Awaken is a faith-based non-profit organization based in the heart of Reno, whose mission is to increase awareness and education surrounding the issue of Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and to provide safe housing and healing restoration for their victims.
Their ultimate goal is to completely eradicate CSE and aims for victims to be fully restored to be able to reach their fullest potential. They hope to shed light onto other communities to follow their model and do the same so that one day we will live in a world where there is no commercial sexual exploitation.
Awaken has helped over 700 girls reach freedom and healing from the sexual exploitation cycle and find healing and wholeness in the world. Human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world. People are recruited, threatened, coerced and deceived, all in the name of exploitation.
Historically, adult sex workers in the state of Nevada have had very limited resources available to them to help assist and facilitate their transition back into the world.
Awaken is the only organization in northern Nevada solely focused and trained to work with victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Given the right opportunities, Awaken believes that anyone can overcome circumstances such as, poverty, racism, and gender-based violence perpetuating CSE.
Founders Melissa Holland and Jen Robinson saw first hand the lack of local programs for victims after both coming out of jobs within law enforcement. Because of this they both had a vision for justice within this system for the survivors attempting to see their way out. After working exclusively within this region, Jen and Melissa have developed a high-level of expertise regarding human trafficking in their region.
Through a capacity building grant, Awaken will extend the hours of the drop-in center, reaching more survivors where they are at and providing them with a trauma informed entry point into long-term healing and recovery when they are ready. Survivor ran, this drop-in center sits in the heart of Reno’s track, making it accessible to women seeking services without judgement.
A yearly grant program, funding up to $2 Million to advance economic empowerment and housing opportunities for agencies who serve adult female survivors of human trafficking.