It happens here, too.

Jan 9, 2024 | by Cierra Ivey

Did you know that over four thousand cases of human trafficking have been reported in the Carolinas since 2007? More than 65% of the victims were trafficked for sexual purposes. More than 30% of these were minors. No one should be forced, deceived or pressured into work or sexual acts. Unfortunately, it happens. And it’s happening right here in Charlotte.

In the past year, The Salvation Army has served 12 survivors of human trafficking at The Salvation Army Center of Hope shelter. Our social workers say that many have overcome tremendous challenges.

“One thing I try to keep in mind as we assist clients coming out of this, is that it takes so much courage to leave their situation,” says Venita Hood, program manager for The Salvation Army Center of Hope. “And it is important to connect them with the proper resources in a timely manner. It is also important that we meet them where they are, building a rapport of trust and resiliency.”

For this reason, The Salvation Army of the Carolinas created Project FIGHT – because no human should ever be for sale.

Project FIGHT serves all populations of human trafficking in North and South Carolina, and has been since 2011. After meeting the immediate needs of victims and survivors, the program helps them on the path of stability through partnerships and relationships with state and local government, law enforcement, and other agencies.

In Charlotte, Hood says many clients have been housed and are doing well, but some are not ready for scattered-site housing and need more of a transition back into society.

How You Can Help

“Our greatest need at the moment would be locating transitional housing for our clients,” says Hood. “We are also in need of bedding items such as sheets, comforters and pillows.”

In addition to donating tangible items survivors need in their recovery, you can help fight for good by donating financially here.

Report any signs of trafficking anonymously by calling the 24-hour hotline: 1-888-373-7888 or by texting 711 to BEFREE (233-733). Some general indicators of human trafficking are individuals who have fearful or nervous behavior, avoid eye contact, or are unaware of their location, date, or time. Some are accompanied by an individual who does not let them speak for themselves or control their money and ID/legal documents.

Victims needing help in Mecklenburg County are encouraged to call the Coordinated Entry Department at (704) 284-9665. Victims must indicate they are Human Trafficking survivors to be referred to The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte Center of Hope. If immediate help is needed, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text 711 to BEFREE (233-733).

Human trafficking happens in both legal, visible spaces and in illicit and often stigmatized settings. Many don’t think it’s a problem until it affects them. Join the FIGHT today.

Recent Stories

Get Involved

A gift to The Salvation Army helps someone in your community.

Give Now



Do Good in your community

Find Worship

Join us throughout the week for worship, fellowship, Bible study, meals, community service and fun.