not getting anywhere.  I went onto facebook to look for homeless resources - and found this http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article25850623.html

I got a response to the Craigslist ad from a woman in recovery saying she'll work with these women.  I told them to call her and we'll see what happens.

UPDATE:  I did get this facebook a few minutes ago:


I have put them in touch with this officer and will post back what happens. 

I'm also asking the woman for permission to post a tape of her call.  I would like people to hear what I woke up to this morning - and then follow this case.    Will report back with updates.  This is at 12:18 p.m. on 9/13/15.  She had called me at 7:00 a.m.  Currently, she found a hotel for $40 for the night she's in until the morning until we get her squared away.  

UPDATE:  7:30 p.m.  The cop told them he can't "do anything until the morning" and the woman who said she could help turned out she wasn't in a position to help.  She was staying with other people who said "no".  So they are paid up until tonight at the hotel and everyone is saying they won't help these two women either because they don't have any money, don't know anyone, or they refuse to help them because they say "I'm a bitch".  I don't understand the logic of how being a bitch to me by saying I'm a bitch has anything to do with these two women in crisis who don't want to go out on the track to pay rent anymore.  

Back to the phones.

UPDATE 9/15/15 at 8:45 a.m.  When I left this woman to sleep - I had instructed her to do the following things in the morning:

8:00 a.m. she was supposed to call the commander back about getting into a trafficking program.

10:00 a.m. she had to call the homeless hotline to do an intake. 

Both of these calls I could not make for her since she is over 18, I'm not her legal guardian, and they're going to ask personal information such as her ID number, social security number, etc.  

I had sent her a list of nanny "live in" jobs that had her own room, and provided a car for the job in what appeared to be photos of very nice families with children - no single men.  My thoughts were many of us have moved into those kinds of jobs and done well since they are furnished, they have a car, there is food in the house, and everything one needs is right there.

Then if she still didn't have any help - she was to call Social Services for help.  

I was worried it might take time to get her some type of help because of the homeless crisis going on in Miami I read about in the news.  I knew they could not lock her out legally without a lockout notice at the motel which we could fight in court to stay any legal eviction.  However, that does not stop motel owners from doing illegal lock-outs.  So I told her she could not leave the room at any time nor open the door if anyone but police knocked because I know landlords do illegal lock-outs all of the time.  I have had them do it to me more than once.  This is why I made contact with the Commander also.  I told her if they tried to illegally lock her out - she could now call the Commander to make sure he did not allow this to happen.  

But I was still worried about a time delay in getting her help.  I was not receiving any cash help from anyone.  To make matters worse, I had my own problems.  Because of helping her - I had left my own cell phone for our hotline go off.  I figured "if God wants it on - it will be put back on" and I concentrated on helping this woman.  What worried me however was the people that would be calling me back to help her on the phone that was now disconnected.  

Sure enough - the phone went off.  I got a facebook from someone saying "I just tried to call and your phone was off" about 2:00 a.m. I told the truth - I didn't have the money for the phone.  I don't know if he wants me to use his name yet - so I'll just say a very nice man sent over enough to pay for her motel for one night and my cell phone bill for the month also.  Wow.  God provides if you do the right thing every time.  A righteous man stumbles 7 times and gets back up but a wicked man - well you know the rest.

Anyway, I then stayed up until 4:50 a.m. my time.  I texted her to see she was awake to make the call to the commander - and she was.  I crashed thinking she would make the calls.  Because I had been up all night - I missed an appointment with a producer I had for an interview with a reality show - but oh well.  I got some sleep and then got up to check on her.  

She reported she called the commander at 7:58 a.m. and he was not in - and then she fell asleep.  So the homeless intake didn't get done either.   Okay now what?  It's now after 5 pm and the only thing I could think of was to call upon the Mormon Church.  They have a homeless emergency outreach program anywhere they are.  So I started telling her about this.  

Why didn't I pay her rent another day - because I wanted to talk to her more first.  I wanted to see if she was still with the program, or it was truly self destructive and her setting herself up to go back to the streets.  As I'm telling her how to reach out to the Mormons - she starts telling me how this is too much trouble, she doesn't like how I'm doing this, and starts asking me for the following:

She wants me to "do it for her" - everything.  She wants housing, food, clothing to go look for work in the real estate field while she sets about to rebuild her real estate career for her and her sister. She wants me to stop texting other people and get on the phone with her and offer her emotional support.  She's telling me this while my phone is going off with text messages from people offering help and phone numbers.  

When I explained to her we are a 12 step group and that I can't "do it for her" and take care of her like a husband or a parent - that all I can do is show her how to get onto her feet like I got onto my feet (I left the sex industry with no car, no money, no job, no training, no ID, homeless, on probation, and coming off a $2,000 a day drug habit with no drug treatment center willing to admit a female addict prostitute without money or insurance, and the only homeless shelter telling me I could "sleep on a chair in the church" because they were "out of beds" - and I GOT OUT.  

I begged my mother and grandmother to allow me to sleep in my grandmother's living room.  I slept on a foam mat on the living room floor.  I enrolled in computer school and waitressed for money I turned over to my grandmother so I wouldn't smoke the money.  I let my mother drive me to and from school and work.  I let my sponsor drive me to daily NA meetings.  I did what my sponsor told me to do.  After I got my computer degree in six months, I got a job.  My grandmother bought me a blue suit to interview in as I had no clothes.  I wore that same suit all my first week until I got a check and could buy more clothes.  Thirty days later - I moved into a $99 move in special apartment on the whore stroll with a 13 inch black and white TV, an orange crate, and a mattress that was left in the dumpster the manager said I could have I sprayed with Lysol.  That was 1985.

As I'm talking to her and three other people - she starts telling me this is "too hard" for her and "too embarassing" and she "doesn't want to talk to a cop" and yada yada yada.  When I remind her if she hooks and gets arrested then no one will be able to help her sister she said "oh well" basically.  Okay at that point - I'm not going to pay her rent and let her go out hooking on this man's money.  I wait to see what she's going to do and she basically blows me off because I'm not giving her what it is she wants - which is the rent paid for, cash money wired to her for food, and no job to pay for her rent, with her not having called on one job.

To double check I asked her "did you call on any of the nanny jobs?" to which the answer was a bunch of excuses.  

THIS is why AA says they are not the alcoholics "banker".  When Bill Wilson was opening up his home to drunks who were using him as a flop house - no one got sober.  When he started saying that all he could do was offer his "experience, strength and hope" that's when people got sober.  

I don't care if I have a million in the bank - I can't help this woman financially if she's not interested in hearing my "experience, strength and hope" of how she's going to get out of sex work.  This is not about paying her rent.  This is about how is she going to leave sex work, and not return.

Only SWA has "one requirement for membership" which is a "desire to leave the sex industry".  At this point, I'm not hearing that desire out of her.  Meaning I have to retreat.  

I gave her some phone numbers she could call in the morning after she had some sleep in case she changed her mind about what she was going to do.  What I was hearing was that she wanted to go back to sex work rather than deal with all this transition. 

Okay.  She's an adult and that's her choice.  I wished her the best of luck, again I gave her some phone numbers to call of some social workers, and bowed out.  I told this donor what had happened and went to go do the laundry and walk the dogs.  

I got another day clean and out of sex work.  

UPDATE:  As you can tell by the above - it sounded like she was opting to go back to street prostitution instead of all of this stress of making the jump to get out.  I had left it with her to "please get some sleep before you make any decisions" which it turns out she did.  

In the meantime, we got two donations from people to help us out.  We received a $25 donation from Denise, and $100 from Benjamin.  Benjamin said to "pay your cell phone bill" because my phone was cut off at midnight just as I was organizing this rescue.  The rest he said we could use for her motel.  Which we paid the cell phone for $46 and the hotel for one night came to $47.  That left us with $32 left in the operating budget.

I didn't hear from anyone at first but the sister.  We sometimes ask truck drivers to help us with long distance transportation.  The sister wanted to go into drug treatment, and there is free treatment now being offered in another state.  The only catch however is she wanted me to be the one to walk her into treatment.  So I agreed to meet with the driver in this certain city by a certain date and time.  Problem was how to get there.  Gasoline in my car costs me $50 to get there.  That's without food for the 12 hour round trip and if I need help with a flat tire, oil, etc., then it's more.  

So I needed to get my hands on at least $20 more to make the trip.  Every account I had would have required me to transfer the paypal money to it to have it in cash in time to leave to go and pick up this woman.  The only way I could think of to get the cash in hand to buy gasoline would be if I could wire the money to myself.  But the banks were all telling me 2 to 3 days.  I normally ask a friend to help me in situations like this who is on our board, but he was traveling for work and on an airplane.  ll I could think of to do was to return to Benjamin and ask him if I could paypal him some money that he could then in turn wire me.  He agreed.

I had enough gas to get to my destination - but not enough to get back home.  Benjamin said he was having problems wiring me for the money from online and he'd have to go into the store with cash - which he would do "after work".  I agreed - only then someone attacked my facebook page.  Meaning they shut down my facebook page upon receipt of my drivers' license.  I discovered this by my phone blowing up from SWA members saying "did you know your facebook is down?" while I was sleeping and preparing for this trip.

I contacted Benjamin from my other FB account to let him know that despite the page being down - I was here.  THIS is why I have more than one account.  Pimps routinely attack the account - but by having other accounts it allows me to stay in touch with people during rescue operations.    Only I'm not hearing an answer and the time is coming up for me to leave to meet the one sister in time.  Finally I have no choice but to leave anyway and hope that God will sort this out.

I arrive in Vegas and Western Union tells me there's no money.  I reach out to Benjamin asking for the tracking number.  He then says he didn't go to WU because my FB account was shut down.  However, my FB account wasn't shut down until midnight in his time zone - a time by which he would have gone to WU prior.  Fine.  I ask him to go now and do it only he says "you're calling me a liar" and blocks me.  

Great.

I'm now hours from home unable to get home and he's blocked me.  What am I supposed to do now?  Panhandle?  That's going to be a great thing to do in front of a woman I'm asking to "trust me".  So I went on the offensive.  I posted about what had just went down on this blog.  Benjamin was insisting that since he had "donated $100 - this $50 was his".  No it wasn't.  First of all, he'd already given it to me.  Second, I had spent the money as he had asked me to - on the hotel and the cell phone.  There was a whopping couple of bucks left after I did this - not $50.  Meaning that $50 was mine he had just walked off with and blocked me.

After I posted the blog post - I went about trying to let his friends know about how Benjamin treats people in a jam.  Only I can only find one "real" friend.  The rest appear to be not people who appear to know him personally.  I told this woman what had happened and instead of asking me for any proof of my accusation - she lashed out at me to "drop it because it's not healthy".  Real easy for her to say when she's not stranded out of state without gas home at the moment and a newcomer arriving any minute.

Benjamin finds out about the blog post and goes on the offensive.  He says he will wire me the money IF I issue him a verbal apology.  I offer a written one.  I'm not at home and not going to talk on the phone I use during rescues.  He insists that he wants to "hear my voice" giving him an apology.  This makes no sense to me.  Besides, frankly at this point I don't trust him.  

He then calls the hotline from a blocked number thinking he's going to reach me.  Instead he reaches another member of SWA where he then goes on the attack of me.  His directive for some reason is to speak to me directly.  He then starts blasting her with the fact that "this is all a misunderstanding" and that I have "defamed" him.  She counters with "so you've sent the money?"  He scurries off.

One of the other members of SWA hears about this and decides to rip into him.  Who would do this?  It's not making any sense to be honest.  She lets him know if he doesn't send this money to get me home - she's going to personally make sure  everyone online knows about what happened.  

Within two minutes of her message sent to him - Benjamin contacts the hotline with the WU tracking number.  Okay then on that front.  

I get this one sister checked into a residential drug treatment program.  I know this group and they will make sure she gets an apartment upon getting out, and work.  I've seen them churning out addicts out of the system in this town before.  I also know people in this group that I can call to keep an eye on her progress.

I then reach the first sister who contacted me I thought we had lost.  She tells me she had thought about going back but changed her mind.  Instead she called the local Mormon church I had suggested she get in touch with.  Most Mormon churches in large cities have a "homeless emergency assistance" person or office.  I have never had them let me down in an emergency.  They've been helping me with rescues for the whole time I've been doing this.  Sure enough - they had a family that agreed to take her in and help her get on her feet.  She was with them now.  When I hadn't heard from her - she was on her way to this family.

She came to our Sunday phone meeting.  That was awesome.  Another member who came to the phone meeting says to her "I'm only a two hour drive from you" and agrees to work with her.  So mission accomplished - we have a local SWA member with "time" who will walk through this with her, and she has a place to stay while she goes through the transition out of the sex industry, and to stay clean.  Her sister is now checked into a residential treatment program.

I have enough gas to get home.  Once again - when something is God's will - we've had the "power to carry it out".  Doesn't mean we did it "gracefully" - but it got done.  

As for Benjamin - we wouldn't have done the rescue without his help.  I wouldn't have had the phone on to organize the rescue without his help.  So he may be a "reluctant" help - but he was a true help.

I want to thank Denise for also making this rescue possible from In Step Residential Treatment Center.  Truly their people really care - or this woman wouldn't have helped me.  That's a rare thing to find these days!