This Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the UMD SAFE Center is thrilled to partner with TISTA Science & Technology and their 700 employees in providing the Center’s survivors with VISA gift cards for groceries and family essentials. TISTA and the SAFE Center for Human Trafficking Survivors began working together in December of 2019, when TISTA employees at the company’s headquarters in Montgomery County, MD, met a critical need for survivors by providing nearly 100 care bags, containing comfortable clothing and overnight toiletries.
Recently, TISTA deepened its involvement through a donation of ten personal laptops to help address the digital divide affecting many survivors. Personal technology is essential for survivors to access direct services, search for employment, and continue their education, particularly during COVID-19.
TISTA’s corporate leadership has been working with the SAFE Center on a longer-term investment in the Center’s new “Housing + Education” program, designed to help create more self-sustaining lives for survivors through financial assistance for safe housing and educational pursuits. This start-up initiative is modeled on the SAFE Center’s “Housing + Employment” program, which recently received a nearly $500,000/three-year grant from the US Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime.