About Us

Mission & Vision

Traffick Free is a faith-motivated organization that provides the greater metropolitan area of Chicago with tools and sustainable programs to combat human trafficking and transform the lives of survivors and communities. Traffick Free seeks to mobilize the Chicagoland area into a place where human trafficking is unacceptable and where survivors have resources for immediate and holistic needs.

History

Traffick Free began in 2008 as a means of raising awareness and providing education on the local realities of sexual and labor exploitation in the greater Chicago area. Through an ever-growing partner network of city offices, churches, non-profits, and civic organizations, Traffick Free has worked to increase people’s understanding of human trafficking in our communities.

In early 2017, after six years of research with providers and survivors from around the country, Traffick Free opened Chicago’s first emergency and overnight drop-in center for all adult females who have been victims of sex trafficking and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation.

Who We Are

We are ordinary people volunteering our time and talents to end human trafficking in Chicago. Human trafficking refers to the recruitment, transport, sale, or purchase of people for the purpose of economic exploitation. Traffick Free formed with the purpose of spreading awareness and push for proactive change so average citizens can play a part in the solution.

Work & Impact

Our signature events have included the Freedom Forum and the 5K, which have engaged thousands of people across the Chicagoland area since 2008. We continue to maximize our relationship with churches, schools, NGOs, and law enforcement to conduct specialized trainings beyond the 101 level to include violence against the LGBTQ community, systemic violence against women, and labor trafficking. With a strong social media presence, Traffick Free has guided our followers on several perspectives regarding human trafficking.

Traffick Free has partnered with and assisted direct-service organizations such as long-term residential facilities and substance abuse clinics. This networking has allowed us to meet emergency needs for survivors of both sex and labor trafficking as case managers in the past and now through our own drop-in center.

Let’s build a new world — one that is Traffick Free.

 

Task Forces We Participate In

  • Victim Services Subcommittee of the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force
  • Training Subcommittee of the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force
  • LGBTQ Subcommittee of the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force
  • CEASE Network, Cook County Sheriff’s Office
  • Chicago Safe Start – Implementation Advisory Board (Chicago Department of Public Health)
  • Point in Time (Homeless Count) Subcommittee
  • National Runaway Prevention Month
  • West Side Accountable Health Communities Collaborative
  • Chicago PrEP Working Group’s Women’s Health Subcommittee
  • Chicago Continuum of Care (c/o All Chicago)

 

Contact Us

For general inquiries, please contact us via email: findoutmore@traffickfree.org

For referrals to the drop-in center, please contact: dropin@traffickfree.org

Name Role
Laura Ng, MSW Executive Director
Ashley Anderson Digital Marketing Manager
Beth Swanson Creative Director
Brooke Hennen Development Associate
Carina Homann Santa Maria, LMSW Director of Community Education
Chris Weseloh Technology Director
Christina Gaytan Case Management Intern
Danielle Morales-Klima Communications Director
Haley Pessina Research Specialist
Jamelyn Lederhouse Development Specialist
Lindsey Estupinan Operations Director
Marci Ziemba Development Associate
Sari Latomaa Drop-In Shift Supervisor
Richelle Hennen Volunteer Management Associate
Sara Carlson Special Events Director
Sharon Whited New Volunteer Engagement Manager
Virginia Dickman Marketing Director

Traffick Free is a registered 501c3. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.