Survivor Ventures believes economic empowerment is the key to releasing survivors from "the life". We hypothesize that a trauma-informed approach to gainful employment may be the most critical service required to reduce recidivism rates, particularly for a population who only know "work" as a painful and traumatic experience.
Survivor Ventures partners with small business owners to create unique employment opportunities. Partners are carefully vetted and selected based on a criteria developed to ensure a trauma-informed environment. This program involves on-site job coaching and intensive community based treatment (ICBT). Participants can obtain additional training in business and retail operations through a certification process, equipping them to open their own business or store. Through this program participants create a vetted business plan and are connected to local entrepreneurial resources to gain access to capital, co-working spaces, business grants and loans.
Economic empowerment is at the core of our strategy. We invest heavily in providing the support and resources needed for survivors to attain economic empowerment. In Hampton Roads, that usually begins with the provision of safe shelter.
In Hampton Roads, access to shelter and other services for survivors is extremely limited and is typically available only for those who are considered in imminent danger from their traffickers, or those who are involved in the criminal prosecution of their traffickers. Many of the survivors we serve fall in neither of those categories. They almost always have trafficking, sexual assault and physical abuse as part of their back story, and continue to fall into patters of drug use or prostitution as a means of coping and survival. Many have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which makes breaking that cycle even more difficult. Dealing with the challenges of victims getting the services they need in Hampton Roads requires problem-solvers who bring different perspectives and are willing to go the extra mile.
Established in 2018, Survivor Ventures emerged out of a pursuit to inspire and support those wishing to leave "the life", and a desire for actions to speak louder than words.